I try to crank my mind back to those days last winter when I vowed never to complain about warm weather again. I swore I would go for long walks and spend hours in the garden if only there would be some green. I planned to fill the house with fresh bouquets every day. And yet here I am: hot, sticky, damp, humid, bug-bitten, suffocating August and my whining is at a high pitch. I tune in the weather channels looking for relief on a map where the color red indicates, “You think this is hot? It’s going to really get hot!”
I have, for the first time, an air conditioned car, and I use it liberally. I used to scoff, “Air conditioning? You only use it two or three days a year.” Those days are here and they are more than three.
My younger daughter has lived in Seattle for several years and our frequent phone calls and emails often include a little weather report.
I say “It’s –20 here and snowing.” She says “It’s 40 degrees here and foggy.” I say “It’s 95 degrees here and humid. She says “It’s 60 degrees here and raining.” I say “How can you live like that with no real change of seasons.” She says “Black ice.”
My older brother, who happens to be mayor of Haines, Alaska, offers a steady stream of temperature and snowfall commentary whenever we weather talk. These past couple of years he has been quite gleeful in noting that it’s usually a bit warmer in the winter there than it is here in Vermont. I come back with, “It’s pitch dark there most of the year, right?”
He’s not the brother I visit faithfully every cold and icy March. That’s the brother in Florida and I make sure to stay on the best of terms with him. Summer and hurricane time, you can keep the place, but when we slip slide on the ice to our car to catch a plane headed south, I’m lovin’ Florida!
I have another brother who lives in the mountains of Arizona and he reports perfect weather year round: fluffy snow in winter and clear blue never-humid summers. And then there are the two brothers who live in central New Hampshire and it’s pretty much the same as it is here. They might call to see what it’s doing here because it could be heading there.
In spite of my current crabbing, I prefer Vermont weather. There’s a little bit of everything but rarely to the extreme. We’ve had some impressive rainstorms but flooding is rare around here. We’ve had a few earthquakes which probably measured “What was that ?” on the Richter Scale. We had a mini tornado about 15 years ago that took a quick trip up the West River, knocking down a few bird feeders and one chimney in the neighborhood. Major blizzards have been predicted, but they usually make a right turn toward Boston before getting here. We’ve had snowstorms, but nothing that would make the evening news.
During the past 20 years we’ve never had to evacuate due to the weather.
In a few weeks we’ll walk around with smug expressions on our faces as the tourists come to gawk at the beautiful blue skies and brilliant leaves.
Vermont, I think I’ll keep it.