Sunday, February 19, 2006

Weird is Normal

I take back everything I said about Spring. The temperature has dropped 40 degrees in Vermont over the last two days -- 20 degrees of that over a few hours yesterday. I was working in my shop during the change. When I walked out to get some fresh coffee my 25 degree blustery day had turned to a 5 degree blast freezer. Had I been wet I would still be standing there with an empty mug frozen to my hand.

Weird weather isn't weird, though. One of my correspondents from Homer, Alaska reports she was abducted and stuffed underneath her own car by the weather there. Not unusual for Alaska, where there is more weather per capita than anyplace else on the continent. An old friend of mine in Homer, a life-long commercial fisherman, has kept a weather journal for the past 30 years or so. Every time he hears people talking about how strange the weather is on any given day, he looks at his journal. His conclusion: abnormal weather is normal.

I started a weather journal when we moved here 3 years ago and already the patterns are clear. Last year on this day it was 7 degrees. A week ago last year it was 50 degrees. So, why do we somehow remember weather as being dependable? "I've never seen this before." Is the most common phrase you hear from people when something dramatic happens. Even if it happens the same way every year.

I wonder if it is because weather is so big and unmanageable that our minds and tender souls can't abide the notion of it also being erratic. I'm sure if the moon did a loop-the-loop on it's trip across the sky tonight that most of us would ignore it or adjust our medications. Next year, if it does it again we'll say, "I've never seen this before."


Blogger piglet said...

I notice the same thing every year when the days get shorter. What! It's dark already? That can't be!

9:44 PM  
Anonymous Mary said...

I'm a bit late on this one but you are so right. Today is one of those abnormal/normal days here in Michigan. The high at noon is expected to be 70. The low tonight 31. The high tomorrow? 38!

The saying around here is, “If you don't like the weather, wait 5 minuets. It'll change."

9:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Roscoe says
Here in Virginia you can always tell it is now summer by the ammount of water running down the back of ones shirt...

6:35 AM  

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