The cliché has been attributed to Mark Twain about New England but we here in Kansas say, “If you don’t like the weather in Kansas, wait a minute.”

We should change the nickname of the state to the “Extreme State.”

In the summer the mercury can be over 100 degrees for days. While in the winter it can drop below 0.

Lately there’s been no fall or spring seasons in our state.

On numerous occasions I have written the “Prepare for the Snowstorm” story when a dozen inches of white flakes or ice are predicted.

“Emergency plans are being made in preparation for a storm that could leave up to an inch of ice on surfaces” is an actual lead I’ve published.

“Bundle up the best you can, in blankets. Use everything you possibly can, until conditions can warrant us to have people safely travel to a shelter. Because of the duration of the event, we are looking for a lot of thawing Monday. But we are running into a risk of the potential for power to be out for quite some time. If you are not already prepared, now is the time to get prepared,” the public has been advised.

The streets did turn white that particular January because of the salt applied in preparation for the storm that failed to materialize.

Signs around this area usually read “Pray for Rain.”

Last year the Reflector-Chronicle reported that the yearly rainfall up to May 23 was 3.61 inches.

This year the unofficial rainfall total is 15.35 inches with over six inches falling in May.

Living on the south side of the Smoky Hill River, we too have witnessed the extreme. One year on an exceptionally hot day, a group of people pitched a canopy in the middle of the river on a sand bar.

Rumor had it someone attempted to drive a four-wheel drive vehicle across the river because the water was that low.

Today someone might attempt that feat in a yacht as the area south of town looks like Eisenhower Lake.

My wife Kathy often comes up with excellent ideas.

“Business tip: Someone might want to set up a lemonade stand or coffee bar at the end of Haven Drive where the parade of drivers checking out the river are turning around and heading back into town. It’s a steady stream of cars/trucks. Great business opportunity,” she wrote on her Facebook page.

Stormy days in past years were often sleepless nights as we had a family member that had extreme anxiety during storms.

We didn’t need a barometer to tell us that a wall cloud was approaching.

She would shake, gasp for air and stay awake all night.

We tried sleeping in the same bed with her, covering her up as to not see the bolts of lightning or hear the ensuing thunder.

The Fourth of July was a mess as those fireworks that are really small bombs also created air pressure in her ears.

We finally had to give her sedatives to calm her down.

The tornado that touched down in Chapman in 2008 went right over our house and we could see it as it approached Enterprise.

That year we gave her three pills to put her to sleep in case that tornado decided to touch down on or near our home.

That family member was Twister, our dog, and she is now buried under a tree on our property. (Yes, that was really her name.) Our new pet, Maggie, isn’t bothered by the weather at all.

Instead of Twister, now it’s the weather radio that alerts us that “the National Weather Service has issued a tornado warning for Dickinson County” as it did Tuesday afternoon.

And that radio is what keeps us up, going off all night during stormy weather. But we’re not complaining. We appreciate advance notice and, well, you can turn the radio off unlike a canine’s panting.

Contact Tim Horan at

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