Tuesday, April 29, 2014

They Call The Wind Mariah

I've always liked that song.  It's kind of melancholy and lonely and sometimes, not often, but sometimes it fits my mood.

It has been raining off and on since Sunday.  The wind sometimes howls down the streets and around the corners and then lets up for a while, like it is catching its breath for another hard blow.

I wonder if the never ceasing sounds of wind can really drive a person over the edge.  My Dad thought so.  He claimed that someone he knew was driven mad by the constantly blowing winds in the Dakotas during the Great Depression.  It may have been the wind.  It may have been living with the hardships of that time.  I never knew for sure.  But Dad was convinced that the wind was the cause of the madness.

But then my Dad had one or two other somewhat strange ideas.  I found it sort of hard to explain these ideas coming from a man who was so practical and grounded.  He had only an eighth grade education, which was normal for boys of his generation.  Born on a farm in 1911, he went to school in the one room schoolhouse near the farm where he grew up until he had completed the highest grade possible there.  Then he worked, either on the farm or hiring out to make money to help the family.  And he continued to work hard the rest of his life.  He wasn't given to flights of fancy.

I called him when I first became interested in tracing my family history, to ask him some questions about his grandparents.  He told me what I wanted to know and then he said, "Now, you be careful.  You know that _____ went crazy when she was working on that genealogy stuff."  I could never convince him that _____ suffered from dementia, and that the genealogy had nothing to do with it.  After that, when I would question him about this ancestor or that, he would always caution me to "Be careful that you don't go crazy."

I find it interesting, the little snippets of life that remain in our memories.  Whenever I take the time to research my family history, I smile to myself when I always recall Dad's words of warning about "that genealogy stuff."

And if this wind doesn't let up soon, I may be able to test his theory that the sound of the wind really can drive a person a bit mad!


  1. I named my second horse that, despite the fact that it was a stallion. He was an arab/morgan cross and would arch his neck and tail "run like the wind." I love that song myself, along with "The Wayward Wind."

  2. Gorges...What a great name for a horse! I remember "The Wayward Wind" very well. I would rather listen to songs of that era than the ones that are popular now. They reach you where you live.


  3. Add wind chimes and it could happen these days.

  4. Rob...I never thought of the effect of constant wind chimes. I like them, but not in these strong winds like we have now. That might just do it!

  5. I remember that song from an old Lee Marvin movie, but I can't remember the name of the movie. I think it might have been "Paint your wagon."

    Wind blowing has always been soothing to me, unless of course it's knocking down trees and blowing off roof shakes. I could do without it then.

    If geneology could drive you mad, my mother would be a raving lunatic and she's very clear in her mind, so I think you are ok.

  6. Harry...The movie was "Paint Your Wagon." I was fiddling around on Youtube yesterday and found that someone had uploaded the movie. I may have to watch it some evening, just for fun.

    I always liked the sound of the wind in the pines of northern MN. The sound of wind whistling down city streets, not so much. I don't know why one sound would soothe and another annoy, but there it is.

    Yeah, I don't think I'm in any danger of going off my rails over genealogy. I sometimes think that Dad needed to blame the condition of someone he cared about onto something other than old age and dementia, so he chose genealogy, for this was a new interest for her - something different. We all have our methods of coping with unpleasant aspects of life, and that's how he may have coped with the loss.