Granny said a storm is brewin’, she could smell it

Published 3:00 am Saturday, February 14, 2015

My granny could smell bad weather.

She’d stick her head out the screen door, take a deep breath and exhale gloom and doom.

“Bad weather’s on the way. It’s in the air. I can smell it,” she’d say.

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At that very instant, Mama would begin to go to pieces. She was scared to death of bad weather and the slightest hint of it would send her into a tizzy.

When Mugi was staying with us, she seemed to take great pleasure in weather forecasting. And, I do believe, in upsetting Mama.

Not only could she smell bad weather on the way, she could read the signs in the way bees buzzed, skunks sprayed and the sun set.

But the most tale-tell signs of foreboding weather came from “peculiar-acting dogs.”

“I reckon y’all heard William’s dogs yelping all night long,” Mugi would say. “Gonna be bad weather as sure as I’m settin’ here.”

Mugi said all dogs are right-sided. And, when a dog gets to acting peculiar – favoring its left side — “there’s a storm brewing somewhere.”

And, if a dog chased its tail to the left, a lightning storm, the likes of which had never been seen, was a certainty.

And, if a hungry dog buries a bone, “there’s gonna be a frog strangler and you can count on it.”

We might have thought Mugi’s predictions were just the babblings of an ol’ woman but the truth was that she was just about always right.

However, Aunt Eleanor pointed out that Mugi’s weather forecasting was done in the early morning.

“So she’ll have all day and all night to be right,” Aunt Eleanor would laugh and say.

When bad weather came, Mama would make Bubba and me sit in the middle of the bed and stay as quiet as church mice.

The way I figured it in my child’s mind was that, if we did get blown away, we’d ride through the air like we were on a magic carpet. After a night of bad weather, I was always a little disappointed that I’d not taken flight.

Whether it was Mugi’s idea for us to sit in the middle of the bed or Mama’s, I never knew. But I do know that Mugi said rubber was a conductor of electricity and, if you were grounded by rubber, lightning couldn’t hurt you.

So, if we could get to the car ahead of a thunderstorm, we would not be killed by lightning that day.

Mama and Mugi would sit up front so they could watch the clouds better and Bubba and I would sit on the backseat.

We didn’t go anywhere. We just sat there – grounded. I always carried funny books with me to occupy the time until the storm passed on over.

The thunder would crash and the lightning would flash and Mugi would say the devil was beating his wife.

I could never figure how it was that the devil was up in heaven  but a storm was not the time to be asking questions.

So, I just sat there grounded by four rubber tires. And grounded in my granny’s wisdom.