Weather: It is what it is [Commentary]

Though we name our storms and curse Mother Nature for her wrath, for some the weather is just the weather

March 05, 2014|Susan Reimer

My husband the philosopher/sportswriter does not believe there is bad weather or good weather. There is just weather, he says, usually with a shrug.

The temperature and precipitation are neither evil nor a blessing, neither brutal nor refreshing. They are just there.

He will comment on the weather, acknowledging that it is hot outside or cold. And he will warn me about the weather — watch out for ice patches on the roads; take a break from the heat.

But he doesn't judge it or curse it or praise it. He simply exists in it.

I wish I had his equilibrium. Instead, I am one of those people who dreads winter storms and glories in a warm spring day, my emotions rocketing up and down like a heart monitor.

I fear the snow and ice, and I let the relentless heat of August defeat me. I am rarely content with the weather, while my husband feels nothing in particular about the weather.

Those of us with opinions might agree that this has been a particularly miserable winter. A half a dozen storms have made us feel both threatened and isolated. All I see out my window is the specter of a broken wrist or hip. I shrink into the safety of my house and lose touch with the world.

My husband? He shovels. Slowly, methodically, repeatedly. Leaning on his shovel at intervals for conversation with dog walkers and fellow shovelers, he is the mayor of our snow-covered neighborhood. He refuels with a sandwich and a little sports on TV and then goes back outside to remove the newest inches of snow from the sidewalks, the porch, the cars.

No complaints. That would make as much sense to him as complaining about cutting the grass. Grass grows. That's what it does. And then it must be cut. Snow falls, it must be shoveled. There is no malicious intent here — no intent at all — nothing to shake a fist at. It is what it is.

Meteorologist Tom Tasselmyer says recent winters — with mild temperatures and only one or two storms — have made us soft. This winter just barely made the top 30 — it is No. 29 — of Maryland winters. It hasn't been nearly as bad as we think.

"This winter has been a series of smaller but significant storms, and that is wearing people out," said the WBAL forecaster, who actually likes this weather, despite the frozen pipes, dead battery and plowed-in driveway that he has endured.

"And when the calendar turns to March, people's mindset changes. They are ready for spring. But when you think about it, March 1 is really only February 29th.

"We are tired of it, sure. It feels like we are living in Chicago. But spring will come, it is inevitable," he promised.

And when it does, I will be as giddy as I am glum now. I will wear bright colors and I will go into the garden and marvel at the miracle of its rebirth. I will plan a party on my deck, and I will make dishes with asparagus and strawberries, and my smile with be so wide and long-lasting that my cheeks will tremble.

My husband? It is my great good fortune that nothing about him or his mood will sour or bubble up when the seasons change. Like the weather, he is simply there. You can count on it. I can count on it.

Susan Reimer's column appears on Mondays and Thursdays. She can be reached at susan.reimer@baltsun.com and @SusanReimer on Twitter.com.


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