Texas Tech University

Mailbag: Was That Sky Water?

Allen Ramsey

April 14, 2023

Talking about a rainy day.

Welcome back to the Mailbag. 

Last Sunday got me thinking about my childhood for a lot of reasons. 

It was Easter, of course, so that brought up all kinds of memories. When I was young, we'd spend the day huntin' eggs and eating with friends and family. As I got older, traveling to soccer tournaments on Easter Sunday became a regular thing. 

Basically, Easter was a guaranteed good time. Aside from being a religious holiday, it was a day to be outside. A day to be with friends, family and loved ones of all sorts. A day to run around. 

Rain on Easter

The only thing that could ruin it was rainy weather. 

Now, it should be noted that while I call Texas Tech University and Lubbock home – and it truly has become home for me over the past few years – I'm from a much soggier part of the state. And while the area I was raised in offered plenty of good outdoor activities, how much fun any day outside would be this time of year was largely determined by rain.

Out here, the rain doesn't play into our planning as much. Sure, any day in April can be ruined by 50 mph winds, and dust storms have to be taken into account if you're planning a picnic or any other outdoor activity. 

Rain? We'll take our chances most of the time. 

But Easter Sunday 2023? Oh baby! 

Personally, I found myself tucked under a mid-round potty house at a nearby golf course because, of course, here on the South Plains when it rains, it hails. Driving back home I was bathed in sunlight while storm clouds raged on both sides of I-27. By the time I was back in Lubbock the storms had found me once again. 

Sitting there, watching the hail pound down on the yard, the roof, the truck and all the plants my wife had recently put in the ground, I came to wonder if the late-afternoon storms in Lubbock had ruined anybody's Easter celebrations. I sure hoped all the young'uns had gotten their fill of festivities before being peppered with balls of ice. 

Then it struck me that water was falling from the sky on a day of celebration and that, in and of itself, was something to celebrate. 

Of course, those of us who call Lubbock home would love a nice slow rain, the kind that sits on top of the city for eight hours and actually soaks into the ground, but that just isn't the way of things around here. As usual, if sky water comes to us, even in the form of ice, we'll gladly take it. 

As the clouds rolled back and we assessed the damage – hopefully there wasn't much for any of you, but the hood of my truck has one noticeable new dent – my mind shifted to Monday. 

“How fitting,” I thought. 

You see, Monday was a big day in the office. We're trying something new, something we think can benefit a lot of people.

The goal, when we started the project, was to get a group of smart people together and let them talk about things we think people should know more about, and Monday was our first shoot. 

The topic? Water, of course. 

Our region of Texas provides food, fiber and fuel, but all three rely on water. So, we brought together a water policy lawyer, an atmospheric scientist, a plant and soil expert, a wildlife expert and a farmer, and we let them talk it out. 

Naturally, we recorded it, and when the final product is ready, you can count on this space sharing it at least once. For now, it's something to look forward to, and something to build on. 

A new set of Foundations, if you will. 

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