Friday, December 29, 2006

Severe Weather Potential & Emails

The possibility for severe weather still exists late tonight and into Saturday as a strong cold front pushes into the state. A squall line is expected to set up with heavy rain and damaging winds possible. My co-worker, weekend meteorologist Eric Law, will be on duty and I have complete confidence in him and his abilities to keep you informed of the impending weather.

Speaking of, I sometimes get emails concerning our weather coverage. Here is an email I got last night:
My wife is a weather nut, so perforce I am obliged to doze through obligatory 5 minute time slots during which the reporter/meteorologist is expected to say something interesting about the weather. You and your disciples seem to do a better job more consistently. When Hartman first arrived, he was (I thought) way ahead of his competition, but over time others, notably you, have equaled his skills and surpassed his presentation. Better yet, most of your subs seem to do the same. One of the griping things about one of your opposites seems (if he is still there) to be a tendency to talk down to his audience. Sample:"Now this is what I want you to do. I want you to go into your closet..." all said while he dramatically prances about in his over-tailored suit.

Likewise griping is the exaggeration of threats and dangers about which nothing can be done. I feel that much of that is the result of the evident requirement to occupy five minutes of air time. This you do extraordinarily well.

Granted, everyone has an opinion. As the Chief Meteorologist, I must make the decision as to whether to follow the pack and do what the competition is doing, or to make my own decisions and stick by them. It is my belief that there is no need to go on the air and stay on for hours at a time, only to say the same old thing over and over and over again! However, if a tornado has been spotted and has a history of damage, WLBT pulls what is called wall-to-wall coverage and we blow out the commercials.

There comes a point when you have to let the public defend themselves. Break in, tell them the latest weather information, give them the tools they need in order to determine if their family is at risk, then pray they take heed. Holding their hands for hours at a time, I can't do because there are another 100,000 plus viewers out there to serve as well.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

A "Hairy" Story

If you've watched WLBT for the last few months, you know I am growing my hair for women who have lost their hair due to cancer through Pantene's Beautiful Lengths program. Today I received a neat email from a viewer who came across some hair which has been in his family for a LONG time. He wanted to offer me the hair to donate. He doesn't know if the hair was his mother's or his older sister's. I asked him to share the story with me as to how he got it.Here is his email, which I found intriguing.
All I know is that I come from a long line of packrats. My mother saved stuff such as the announcement of the Dionne Quints, and the Duke of York - Wally Simpson affair of the 1930s. I have her wedding dress (1919) including, I believe, her underwear or something much like that. (Beautiful, all hand sewn). Her shoes. Gloves. And just tons of other stuff various and sundry.

Mother died in '41 when I was 15, which is why I am uncertain. In any case my sister, four years older, for various reasons got all that stuff. Oh yes - the letters Pop wrote my mother from France during WW I, perhaps a hundred of them, some hilarious and some winsome.

As I say - Betsy had all that stuff in her attics, mostly in the arid west, all of these years. She died about three years ago, and her kids went through it all and sent such stuff to me. So what am I to do with it? I would happily give the wedding dress to an appropriate institution, etc., and in fact have sent copies of some of the letters to the Chattanooga Museum, where she (my Mom) was living during WW I.

Ah yes. The hair. I am uncertain if it was Betsy's or Mother's. It has a sort of reddish tint, but my childhood recollection of Betsy's hair was more plain brunette. On the other hand, pack-rat or not, I have a hard time believing Mother would have kept her own hair. According to her wedding (tinted) photo and some other lore, she may have had a slight reddish cast. We'll never know. But it should please everybody - most of all Betsy and Mother - if that hair can be used.

Continue the good work. Continue to be the best of the weather mavens. Continue to call a drought "a drought" (and to hell with the athletic activities when we need rain). Continue to NOT try to scare people like some of the others, particularly at the stud station where you used to work!

Jim K.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Severe Weather Possible

Better be weather aware this week. It looks as if a strong system is headed our way for Friday night and Saturday. So much so that we could see a round of severe weather in the overnight hours which is the worst time for severe weather to strike. Make sure you have your NOAA weather radio handy and on during this time period and keep it tuned to WLBT!

Monday, December 25, 2006

O Come All Ye Faithful

The rain showers and clouds kept us with a gloomy forecast, which was expected. My parents in the Mississippi Delta were expected to get some snow showers tonight, so I'm alittle envious as we've been dealing with drizzle and much colder conditions for our Christmas Day. I held out hope for snow tonight until I saw the last computer model run---then I realized we wouldn't have snow. But most viewers wanted a cold Christmas and that package was delivered right on time!

While I was visiting with my family in Marks over the weekend, I sang at the church I grew up in: Crowder Baptist Church. For the Christmas Eve service, I was asked to sing "Bethlehem Morning". In the pastor's sermon, he pointed out the words to an old Christmas hymn "O Come All Ye Faithful".

As Christians, we are not always full of faith. There are days when it's all we can do but to muster up alittle hope. Isn't it wonderful to know that when we are faith-less, God still loves us and beckons us to rely in and on Him! However, we must ask for His help.

Baby Will is learning how to walk. Sometimes he will take 7 steps and then fall on his rear. If he wants to get somewhere fast, he crawls. It must be too much effort to try and walk all of the time! As his mother, I want to help him along because I don't want him to fall and cry those big alligator tears. But I know if I hold his hand the whole time, he won't learn how to walk. So I've started to step away and let him go for it, even if it means he falls down. I can tell he wants me when he holds out his hands for me.

When you get tired of falling, hold your arms open wide for Jesus and ask Him to be your guide. His loving arms will increase your faith and allow you to proceed with grace.

