Let’s just start with a quick disclaimer, shall we? Because I’m not sure why but it seems like the topic of weather–historically meant to be banal chit chat exchanged between acquaintances when all other topics are exhausted–is one of the most controversial social media posts these days. For everyone that posts a “Crazy this snow we’re getting in fill-in-the-blank city!” there’s a reply something to the effect of “Oh yeah? Well, that’s nothing compared to what’s happening in MY fill-in-the-blank city!” Or the ever popular “Well, you should move to my fill-in-the-blank city. We never have snow!”
Can we just all calm down and agree that each regional climate is it’s own thing? Everything is a matter of degrees (literally and figuratively…pun absolutely intended) and is highly subjective. My sister basks in the humidity and heat of Texas and loves every second. I hate heat and when coupled with humidity it makes me want to shoot my face off. Both valid responses. Both SUBJECTIVE responses. To each their own. Okay. Disclaimer over. 🙂
Ask any native of Colorado and they’ll tell you – spring is something of a schizophrenic experience around these parts. That means that every year or so I learn something new about the weather in my beloved state. And not all of it is warm and fuzzy, let me tell you. My reactions in any given weather scenario tend to show…well…what’s in my heart. And as it turns out, crazy rattles around in my ticker more often than not.
For instance, several weeks ago we had a hail storm (oh, HAIL no). Normally, any severe thunderstorms that include hail are short. We get furious downpour followed by about 10 minutes of hail. Then…nothing. I’ve learned how to drive around in these kinds of situations. No sweat. However, on this particular day, I was headed back from a lunch break at Chick-Fil-A with a few girls from work when all hail broke loose (see what I did there?).
As the hail started to come down heavy, I pulled into a parking lot to wait out what I thought would be a short storm. As the hail kept coming…and coming…and coming, I realized that I was going to have to make a break for it or we might never make it back to our desks. So, I pulled out of the parking lot and slowly made my way back to the main road. At this point, several inches of hail had fallen and turned the roads into a slushy wet mess. Cars passing me would envelope my car with the watery hail mix which was, in a word, awesome (insert sarcastic look and/or withering stare here).
As you can imagine, my windshield wipers were going furiously to keep up with the water from above and around me. And then my windshield wipers just STOPPED WORKING. First of all, I didn’t know that was an option. They have ONE JOB. Second of all, driving without being able to see where you’re going is completely terrifying. With my friend Kendall riding shot-gun and my friend Katie in the back seat, I must have inspired a lot of confidence in my driving ability. I just kept saying “I can’t see, guys! I really can’t see!”
And then I did what I always do…it says so on my resume…I problem solved.
Problem: I can’t see through the windshield.
My Brain’s Solution: Roll down the window and stick your head out so you can see the road.
I still stand by my assessment of the problem. That being said, trying to drive without go-go-Gadget arms with your head hanging out the window is…difficult. Also, let’s just take into account that it was STILL hailing. So, yeah. Hail hurts.
In that moment, one of the girls gently suggested that we pull to the side of the road. Luckily, there was a left turn lane into a building that was unoccupied.
Fully prepared to do what I needed to to make it out of this situation alive, I grabbed my ice scraper (because as a Colorado dweller, it’s not safe to put those suckers away until at LEAST June) and went to town on the hail that had built up into a nice ice sculpture on my windshield. The rain and the hail came down on my head. The slush took up residence in my cute-but-not-altogether-weather-appropriate flats. I worked fervishly and finally freed the windshield wiper blades from their prison.
I dove back into the drivers seat, soaked from head to toe, and then realized…I was wearing a rain coat. With a HOOD. Word to the wise – a hood only protects you if you actually pull it onto your head. #lifelessonswithAmy You are most welcome.
But after that traumatic experience, I decided to get alerts on my phone from The Weather Channel. Seems like a solid plan, right? I’d like to give you real life examples of some of the alerts I’ve gotten in the past two weeks. Always accompanied by a pleasant chime, by the way.
Example A : “The rain will start at 10:48 am. Rain will be light.”
Listen, I appreciate details more than most people. AND I appreciate you, Mr. Weather Channel, caring so much about me that you’d like alert me to any moisture headed my way. However, more often than not the rain does NOT start on schedule. Leaving me to wonder…what was the point of being so specific about the timing?
Example B: “Lightening struck 2 miles northeast of your location. Make your move to safety now. Tap for map.”
Wow. Where to even start? Well, I should let you know that I think this is the most frequent alert I get. But I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do with the information. I know that you head to the basement or storm shelter in case of tornado. I know that you make your way under a sturdy piece of furniture during an earthquake. I guess with lightening you “tap for map”. Good to know.
Well, that’s all the weather-related items we have time for tonight. As I leave you, just remember…safety first, kids!