Monday, January 18, 2016

How cold is it?

Weather forecast for tonight: dark. Continued dark overnight, with widely scattered light by morning.
George Carlin

I guess the answer to that question is “it depends.”

I met a young woman at the library checkout counter a few days before Christmas. It was possibly high 30s, low 40s that day – brisk, but not bone-chilling cold.

“Brrrrr…”  she said. “Is Missouri always this cold.”

The librarian and I looked at each other and smiled and then looked at her and said, almost simultaneously, “This isn’t bad, it gets a lot colder. Where are you from?"

“South Carolina” she said in her soft accent. “I called my friend there yesterday and it was 70 degrees, and I am glad I am going home for the holiday.”

It does seem so mundane that we talk about the weather all the time—whether to complain or exclaim or just luxuriate on what seems to be a perfect day—but the weather really does have quite a profound effect on our lives in ways we probably don’t think about that much and in those we definitely do, like when it comes time to fill the propane tank in the Fall to keep the house warm or pay the electric bill to keep it cool in August.

Sometimes the weather forecast is so laughably wrong that we don’t even pay attention, but then we can’t really afford to do that because sometimes it will be horribly accurate.

On Saturday I had an unexpected conversation with a woman I used to go to college with -- we were both student assistants in the Admissions Office -- but haven’t seen since 1971. She  just happened to be visiting the father of the boy she dated in college at the very same time my brother was there also visiting. She wondered if he might be related to me, and so he called me and handed her the phone. One of the first things she asked me as we started talking about us having moved away to Missouri was “Is it cold there?”

Yeah, it sorta is; not as cold as some places (I listen to a live radio broadcast from Minneapolis on Saturday night so I hear the weather report and I get it!) but a lot colder than others.

And so when I stepped outside this morning to take myself and the dog for our morning walk (t-shirt, wool long-sleeved shirt, light-weight nylon jacket, heavy coat, two pairs of sweat pants, ski mask, knit cap)…

I couldn’t help but think about that young woman from South Carolina. Hope her pipes didn’t freeze overnight.


Linda Kay said...

Lelani, I am so happy to now be living in the south (Texas), no longer dealing with that awful cold. But when it gets into the 30s and 20s now, I'm freezing. Guess my blood got thin!

Henny Penny said...

And here in North Carolina at noon, it is 32 degrees. Very cold! We are not supposed to get above freezing today which is unusual for NC. I enjoyed your post.

Far Side of Fifty said...

It is what it is and when it is cold we all adapt...some better than others:) Stay warm! Look for a parka! :)

Wisewebwoman said...

I can't translate your temps anymore, I'm all C'd out finally :) so we're just over 0 Celsius and the snow falling is so magnificent it is taking my breath away. So yes, colder than you but it could be a lot worse!


Cathy said...

I'm glad others find comfort in talking about the weather - in this very 'troubled world' it does keep things normal :)
And down here where I live at 4.30pm on Tuesday January 19 it is 33c/91f so I'm indoors comfy and cool in shorts and tshirt. The house isn't too hot so no need for the aircon just have the fans going. The forecast for tomorrow is similar also for Thursday!
Sometimes we can get down to 0c/32f but usually the average is about 5c/41f and in a good year very wet. Rain has been in short supply recently here in Victoria as well as other states hence very dry brown lands and so many bushfires this summer.

Maggie May said...

I think talking about the weather links everyone together somehow. After all...... we all have weather. It seems to be a very British thing to do because we have such varied weather & generally it can do almost anything, so it keeps us on our toes. Everything is topsy turvy now though, anywhere.
Maggie x