Friday, December 22, 2006

Thankful for "fill in the blank"

As I've been out and about this week, I've noticed many things that have prompted a prayer of thanks. Yesterday, I noticed a homeless man standing at one of the Jackson intersections begging for money. I found myself saying outloud, "thank you, Jesus, that I have a home to live in." A few miles down the road, I noticed a car sitting alone on the side of the highway. It looked as if the driver had abandoned it. "Thank you, Jesus, that I have a car that runs." As I drove past the shopping centers and noticed the people coming in and out like ants, I whispered "thank you, Jesus, that I have money to buy gifts with."

Sometimes we wait until our devotional time to say a word of thanks to the Lord. But I've noticed if I say prayers of thanks throughout the day, I discover more and more blessings I've been given. "Pray without ceasing" as the Bible says----being thankful without ceasing---it brings Christmas to life.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Shopping Santas

Last night between the 6pm & 10pm news, my husband and I went to do the Santa shopping for our children. The Toys R Us was packed along with long check out lines. We were able to accomplish our mission--3 toys for each child. We believe if 3 presents were good enough for baby Jesus, they are good enough for our children.

We went to Chic-fil-A (my favorite fast food restaurant) and sat down for a quick supper before I had to go back to the tv station. We talked about how we hope to continue this "3 gift per child" tradition through the teenage years.

In doing so, we try to teach our children that Christmas is not about what you get, but what you give. Whether it be the gift of time, talents, money or just a nice word, it doesn't go unnoticed. It's what we do for others that makes God smile.

After Christmas is over, I'll share with you what I did this year in giving to others. I've never done it before but I hope I get to do it more than just at Christmas.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Wet Wednesday

What a mess! Traffic is crazy with shoppers rushing for last minute gifts, the lines are long, and there is no such thing as a "quick trip to Walmart" as I found out today. I even stood in line at the downtown Jackson Post Office and marveled at the number of people sending out last minute packages to loved ones. Add rain showers to all of that and you have some slow moving traffic!

Pack your patience with you over the next couple of days and keep the Christmas story in perspective.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Watching the Forecast...

For December, we have received only 0.67" of rain which is 2.50" below normal for this time of the year. It looks as if a strong cold front and several upper air disturbances will rotate through the area bringing much needed rain. We may see some heavy rain at times. Either way, our deficit will be gone by the week's end.

I was the "mean" mom today. We took baby Will for his one year check-up and shots. He got a shot in each thigh and a flu shot in his arm. With big alligator tears streaming down his face, he looked so unhappy. Gracie told me "I don't like it when baby Will cries. It hurts my feelings." I hope she keeps her sensitivity as she grows older.

Monday, December 18, 2006

What is Christmas all about?

Christmas. Everyone wants to know the forecast. They're chomping at the bit to find out if I have some kind of 'inside' information as to the possibility of snow. The good news is, we'll have some much needed rain this week. The interesting part is the overnight lows will be a few degrees above freezing. I'll have to see more computer model runs before I totally give up hope for snow on Christmas Eve.

At our house, we have a wooden nativity set my daughter Gracie plays with. Its cheap enough that it would not be too expensive to replace should one piece get broken or should baby Will chew the angel's halo off.

Gracie is a loving 3 1/2 year old, but she has a tendency to squeeze baby Will too hard when she hugs him. We've had several conversations with her lately on the importance of being gentle---it's ok to love baby Will, but don't squeeze him too hard.

While I was playing with Gracie, she said she wanted to tell me the "Baby Jesus" story. I obliged. She grabbed the angel and baby Jesus and said "Hello everybody! My name is angel and I'm here to tell you that baby Jesus has been born today." She handed baby Jesus over to Mary and Joseph and instructed them both, "Here is your baby Jesus. Love him alot, but don't squeeze him too hard!" I bit my lip and tried my best not to laugh. Then I realized Gracie had gotten the whole Christmas story perfect---"love him alot".

That's what Christmas is all about.

Friday, December 15, 2006

The First Day

Wow! My first blog--or babble--whatever you want to call it.

I'm reminicing about last night and the fun I had watching our son, Will Christian, celebrate his 1st birthday. It seems like this year has gone far faster than I ever wanted it to. Those sleepless nights are a fading memory and I would do it all again. The love for a child cannot be explained.

Last year at this time, I was sitting in the WLBT Weather Lab preparing my graphics when I felt "that feeling" and knew something was about to happen. I wasn't prepared for the baby to make his appearance in the WLBT studios! We had a planned c-section date for December 16 because Will was in the wrong position. I thought I had several more days to do a little more Christmas shopping and continue my nesting. Not so. When my water broke, I called my husband William and told him. "Why are you calling me? Call your doctor!" he said. I did and she told me to come on in to the ER. I walked down the hall frightened all of the way to tell my boss. "It's time," I told him. "Time for what?" my news director asked. "Time for the baby. It's time for me to go to the hospital," I calmly said. "I didn't think that was supposed to happen until later this week," he said. "Well, tell the baby that because he's on his way. Oh and by the way, call someone in to do the weather tonight," I commanded. "Call Walt, call Eric, call Joanna...just call somebody!" I yelled as I walked out of the newsroom door.

I drove myself to Baptist and met my husband there. My family was just a few hours away. By 6:35pm, baby Will was born. Not that he had a name at that time. It wasn't until the day we took him home that we finally agreed on a name. Meantime, people were calling WLBT suggesting names like Houston, Dallas and Austin since my belly would no longer be covering up Texas. For some reason, it was hard for me to find humor in those suggestions!

Time has flown by and I've been a better person for it.

While I'm out and about, most WLBT viewers want to know "when will it get cold again?" Well, hold your horses--looks like your cold weather will return next weekend, just in time for Christmas.