Weather chatter

 

You might not think it, but there are distinct cultures in various states across this great United States of ours.  Some states are more similar.  Some are nearly like a different country entirely.  I am a transplant in this upper midwestern state.  Thousands of miles away from “home” in a land that cannot appreciate the amazingness of the Seahawks {thanks for the win!} is where I find myself in these midlife years.  We’ve lived here off and on {three times, but who’s counting} for a total of nine years.  Nearly 23% of my life.  And in that time I’ve learned a few things about this upper midwestern state that are unique.  One thing in particular that stands out today is WEATHER.

I have never in my life lived in a place where weather is a hotter topic.  Year round.  Weather conversations.  Cold weather.  Hot weather.  Windy weather.  Unusual weather. Normal weather.  Folks ’round these parts, love to talk about the weather.

Especially on days like today when we wake up to -10ºF with a ‘feels like’ of -35ºF.

Strangers at the gas pump, stand outside & chat about how cold is it.  Three things about this: 1) I sit in my car while that pump pumps, 2) the state of Oregon has it right-gas station attendants should be the only ones that can pump gas & 3) gas pumps should not be allowed to ask questions if the temperature drops below freezing.  It is impossible to push that little button on the screen with my moon landing mittens on.

Strangers at the fabric store mention how “nice” it is out.  I think she’s been cooped up in the cutting department for far too long.  Nice is not a word I would ever use to describe the feeling of my nostrils freezing the moment I step foot outside.  Give that lady a vacation!

The receptionists at the doctors office ask if I’ve seen the weather today and if they’re expecting this cold snap to last.

Even the doctor first mentions the weather before anything else.  “Cold out there, today.  Did you see the weather forecast today?  It’s likely to last another week…at least.”  Great.

On that note, another curiosity of this culture with all it’s weather chatter.  Meteorologists.  People who can talk about the weather & have earned a degree or two to do so.  Educated weather-talkers.  Meteorologists are like rock stars around here.  No kidding.  This must be the creme de la creme of meteorology assignments.  No quick clip that lasts just long enough for you to say that it’ll be “75º and sunny, again”.  Here, you might get a special report or a breaking news break in.  Serious.  Wind chills are big news.  And blizzards…rock stars.

I’ll admit it though.  Ever since moving here I have found myself more chatty about the weather too.    Mostly because I hate it, oh, so much.  No one really enjoys 20 below.  No one.  Don’t lie.  You might like sitting out on that frozen lake with your little fishing pole but you don’t really love the weather it takes to get you and your truck out there.  Impossible.  Even the hard core-est of hard core locals can’t possible love to be freezing to death.  All you nuts {yep, I said it} who sat out in -5ºF to watch your Vikings not win…you weren’t loving it.  You were loving the nostalgia of being out there for the third coldest game in history.  But you were not having fun freezing with your fifteen layers on.  You weren’t.  Not believing it.  {And thus I prove my point about talking about the weather.}

I suppose the weather conversation will continue and I will continue adding my two cents in, mostly complaining.  It is what it is.  But if you visit. be prepared to hear more about the weather than you’ve ever wanted to chat about.  And if you’re looking to be a meteorologist—this should be your goal.  Set that bar high.

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