Metro-East Living

Hot and cold: 10 observations about the weather

If I ever wanted to write a column about the weather, today would be the perfect Sunday.

I’ve never written about weather except in very general terms. It was sunny. Or bitterly cold. Or the game was rained out. Or I’d like to have an official snow day like school snow days when I was a kid. A few wet springs ago, I wrote about my favorite rain-related songs.

Deep stuff, I know.

I’ve never been a science guy, either. I’m sure we learned meteorology in school. But I wasn’t paying attention. My weather studies were focused on staring out the window, wishing I was enjoying the weather, any weather.

I figured writing a column about the weather would be simple. Wrong. What I learned is I’m fair weather when it comes to the weather.

When the weather is good, and it poses no interruptions in my life and plans, life is good. When that’s the case, I love the weather here in the Midwest and the change of seasons. Especially autumn. I love October.

At the first sign of trouble, though, I’m down on the weatherman and Midwest unpredictability. Especially on weekends. I hate rainy Saturdays.

I’m a white-collar guy, so my livelihood is not based on the weather. I salute folks who work outdoors. It’s easier when it’s 75 degrees and sunny. It’s not easy when it’s 25 degrees and sleeting.

As I wrote about the weather, I asked myself, “Why don’t I know more about the weather?”

I also asked myself, “Do I need to know any more about the weather?”

I’ve watched the Weather Channel maybe a dozen times in my life. Usually when there was a natural disaster somewhere. Weather can be fierce, devastating, deadly. I also felt sorry for the young reporter standing in a storm.

I pay attention to the daily weather forecast a lot closer when I’m traveling. I’ve learned bad weather can lead to extra hours in the airport. And extra time in airports is never a good thing. Too many temptations. Few of them healthy.

Over the years, I’ve learned that when a person has absolutely nothing else to talk to you about, he undoubtedly will bring up the weather.

“Nice weather today.”

“ Supposed to rain, I hear.”

I’m thankful for the weather. In today’s sensitive world, you can’t hurt anyone’s feelings by talking about weather. It’s a safe conversation. We need safe conversations.

OK, here goes. My ten best observations of what I really know about the weather:

1. When it rains, my umbrella will be in the last place I left it. But rarely is that where it’s raining now.

2. If I don’t take a coat with me on a trip, the chances increase greatly that there will be an immediate 20-degree temperature drop at my destination.

3. On Thanksgiving, TV weather reporters automatically start talking about the possibility of a white Christmas.

4. The two hottest places ever in my little world: the front leather seats of my Honda Accord in July, and a Sunday afternoon game at the old Busch Stadium in July.

5. The two coldest places ever in my little world: the SIUE commuter parking lots in the early 1980s and the old Busch Stadium II at a Big Red-Miami Dolphins football game on Thanksgiving Day 1977.

6. If you need to be reminded to bring your pets inside during bitterly cold weather, or to be sure they have plenty of water in the heat, then you probably should not be a pet owner.

7. Icy conditions pose many safety risks. One of the greatest is taking out the trash can on an icy driveway. It’s humbling to slip and fall. Double humbling to have a trash can on top of you.

8. On the first snow of any year, I can guarantee you that I will not have a window scraper in my car.

9. There’s no worse feeling in the world on a hot summer night than to hear the magical music of an ice cream truck in the neighborhood and you’re on a walk with no money in your pockets.

10. I don’t know the difference between a “watch” or “warning.” But please, please just tell me if I need to go to the basement now!