My eighty-six year old mother lives in a retirement community half a mile away and I call her twice a day, once in the morning and again after dinner. It’s often difficult to find things to say; politics are out of bounds because we usually end up shouting at each other—Mom still supports the John Birch Society—so we often resort to talking about the weather. A typical conversation sounds something like this:
Me: “Are you enjoying the day? It’s pretty outside.”
Mom: “Well, maybe for you, but it’s overcast and chilly where I am.”
Me: “Really? That’s strange because I’m looking out of my window in your direction and I don’t see any clouds. And it’s eighty-two degrees where I am.”
Mom: “I know what I see. I’m sitting here with a sweater on.”
Me: “The leaves are turning; aren’t the colors gorgeous?”
Mom: “It’s too cold to venture out, but from what I can see out my window the leaves aren’t turning yet in this part of town.”
Me: “We both live in the same part of town. We live less than half a mile apart. You don’t have your own weather, Mom.”
Mom: “Evidently, I do!”
Yesterday our local meteorologist confirmed that she might be right. It’s been said that the best way to escape accountability is to become a politician or a weather forecaster. Yesterday morning I heard our local weather guy using a phrase I hadn’t heard before, one sure to cover his ass and protect him from fallout for the bad forecasts that are his specialty. He was talking about our city’s micro-climates. He took a long time explaining how the weather in Portland could change from one neighborhood to the next. He droned on at length and then predicted brisk temperatures with clear skies, a day to bundle up and enjoy great fall weather. (I was later caught in a downpour without my umbrella.)
During my call to Mom last night I learned that it hadn’t rained anywhere near her. She’d experienced balmy weather with hot stagnant air. In the background I could hear the hum of her air-conditioning.
I’m sure she was still wearing her sweater.
Who do you know that has their own micro-climate?