A Tale of Marriage, Medicine and Murder

Did you have a weatherman as a patient?


I did not have a weatherman as a patient, but for years I have watched one particular weatherman endure terrible storms in our country because the National Weather Service sends him the places in which the worst weather is expected. I would be alarmed if he came to my own hometown. I made up the character, Elijah Storm, to show how nurses deal with demanding patients.

A good friend of mine, a retired weatherman, helped me tell about the ice storm that occurred in the winter section of PERSONAL BAGGAGE. During the years in which we've been friends, I have learned not to comment on mistaken weather forecasts because he is still sensitive to criticism of TV weathermen.

Search result for 'storm' in PERSONAL BAGGAGE

Chapter 2: Chapter Two
"...stormntly, Penny dined in the den on graham crackers spread with peanut butter and washed down with vodka-spiked orange juice. She curled up on the couch, purchased with Johnny’s investment gains, and tuned her television to the Jacksonville news station and her favorite TV personality, Elijah storm, who was ..."
"...storm bid goodbye to a man we have all come to love,” the announcer said. “Dr. storm has achieved an advanced degree in meteorology and he’s leaving us to become a Severe Weather Specialist for the National Weather Service. Tonight, he brings you the weather from this station ..."
"... from this station for the last time.” Penny watched Dr. storm’s entire broadcast. She would miss his smiling face, his crinkly, blue eyes, and his thick, shining hair. His reports had been part of her life but, like Penny, he was moving on. Later, running water as hot as she could ..."

Chapter 20: Chapter Twenty
"... she could almost hear the sounds of children in the room. Johnny shut the doors from the living area into the rest of the house. “Don’t pile on too much wood, okay? No telling how long this storm is going to last.” Penny stabbed four frozen hot dogs with shish-kebab skewers and ..."
"...The house was freezing, and it was pitch black outside when the lights blazed on and the furnace came to life at 3 a.m. Wrapping a quilt over her robe, Penny walked to the kitchen and looked out the window, thrilled by the storm’s power. Outside spotlights illuminated an Antarctic scene beyond anything in a southern girl’s imagination. Cedars and pines were bent and broken; some had fallen completely over. Outside the dining-room window a huge magnolia tree lay on the ground, its roots, thick as swollen fire hoses, bursting ..."
"...“Forget anything you’ve ever heard about ice storms,” Johnny said, stomping in through the back door. “This storm’s worse! I can’t drive you to work; you’d better call the hospital. The garage is blocked. I mean, even if I could get the car out, big limbs have fallen across the driveway and they’re ..."
"...“I remember a storm like this years ago.” Mr. Garrett squinted at Penny as the sun printed slats of light on his face. “Everything iced over and the temperature dropped into the teens, like today. Mother told us to find birds frozen in the bushes and on the ground and ..."
"... that got me. More than twenty years ago a doctor told me I wouldn’t see seventy; it was coal dust ruined my lungs.” “But here you are, watching another ice storm.” “Thanks to asparagus. If I didn’t eat a can of asparagus every day I would have died a long time ago.” Penny ..."
"... right!” “Thank you.” Penny replaced the receiver, thankful to be working in CCU. Feeding sick people when you’re under staffed and in the middle of an ice storm must be hard on a person’s nerves, and she could see how looking for a can of asparagus would not be a priority. Penny ..."
"...Dr. Scales here. I’m writing orders to transfer Buck Dalton from Jacksonville CCU to your Unit tomorrow. You know him— he worked in the lab there before his accident. He’s had multiple surgeries, but he’s better now and they need his bed to make room for storm victims. As soon as the interstate clears, ambulance service will transport him. Do you understand?” ..."
"... picked up the remote control and changed to The Weather Channel. “An ice storm has devastated our friends in Mississippi. We take you to Jacksonville where our Severe Weather Specialist is standing by to tell you about it.” Penny leaned foreword, forgetting the hamburger for which she was ..."
"...stormh storm stood at the interstate exit to the hospital where cars crept around a multi-vehicle wreck. “Carnage,” he called it. “This is a catastrophic weather event.” He shivered in spite of a bright plaid scarf, a brown hooded jacket, gloves and boots. He seemed to ..."

Chapter 21: Chapter Twenty-One
"... said. “He’s my best buddy.” Penny handed him the cup and moved on to John Brown’s closed door with its NO VISITORS sign. After knocking twice without reply, she entered the room. His TV boomed out the Weather Channel’s storm Series program. Maria sat at the bedside of a man ..."
"... Brown, my name is Penny and I’m...” The patient pulled off the washcloth and positioned the thermometer under his bedside lamp, leaning over to read it while Penny stood at the foot of his bed with her mouth open. Mr. Brown was Dr. Elijah storm! The crinkly blue eyes focused on Penny. ..."
"... deep, resonant voice of the weatherman. Penny loaded a fresh pot of coffee and started toward Dr. storm’s room as a large man entered the hallway from the elevator. “Is Sunny Setser on this floor?” His voice was nasal and his words were hesitant. “Yes, are you a member of her ..."
"... comin’ cause I never lose—now I’ve got 185 million!” Barb was still working at a computer when Penny passed behind her carrying the cup of coffee for Dr. storm. “Barb! Did you actually give Mr. Philpot a wake-up call?” Barb nodded, “Yeah, I feel sorry for him.” On Friday ..."

"...By Tuesday afternoon the house was clean, the pantry restocked, and clothes from the trip ironed and put away. A cold wind chilled Penny as she sprinted from the house to her car, and as she drove to Jacksonville low storm clouds mounded and whirled above her. An extensive swarm of small, fork-tailed birds, rising and falling like the surf, sailed toward her, and Penny passed beneath them. Through the rearview mirror, she observed the whole flock settling onto trees and electric wires, all of them just following ..."

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"Margaret McMillion's PERSONAL BAGGAGE is a very entertaining story of professional life within a corrupt medical community, and the toll..."

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