Monday, February 11, 2008

Weather Report

I have lived in the New England area my entire life. It's not that I didn't want to leave, I could just never afford it. Well, that's not exactly true, either. I probably could have afforded it at some point if I didn't blow all my money on beer and partying. Good times....good times...

Hold on whilst I reminisce......

One more second......

OK, done.

Where was I?

One thing I have never - and, at this point, never will - become accustomed to is the bizarre weather trends around here. 'Trends' isn't even the right word since that implies some sort of predictable pattern. There ain't no pattern in these parts.

Take yesterday (Please!). It started out in the 40s, dove down to the mid 20s, then back up to the 40s for a bit, before dropping to single digits and a hurrican wind that rocked our house all night. I thought for sure we would be losing shingles it was so bad. We had sun, rain, and snow. All within a two hour period. Two inches of snow fell in about 20 minutes at 7:30 last night. Last week, we had a thunder and lightning storm when the temperature didn't get about 40 degrees.

I shit you not with this story: I went to get some groceries and had to wear sunglasses it was so bright out. I know, nothing unusual there, right? Well, it happened to be snowing like a mofo out at the time. Nearly white out conditions with the sun shining at the same time. Anyone not familiar with the northeast winter sun needs to understand that the combination of white, wet and sun combines into a potent retina burning compound that has caused more traffic accidents than all the cell phone users in the country. It's one of those strange phenomenons that can never be understood unless one experiences it first hand. Like scuba diving or a Hannah Montana concert.

My parents have had the right idea for the last decade. As soon as Christmas is over, they head down to Long Boat Key in Florida until late March. Not only does this have the added benefit of me not having to make biweekly visits to them, but they miss out on the worst of the cold and snow. It's genius and I've been looking for a job that will let me move south for the winter and back in Boston for the spring and summer months.

You can see how well that's working out.

To top all of this off, we have the worst weather...er...people in the United States. Granted this is an unpredictable region, but they are supposed to be highly trained professionals and are correct, maybe 25% of the time. Maybe. I'm being generous here. Still, it's hard to cut them some slack when you head to work with a light jacket and are stunned when you walk out at the end of the day and the temperature has dropped 30 degrees. Or when you plan a snow day because everyone is predicting 8-12 inches of snow and you wake up to a completely dry street. Yes, that has actually happened before when I was teaching and I was NOT HAPPY!!

Can you think of any other profession that can be wrong so often and still be employed? If I were only correct even half the time, I would be sleeping in every day and heading to the unemployment line. Huh. That doesn't sound so bad, actually.

Last week a friend popped up online while she was out visiting Los Angeles. I asked her to describe the weather there and she replied with one word: 'Perfect', which made me hate her and everyone in that city just a little bit.

Being a New Englander (and in particular - a Bostonian), I'm adaptable. We shrug off a 4 inch snowstorm as a 'dusting' while a city like Atlanta would shut down for two days. We store umbrellas in our offices, our cars, and homes 'just in case'. You never know when you'll need one. We dress in layers so when the forecast is completely wrong, we just strip a few off or add a few on, depending on which direction the fuck up was fucked up.

We can withstand a 30 inch snowstorm in November and an 8 inch one in May (yeah, they've both happened). We're used to the grit, sand and muck leftover from snow, sleet, and slush we're pelted with for three months. And you know why we put up with it?

Because there is nothing like Boston in the spring, summer and fall. Honestly. A city like Boston is a marvel during the good weather. You can walk from end to end if you really needed to. The ocean is nearly always visible. The smell of the salt air is intoxicating, especially in May and June when things have been cleaned up and flowers are in full bloom.

We don't deal with the winter shit because we want to, but because of the reward at the end of it all. Sometimes we appreciate things more when they're gone for while.

Of course, I still hate winter and would trade it all in a heartbeat if I could. I'm just trying to make myself feel better before I walk out in the subzero temperatures and 50 mile an hour wind to get something for lunch.

Stupid cold.

Today's distraction: Here are some random beach pictures to get all you New Englanders through the next month or so.

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