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Blizzard, hurricane or boredom? I pick boredom

Submitted by on Friday, 5 June 2009 2 Comments

umbrellaIt rained today – of course the ground was going to get soaked if I’d watered the yard the night before.

It was just enough to send me scurrying to figure out where I’d stashed the umbrellas and enough that Boots got a break from getting to school under  his own steam when I decided to drive. No, it wasn’t really raining that hard. But I hate the smell of reconstituted hair spray in the morning.

And it was enough to satisfy Big Guy’s weather lust, because he’s been feeling deprived of real weather since a docent at the air museum showed him a plane’s weather radar system.

If we didn’t live in California, Big Guy already would have turned into one of those people, the type who remain riveted to the Weather Channel, watching storms inch around the globe.

Instead, he’s had to settle with monitoring the local forecast online and hoping something will happen. In between, he peppers me with questions about life in the land of real weather, where storms are an afternoon ritual, hurricanes land occasionally and blizzards knock out power and schools for days.

The winter stories are his favorites. “Oh, that sounds soooo nice!” I didn’t put reality between him and his fantasy. “I’d like snow a lot better if it weren’t so cold,” he complained after his one encounter.

I’d like snow a lot better if it lived up to its image of fluffy white fun created just for our enjoyment, of days frolicking in the meadow building snowmen, of nights cozy by the fire.

Instead, wonderland turns dingy gray after a day or so and you spend an hour shoveling out your car only to have a snowplow bury it minutes after you finish.

That’s if the snow even arrives. My favorite blizzard as a child was when the governor panicked based on mere forecast and schools closed early. We can home and relayed cords of firewood into the basement so we could survive the storm of the century. The storm that never came.

That’s the other problem with living in the land of unpredictable weather. You can hear doom and gloom forecasts for days. You can check flashlights and track down  candles. You can chuckle as stores sell out of bread, milk and bottled water.

And after all that … nothing. But not always. Sometimes you’ll wind up gazing out the windows at work late one night, watching hurricane winds whip parking-lot lights around like they’re drinking straws. You’ll listen to reports of downed power lines across major through fares and wonder how you’re going to get home.

You’ll go days without power and be happy you at least have running water.

Give me the dull familiarity of California’s Central Valley any time.

From November to March, you’ll have fog and rain punctuated by an occasional ray of sunshine only after you’re stir crazy from staring at gray skies day in, day out. Once in a while, it will be cold enough overnight that you’ll have to scrape car windows in the morning.

From May to September, you’ll bake in 100-degree heat, but at least you won’t swelter. Yes,  dry heat is different. I’ve never endured a July 4th here that’s been so miserable you stick your head out the door only long enough to turn the steaks on the grill.

October and April are reasonable – months you look forward to for the break on utilities bills.

I’ll all take that if the choice is between foreseeable extremes and “will it or won’t it hit” hurricanes and blizzards.

Even if we do have a chilly June downpour once every 10 years that gives the guys a free ride to school. At least I didn’t have to light candles and fill buckets of water.

Copyright 2009 Debra Legg. All rights reserved.

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  • MtnMom said:

    Me and Big Guy are so much alike! I love weather! I don’t like tornados getting too close but our recent trip to the South blessed me with one evening of green skies, the pre-tornado sky. We were out of the area by the time the funnel clouds moved over the old home town (no touch downs, just swirly green skies and hail). There is no mistaking the feel of the calm before the storm, the warm air that should be cool with those kinda clouds.

    Anyway, just had a memory and had to share. Plus, if I were dead I would say I came back as Big Guy! It would be fun to have y’all up when the snow storms hit! There is nothing so cozy as a wood stove, burning candles and hot soup when the power is out.

    Blessings to y’all! – MtnMom

  • Debra said:

    I do believe you and he have to be closely related in some way. He’s been absolutely fascinated with tornadoes lately, and for no apparent reason. No one’s mentioned them around here, and they’re studying farms, not weather, at school. He hasn’t seen “Wizard of Oz” either.

    Every night, though, he hammers me with tornado questions. Are we going to see one? Do they come here often? Will it pull up our house? That’d be fun! Can a tornado just pull up our house and carry it to where Daddy is?

    I’ve never been that close to a tornado. The Carolina hurricanes used to spin off one occasionally, but you already were so in the weeds weather-wise at that point that swirly green skies just didn’t register much.

    And I agree: Wood stove, candles and hot soup are the only way to handle a snow storm. Forget all that tramping around in it. Just keep me warm!