Everyone talks about the weather but nobody does anything about it.
—Attributed to Mark Twain—
Most regions of our country are currently experiencing severe weather and quite a few bloggers are commenting on it. It seems that weather reports on the evening news are getting longer and longer, as if we’re all still farmers and need to know when to go out and plant the back forty. Well, I don’t know any farmers and I don’t need to know if it’s going to drizzle in Gilliam, Sherman, Wheeler or other counties where people are few and a good time is had by dressing farm animals in people’s clothes.
As far as I’m concerned, rain is rain, and I don’t need a twenty minute broadcast to tell me I’m gonna get wet. I see little difference between rain and rainstorms, rain and showers or rain and sprinkles. Even if I decided to rely on weather forecasts to determine if my wardrobe on any given day should include an umbrella, the forecasts are so often wrong that it would be a waste of time.
Snow seems to be a big problem in my corner of the country, not that we get much. It does snow here but not enough for anyone to get used to it, so when flakes fall logic and common sense go out the window. Here in Portland we’re as far north as Minneapolis and Montreal but Japanese trade winds keep us fairly warm in the winter. I’ve only built snowmen once or twice since I’ve been here and the poor things looked like the result of gruesome genetic experimentation.
Mrs. Chatterbox and I moved here from Southern California in 1980, the year Mt. Saint Helens blew. I took the eruption personally for a few months, a sign that I should hightail it back to the land of palm trees and balmy Santa Ana winds, but we dug out of the falling ash and stayed.
Then came the day when I decided to get an Oregon driver’s license. I’d been driving for years and was cocky enough to assume I could ace the test, but there were questions on the written exam I hadn’t seen before. Such as:
Circle the answer below that is the most correct.
#A… It’s safest to drive when rain turns into snow.
#B… It’s safest to drive when snow turns into freezing rain.
#C… It’s safest to drive when freezing rain turns into ice, and then it rains, followed by more freezing rain.
#D… It’s safest to drive when ice turns into freezing rain.
#E…All of the above.
#F…None of the above.
What the heck was freezing rain? It sounded like a nickname for margaritas. I remember staring at the question and thinking then, as I do now, if any of this shit starts falling I’m staying the F*#&K at home!
Last week that’s what I did.