Saturday, February 1, 2020

My Connection to Patrick Mahomes

I'm sure almost everyone who has been following the Kansas City Chiefs football team would like to say they have a connection to Patrick Mahomes, NFL's best quarterback ever, according to some.  I really do, though.  I taught in the same schools his father Pat attended. 

After my son was born in 1984 I did substitute teaching part-time so I could be home with him more.  I did a long-term subbing job for an 8th grade English teacher and Pat was in that class. I didn't really develop any relationships with my students back then since I thought I had to be very strict to maintain classroom discipline.  A couple of years later I resumed teaching in the high school where Pat excelled at sports.

A little while later I taught 11th grade English and Pat's sister and Patrick's aunt Tinesha was one of my students. She was excellent at basketball, volleyball, and track as I recall.  

So there you have it.  It's not much, but enough for me to be rooting for my "grand-student" Patrick Mahomes II as he leads his team in the 2020 Super Bowl.  I'd never even been much of a football fan until he started playing for the Chiefs.  I missed his rookie year and his years at Texas Tech but I heard about him often on the local news. I hope he wins.

Go Chiefs!


Thursday, January 23, 2020


Everybody in Texas seems to have a tornado story. They've either been in one, seen one, or know someone who has. I haven't had the terrifying experience of actually being in a tornado, but as a kid I came close enough.


Grandpa and Grandma Irwin were visiting from central Texas, and when the weather turned bad and the wind got up, Grandpa insisted on piling everyone in the car and getting out, not realizing that being in a car is the worst place you can be in a tornado. He had been in a tornado once and he didn't intend to repeat the experience.

Our little house in the country didn't have a garage, so we had to brave the wind and rain to get to the car. It's a pretty frightening thing to be six years old and barely able to walk in the wind. Fortunately I hadn't read The Wizard of Oz yet.


Daddy drove all of us--mama, us four kids, one an infant, and Grandma and Grandpa to Tyler where we parked on the downtown square and waited for the storm to pass, two adults and two children in the front, and two adults and two children in the back. No carseats or seatbelt laws back then! When Daddy and Grandpa agreed it was safe to return, we drove home, no doubt happy to see everything still in its place. 

Grandpa and Grandma Irwin

I grew up convinced that a tornado had been nearby as we ran to the car that night. My parents believed there was. This was back in the day when there was no such thing as Doppler radar or today's sophisticated weather technology. 

I've never been one to take tornado watches and warnings with a shrug. I have a "windowless interior room" that I retreat to with the dog, (hubby wouldn't go in there unless he heard it coming!) and if I'm out and about I find shelter. No close personal encounters for me, no thank you.

What about you? Have you had an experience with a tornado?  Check out Keeper II: The Storm for Jolie's terrifying encounter!