‘Bad weather’s on the way; I can smell it’

Published 10:10 pm Friday, March 15, 2019

My daughter came in the kitchen early Friday morning with her portable brain in hand.

“It’s going to be sunny today but cool,” she forecast, looking at her brain. “Around 65 to 68 degrees.”

I was standing in the door looking out.

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“It’s going to rain,” I said, looking at the sky, the way people used to do to forecast the day’s weather. Five minutes later, it began to rain.

My granny could forecast weather by simply looking at the sky or reading other signs. She could smell bad weather. She would 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 would say.

That would send Mama into a tizzy. She was afraid of bad weather. My granny took great pleasure in forecasting bad weather and in upsetting Mama.

Not only could my granny smell bad weather coming, she could read the weather signs by the way bees buzzed; the way skunks sprayed and the way the sun set.

The most tell-tale signs of foreboding weather came from peculiar acting dogs.

My granny said all dogs are right-sided. So, when a dog starts acting peculiar by favoring its left side, there’s a storm brewing somewhere. And, if a dog chases its tail to the left, there will be a lightning storm the likes of which has never been seen.

If a hungry dog buries a bone, there’s going to be a frog strangler for sure.

Mama said my granny did her forecasting early in the morning so she would have all day to be right.

It took me only five minutes to be right.

The sun did peep out on Friday and it was cooler but the “brain” somehow missed the rain.

That got me wondering how many, or how few, people these days look out the door to see what the weather will be like. And, I wonder, too, how many people can talk warts off a person.

My granny could do that. How she did it was a close-kept secret.

I spent many hours holding an old toad frog and rubbing its back trying to get a wart so my granny could talk it off. Then, I would know what she said to take it off.

My granny could tell fortunes by reading the lines in your hand, how long you would live, how many children you would have.

She could tell whether a baby would be born a boy or girl by tying a chinaberry on a string and swinging it over the baby. She could make a baby walk by standing it behind a door and sweeping its legs down. On the ninth day, the baby would walk.

She could cure a sore throat by pushing up the pallet in your mouth with the end of spoon with salt and pepper on it.

My granny had other talents that I’ll not reveal. But, my only talent is standing in the open door and forecasting what weather the day will bring.