Weather or Not

I was getting proactive. I swear I was. The clothes had been washed, and instead of tossing them into the dryer I hiked all the way outside to put them on the line. You see, we have a clothesline out in the backyard. It consists of two sturdy posts with a snaking line of rope … Continue reading Weather or Not

Should We Talk About the Weather?

th“Do you think it’s going to rain today?”
“Yeah, it definitely looks like rain.”

That’s a conversation I’ve had about a million times, and usually it’s with people who are associates. Not friends. You know why? Because with my friends we talk about real subjects, like love, war, and who we think is going to win American Idol this year. The weather is relatively boring unless something like a flood, a tornado, or an earthquake hits. Then we debate over who should have shown up with relief efforts and when. But only then.

Usually talk about the weather is just space filler, what you say when you don’t know what to say. Like on a first date, or on a break at work, or when stuck in an elevator with men wearing Brooks Brothers suits. It is the absolute last resort, and the problem is that everybody knows it. So when you adroitly bring up an impending rain storm be aware of the rolling eyes or what I call the “dead stare.” That’s when they’re nodding along but looking through you while you talk. It’s usually followed by “Sure,” no matter what it is you just said.

Do you blame them for spacing out? Talking about the weather is usually as dull as dishwater. But it accomplishes its purpose most of the time, to fill in the space. Continue reading “Should We Talk About the Weather?”

Snow Tired

snowstormPlease, allow me to vent for a moment. Now, I’m usually the guy who makes fun of others for getting all worked up over weather, so what happened today was a righteous comeuppance. It doesn’t mean I liked it, but it was definitely righteous. To truly explain I need to take you back to just over two years ago.

It was one of those rare times when I was alone at home, while my wife and kids were in Utica. We were supposed to meet at Applebees for lunch. It had been snowing steadily all morning, but it hadn’t really accumulated on the roads, so it lulled me into a false sense of security. And I was hungry for a Cowboy (Veggie) Burger.

Everything started off well, with my iPod plugged in and playing Guns ‘n Roses. The car handled well on the road, and I was well on my way… until I ran into the drifts. There’s a stretch of road where the winds are strong and they drive the snow over the road in drifts, but I was going along so well that I forgot the drifts were there. Then I was skidding, sliding across the opposite lane in what seemed like slow motion.

I ended up in a ditch that day, but I got lucky that it was shallow enough that the car didn’t turn all the way over, preferring instead to rest on its side. Several good samaritans came to my aid also, helping me out of the car and giving me someplace to rest while I waited for the tow truck, for the police, and for my wife. But since that day anytime the winds pick up in winter I get anxious. Continue reading “Snow Tired”

So This is Global Warming?

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Bundle up.

Remember global warming? It was a hot-button term at the beginning of the 21st century. As our illustrious former vice president said, “It’s a certain truth. But it’s an inconvenient truth.” And yet since then we’ve recorded some of the harshest, coldest temperatures in this world’s history. In fact, today my children were home from school for a “snow” day, even though it wasn’t snowing. It was really a “frigid temperature” day, which was funny because yesterday it got up to 45 here in upstate New York. And isn’t that really the gist of the whole “global warming” issue, the idea of a global shifting of climate. Climate change, now that’s a phrase I can get on board with, but is it new?

When I was a kid growing up in Philadelphia I clearly recall a rough winter when it snowed more days than it didn’t, and during one stretch of time it didn’t stop snowing for three days straight, at the end of which we had over six feet of snow. And like good neighbors we made sure to dig out, at least to the sidewalk. There were these six foot walls of snow on either side, like we were rats in a huge, white maze. I was fascinated by it, sticking my hand out at one point while following my father, who was digging with the shovel, and touching one of the walls. My hand sunk in a little bit and was quickly covered in snow. I screamed and my dad turned around to laugh at me. I yanked my hand out of the snow and some of the wall crumbled at my feet. That was the end of that exploration.

Then, about fifteen years later, I went to New York City with a few friends of mine in order to party with another friend who lived in a dorm at NYU. We took the train in like we always did, but it was the time before instant notices ahead of time about weather situations. We knew a storm was supposed to come, but we didn’t realize it would be the blizzard of the decade, which it turned out to be. Continue reading “So This is Global Warming?”

When It Rains…

When it rains I look out the window, just to see the droplets stick to the glass and slide down, expanding as they move, like a disappearing snail. When it rains I run outside in my t-shirt so I can get drenched to the skin, and I stand there shivering but laughing while the rain … Continue reading When It Rains…

Deluge

The bridge is out Submerged in water Ropes visible above Attached to heavy posts Drunk with the weight Of the river wide On its tiptoes Tilting the world Hazy and forbidden Even in summer When the rains come That slow buildup The quick switch Dropping the hammer Swift and solid A wall of water Sanguinely … Continue reading Deluge