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Weather Survey

In a random weather survey, I learned that, in spite of low temperatures in the midwest, my brother in Chicago finds humor in the conditions there. There are “invisible patches of ice in random spots on the sidewalks which, I must admit, bring a little comedy into the bleak winter days. Something about slipping on ice launches the entire body. All four limbs flail…and parcels shoot off in all directions. Come to think of it, you’d like it here.”

(He’s right. Due to a perverse sense of humor, I find the sight of people slipping on icy or wet sidewalks side-splittingly funny. One rainy day in L.A., while cruising down Ventura Boulevard, I witnessed a neat-as-a-pin guy with a designer umbrella fall flat on his ass, and I laughed so hard I had to pull over. I wonder if I’ll be a Heaven Reject due to poor attitude.)

Another brother in Arizona says it rains so infrequently there that he can’t remember where his mud boots are. A third brother lives five miles from me so I don’t need him to tell me that it was 85º here for ten days straight in January, setting a record. This made us all irritable; it just felt wrong. It’s now plummeted to 60º and we are experiencing a thing called humidity.

My sister in N.Y. says it’s dipping to 0º on Monday so she’s making beef stew. A daughter in Providence refuses to leave her college dorm (too cold) and is asking me to send her food supplies. A friend in Winnipeg says it’s 30º below and she wishes she were a bear (she’d hibernate), while Cousin Sarah says it’s 10º in Stockholm and the general gray is relieved only when the sun sets at at 4 p.m. and the sky is briefly orange.

But….my sister in Alaska reports the most dramatic weather.  Where she lives, near Fairbanks, it was fifty degrees below zero for two weeks. She could only go out for ten minutes at a time, covered completely except for eyeballs. Then, one night last week, the temperature shot up to 50º above and there were 100 m.p.h. winds. They lost one hundred trees and one sheep. (Can we find a way to blame this on Sarah Palin?)

By contrast, the most bland weather report comes from my friend Hannah, who points out that in Florida, the water and air are the same temperature: 72º. It must be weird to live in a place where nobody complains about the weather.


4 Responses
  1. tiftif says:

    Just a French sentence about the weather in my native region : Brittany.
    Well, it sounds a bit idiomatic in my language, so my translation may be a bit strange, but I hope it’ll be understandable :

    “God invented the rain so that Brittany isn’t a paradise.”

    If my translation isn’t correct, I give you the sentence in French :

    “Dieu a inventé la pluie pour que la Bretagne ne soit pas un paradis.”

    Another similar sentence about Bretons :

    “God invented alcohol in order that Bretons doesn’t control the world.”

    I think this one is quite understandable 😀

    Kisses from France.

  2. Charlie Jaimes says:

    Jessica, with you being a Chicago native, I just know you miss enduring those nightmarish winter days. There’s no better treat then to step outside and be hit with a subzero blast. Right now it’s 38 degrees and I feel as if I’m able to dress in shorts and start a barbecue.

  3. siobhan oleary says:

    then there’s the irish whose EVERY greeting includes a comment on the weather…a never ending topic…not complaint (usually) just a moment by moment point of interest!

  4. jimbo says:

    Not only the Irish, but also those in or around a farming community whose very existence depends upon the weather. You get twenty-five miles from downtown Minneapolis and dollars to donuts, the waitress will call you ‘hon’ and mention the weather while refilling your coffee.

    Here in Minneapolis – we get a bit chillier than Chicago and for a few weeks longer. I’ve always been amazed at how surviving a few short weeks changes one’s perspective. In October/November when the temp drops to 40F, you can’t get to your wool and polar fleece fast enough. Then, come February/March when you first climb all the way back up to 40, you leave the jacket off and start thinking about shorts & T-shirts. I traded my Uggs slippers for flip-flops a few weeks back for padding about the house. I guess it’s the period between 40-degree days when the temp is 60-70 degrees colder…nothing quite like the way a -25 temp with a substantial windchill takes your breath away. Like a slap in the face. On the plus side, the world becomes an extension of your freezer and you can keep ice cream out on the deck.

    BTW, the detail in the line “…they lost one hundred trees and one sheep.” while tragic, is quite funny! Sort of a verbal version of slipping on ice, which could probably also be blamed on Gov. Palin…

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