Weather Woman

Written by Tom Hale

Continued from page 1

A crisp harmonica fanfare drew our attention torepparttar wide, low stack of wooden R.C. Cola cases.

If I live to be a hundred—which Blind Lemon had accomplished a decade ago—I’ll never forgetrepparttar 118134 leathery majesty ofrepparttar 118135 man who slowly mountedrepparttar 118136 makeshift stage. It was dangerous to cram that much dignity into so cheap a suit. He only did one song that night. If you know your Blues, you know which one. His signature song.

The languid lids lowered over haunted, eyes—eyes that had looked out over a century of sadness, heartbreak, and futility. The lids crept open, revealing happy eyes that had experienced merriment and a defiant victory in spite of it all.

Nothing was forced fromrepparttar 118137 diaphragm; he just opened his mouth andrepparttar 118138 words fell out—like a trusty mule that knows its way home whenrepparttar 118139 rider is too drunk, or when it’s too dark to see. Words as familiar torepparttar 118140 Blues aficionado as "The Star Spangled Banner" is to a Boy Scout:

My woman is a cyclone: Lawd, she blew me to my knees.

There gorepparttar 118141 neighborhood, my heart, andrepparttar 118142 magnolia trees.

As soon as I fell, she got downgraded to a tropical breeze.

My lady, sherepparttar 118143 sunshine: she warms me with a life-givin ray.

She too hot to handle, and Lawd, I used to like it that way.

But she never went down, and baked me hard as a ceramic ashtray.

Weather Woman—the prognosticators ain’t got a clue.

Nobody can affect my pressure and dew point like you do.

Unseasonably spiteful (HEY!), indescribably delightful (YEAH!),

Cool breeze summer night-ful (HAH!) stentorian and frightful (WOO!)

It’s clear a storm is startin to brew.

My baby is a sandstorm; my soul is a wild tumbleweed.

Our love, a towering windmill, supplyin allrepparttar 118144 power we need.

But she sho screwed up my paintjob—she gritted up my nitty, indeed.

My Mama is a monsoon, WAW! she soak her man torepparttar 118145 core.

Replenishinrepparttar 118146 river ‘tillrepparttar 118147 banks shake, rattle, and roar.

Then she flooded my house, leavin snakes and mud all overrepparttar 118148 floor.

I never made it torepparttar 118149 convention. Somehow, after what I’d witnessed, it just seemed pointless and stupid. Kind of like this story. I’m working for Aykroid now; I’m assistant manager at one of his Danny’s Dixie Possum (or is it beaver?) franchises. And I haverepparttar 118150 paper hat to prove it—made it out of my college diploma. It just feels more like home somehow.

Yeah, sometimes you just get lucky.

Tom Hale is a featured author on He writes mostly about New Age topics, but cannot take anything too seriously for too long.

Truck Stop Christmas

Written by Tom Hale

Continued from page 1

She said she hoped I wasn't too disappointed about her not bein my mother, and I said, "Naw, I figured as much since I was only four years old when my mama started workin at a Truck Stop." I told her about a driverless truck that had passed me a few miles back: it was goin 90 miles an hour. I didn't think much about it atrepparttar time—that's what too much Night Train'll do to a man—but, after hearin her story, I got a case ofrepparttar 118133 hee-bee-gee-beez like you wouldn believe. I leaned acrossrepparttar 118134 counter and held onto her tired old hand. I said, "Ma'am, you may not be my mother, but I'll bet you five dollars againstrepparttar 118135 price ofrepparttar 118136 pie and coffee that you can't name all 8 reindeer."

She started to cry and said this wasrepparttar 118137 first time in ten years that Christmas had any meanin for her—she hadn even bothered to put up any decorations. Now that it felt like Christmas, and she knew it would be her last one, all she wished for inrepparttar 118138 whole wide world was somethin to make it look like Christmas. Well, it just so happened that I was haulin a hot load of cheap, plastic Nativity scenes to Chicago for an eleventh-hour trainload sale. I made up my mind right then an' there that this old woman was gonna have one of 'em if it drove every dime store in Chi Town out of business. I said, "You wait right here, Ma'am; this is gonna berepparttar 118139 best Christmas you ever had!" Well...that's when I woke up. [military-drums-in-the-distance]

I woke up in a foxhole...about 15 miles from White Sands Missile Range. The First Sergeant was shakin me. When I looked up at him, there was a look of curiosity and concern inrepparttar 118140 narrow eyes that so resembled elongated lug nuts, chiseled intorepparttar 118141 weather-beaten leather that was his face—two eyes, one on either side of his nose. He told me that I'd been yellin in my sleep, somethin 'bout drivin a truck.

I said, "But, Sarge! I am a Truck Driver!" The curiosity and concern melted into a combination of compassion and sarcasm—with just a touch of amused weariness. He said, "Son, you are not a Truck Driver, for you see, that would be impossible." "Why do you say that, Sarge?" "For two reasons," Sarge said: "One, you are a chimpanzee. Two, you don't even have a driver's license."

Well, I thought about that for a moment. My disappointment turned to resignation. I quietly asked Sarge, "If…if I'm not a Truck Driver, then what am I?"

Sarge said, “Speak up, son, I can’t hear you.”

So I says out loud, I says, “If…if I’m not a Truck Driver, then what am I?”

He said, "You are an Astronaut. You just got back from a 5-year trip aroundrepparttar 118142 Planet, Pluto. I don't know what happened to you up there, but I do know this: you are not a Truck Driver." I sat there, chewin on that one for a good long while. Sarge poured us both some coffee. The long silence was broken when I said, "Sarge, what month is this?" He told me it was August. "Well," I said, liftin my cup, "Feliz Nuevo Ańo, Sarge."

Sarge grinned, and raised his cup. "Happy Halloween, Kid." I poured coffee all downrepparttar 118143 front of my flight suit—that's what too much weightlessness'll do to a man.


It was a Truck Stop Christmas With magic inrepparttar 118144 air; It wasrepparttar 118145 nightmare of a monkey, And a Mother's answered prayer. A mystery, a miracle, We'll never understan; But it's notarized and witnessed By a Truck Drivin Man... A Truck Drivin Maa-aan. Wah-ooo.

In God’s Trombones, James Weldon Johnson tells of an old-time preacher who announces, “Brothers and sisters, this morning—I intend to explain the unexplainable—find out the undefinable—ponder over the imponderable—and unscrew the inscrutable.” This author seeks to do all that, plus take it a step further and eff the ineffable. Tom Hale is a featured author at

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