Nana has tales to tell, and thoughts to share.

The Gales of November

Gordon Lightfoot first penned it.
My sister referenced it.
My cousin quoted it.
And now I have it stuck in my head.

The legend lives on from the Chippewa on down
Of the big lake they call Gitche Gumee
The lake, it is said, never gives up her dead
When the skies of November turn gloomy.

With a load of iron ore – 26,000 tons more
Than the Edmund Fitzgerald weighed empty
That good ship and true was a bone to be chewed
When the gales of November came early.

The lyrics are from the song “The Wreck of the Edmund Fitzgerald” written way back in the 1970’s.  Why bring it  up today?  Because it’s still October, and as my sister said, “The gales of November are early.”

Our modern, advanced, high-tech meteorologists have been tracking and forecasting this week’s hazardous weather for days.  Theoretically, we should all be prepared for the rain and high winds that are heading our way.  Yet, when I woke up this morning to the thunderous sounds of our steel pipe wind chimes banging away outside our neighbor’s bedroom window, I was taken aback by the angry clouds, the rain, and the wind.

When the gales of November come early.

It’s going to be a quiet day business wise at the gas station. Who wants to get out of their car and pump gas in this weather?  The customers that do come, will stagger in the door and say, “Man, is that wind bad!”  And as they brace themselves for the journey back to their car, I will say,

“Don’t get blown away!”

A clever conversationalist, aren’t I.  Now, if they were interested and willing to stick around, I could go into a detailed discussion about the effects of La Nina and the jet streams on our local environment… but I tend to get the glassy-eyed look as they edge their way to the door.  So I refrain.

When the gales of November come early.

I sit here as the wind howls and the rain slashes against the windows, and ponder the power that makes up this storm.  If only we were advanced enough to harness this power and use it for our benefit!  The day is coming, I know, when we will harness the wind, the rain, and the sun.  We will probably pat ourselves on the back and bask in the glow of our ingenuity.  We can track the weather, predict the weather, harness the energy of the weather; but will we ever control the weather?


All we can do is complain about the weather and then move on.  Sometimes it takes a Hurricane Katrina, or the wreck of the Edmond Fitzgerald, to remind us that modern as we are, we are not so mighty that we can control the weather.

When the gales of November come early

Only God can control the weather.  And only God can calm the storms.

Jesus Stills the Storm



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