Saturday, May 9, 2009
WEATHER FORECASTING THE OLD FASHIONED WAY
There seems to be an awful lot of discussion about the weather. I guess it coincides with the high tech age that we are in. At work invariably the subject comes up, usually, within the discussion of the weekend, or whether or not to take the free Blue Claws baseball tickets that the firm just offered. Once the question is popped, “What’s the weather going to be like?” it starts a free for all to get instant data for future events. Of course, if you are sitting by the computer, it is easy, Accuweather or the Weather Bug are the most popular among my crowd. With weather bug, you can have a pictorial forecast right on your tool bar. You don’t even have to open the program, a quick look at your monitor, and either the sun is out, or there are clouds. If there is a cactus there, better crank up the air conditioning, that means it is going to be a hot one! I fell victim to virtual weather predicting myself while waiting for my daughter’s wedding in August of 2007. I found out that with Accuweather you can really extend the forecast out, like for up to 15 days. So of course in the two weeks before the wedding, I was checking it every day. “Please let it be sunny, please let it be sunny”, that was my daily mantra. I think I overdid. It was sunny alright, like about 99 degrees, in the shade, it was so hot most people skipped the stroll around the historical grounds that I plotted out to fill the gap between the ceremony and the reception. Another furtive week of praying preceded my daughter’s April 2009 babyshower. I even recruited for that. Most of my emails ended with Pray for Sunshine. You think I would have learned my lesson. The big day came, almost topped 90, in April. I had the oven on, cooking and sweating. The guests were cooking too, it was boiling in my kitchen. We turned on the air, but it needed freon or something, it was blowing out the vents, but warm air. I thought I heard the AC hissing “are you freaking kidding me lady, its April! ”, but my husband said it was just the fan blowing. Be careful what you pray for, with the weather, it seems that Mother Nature has a direct line to God’s ear. At work, the lady that does our calendar every day has started printing a weather forecast in the corner. It is a clip art icon, but very cute. We wait every day for the calendar to come out to see if there is a smiling sun, an umbrella, a cloud. This is a good way to know what the weather is going to be tomorrow. There is so much anticipation for that emailed calendar, that we have started saying, “who needs Bill Evans, we have Cathy.” On Cinco De Mayo she put a cute little sombrero on the calendar. It was nice, but we really needed to know if we could eat on CHEVY’s Patio, or have to say inside on May 5th. Another good indicator to know what the weather is going to be is the Weather Channel on cable. How can we live without the weather channel? Think of the unnecessary raincoats, umbrellas and snow boots you would drag out if you didn’t have the weather channel to tell you how to dress. How many mothers are shushing their kids while buttering their toast, waiting for the forecast. How about the people who want to fly a kite and they have to find out how fast the wind is gusting, or if it is gusting at all. A lot of planning revolves around the weather. And what about outdoor chores! Saturday is the usual cut the grass, trim the hedges, do the outdoor stuff at our house. If you have a tremendous amount of outdoor work to do, it is crucial to watch the weather channel with your morning cup of coffee. Now why start mowing the lawn if there is a chance of rain? Who would want to be outside mowing around the patio when a drop of rain fell? Also, you have to consider the dampness, the humidity, the barometric pressure how is that going to affect the blades of grass, whether they will get caught up in the lawn mower. I mean, mowing the lawn consumes about an hour total. Why risk getting wet, better check the weather channel first before going outside. Hey if there is a chance of rain, why even bother starting any chores, better to wait and watch the forecast to know when the perfect time is to spend an hour outside. Sometimes we finish a whole pot of coffee watching the weather channel on Saturday morning so we can find out if it is a good idea to mow the lawn or not. Now, my son just got back from Portugal and brought us the most amazing weather forecasting device. It is a Blessed Virgin Mary barometer. Our Lady is wearing a beautiful cloak, and depending on the weather, it changes color. Now, if it is sunny, it is blue, pink means rain. So any variant between those two colors gives you the forecast. I put it on my window sill, this way I can check it every morning to see what it is doing outside. So, for instance, yesterday afternoon, Our Lady’s robe was really blue, blue means sun. So that means it was sunny outside. My husband confirmed it with the Weather Channel. Mary was right, it was sunny outside. This morning, I raced to the window again, and picked Her up, pink, it is going to rain, pink means rain. Rain means I can’t do what I wanted to do, I wanted to rake, I wanted to put some seeds in, do some weeding, but that is not going to happen today. So what does that mean for us, what of all our plans, all our chores, what we were going to wear. I told my husband, Mary says it’s raining, how could it be raining again, we have so much gardening to do, I wanted to wear shorts and flip flops today, when are we ever going to get our weeding done. He said, “Ellen, look out the window, it’s not raining.” Just because Mary is pink does not mean it is presently pink, it could be a future pink she is warning us about. And that was my Eureka moment, as Oprah says, the Ah Ha Moment, the necessity is the mother of invention moment. It finally hit me, it was like a flash of lightening, a clap of thunder, a blinding beam of sunlight, hail bopping on my head. I have a great idea, even better than Mary, even better than Bill Evans, even better that the Weather Channel, or Accuweater. I don’t know why it took me so long to realize it. I feel like a genius, my own absolutely accurate, foolproof way to find out what the weather is like.
O P E N
T H E
W I N D O W !!!!!