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