Thursday, January 18, 2007

Winter wonders

One of the fun aspects of living in this part of the country is the delicious weather. I say delicious because our weather is cooked up with a pinch of spicy unpredictability. We can have mid 70's on a Monday in January, and snow by Wednesday. You just never know. I recall years and years ago, when I was a mere teenager, delighting in the oddities of the seasons here. I find cold and flu season especially interesting here, still.

The Winter season revolves around looking for the first snowflake. Sometimes, the first will be the last, and other years, we'll have buckets of slush for days on end.

The local meteorologists keep us on the edge of our seats with "weather alerts" and "Operation snow desk special reports". Often times, the weather alerts consist of warning the viewers of "the possibility of some potential changes in temperatures that might result in cold." In high school one year,I distinctly recall the adrenaline rush upon hearing the intro sound to "Operation snow desk special reports".The urgent message scrolled across the bottom of the screen bleeping out morse code warnings while the reporter silmultaneously was breaking into regular programing- all to remind us, with frozen urgency, what we needed to do to prepare for frigid temps -were they to ever arrive. Sadly, I believe we had an uneventful season that year.

These taunting and teasing alerts continue still and are broadcast to us from December 21 til March. -there is something about considering the chance of possible precipitation that creates a refreshing energy. The titles of the program interruptions change from year to year, but the idea and purpose remain the same. The reporting practice keeps the meteorologists on their toes, helps them stay focused through doldrum and dreary overcast days of winter. I have come to look forward to these seasonal reports, and I consider them in some ways a mini-series.

Truth is, we don't usually have too much excitement in the way of snow and other cold flaky stuff around here. Every now and then, we'll get measurable and impressive snow or ice, but not every year, and because of that the anticipation is all the more exciting.

Waiting can drive one to the short side of mania, though. The local news teams are experts at stirring the viewers into a flurry of irrational responses. " The temps appear to be thinking about dropping in the next week or so." ..." The air flow is full of crystalized dew today" ...."Something in the form of chilled micro-galvanized water has been reported heading towards secondary roads"

It is comments like these that get us winter watchers revved up. and that is exactly why I am not surprised that we, here in our area have surpassed the world record for highest number of automobile accidents caused by single snow flake fall-age.

The weather people work their suspense, break into regular programming, and drop hints of something coming bit, by bit..... until by the time they actually say, "It's snowing, the first flake has hit the ground!" car fenders are jumping into the roads begging to be dented.

"Oh, for God's sake, I can't take it anymore!!" screams a Jeep.
Take me!! scratch me!! Just get it over with!!" hollers a hallogen headlight.... screeching for scratches and scrunches, the fiberglass, plastic, and metal body parts go on and on.

I like to clock them, the accidents that get tired of waiting to happen.

This morning, the precip started at 6 am, and by 8 we had 217 accidents reported. At 11, the snow was gone, the roads were singing in the rain, and the excitement was over. ...Until next time (due to hit in 72 hours , maybe 74) or possibly, not until next year.I find the whole phenomenon entertaining. This time 2 years ago, we had recorded 800 accidents in the same short time.

The church is self-contained when it comes to seasons. The season of advent is consistent, annually coming along inside the church walls and it runs parallel with Fall and early winter outside. Some advent years are warm and sunny, others are dark and muggy. No matter, advent comes every year, the baby Jesus is born again and again and again.

Was it warm in Bethlehem that year? Was it snowing? Were sand floods covering the toes, of the wise men? Is this why it took them so long to get there? Oh, the details that are left to our imaginations. There are no Farmer's Almanacs published that early in history, either.

Did the Angel say to the mother to be, "You will be with child in 40 degrees with a northerly wind?", or was it more like, " Wear a cammie and some shorts and you'll be fine"?...
or, "Double up on your socks along the way to the Inn,Joseph, there will be a chill in the air?"

In looking at pictorial depictions of the birth of the babe, did you notice the camels and donkey and other participants who surrounded the new born babe seem to be standing a little close? Were they blocking the frigid evening crisp? Well of course they were. Why else would travelers and desert animals subject theirselves to the odiferous wafts of such a snug gathering? I'd be willing to bet it was pure T freezing, people. Desperate temps call for desperate measures, I say.

No telling what really happened in the atmosphere those many years ago, but today, in present day time, we saw some snow. Well, I think we did, anyway. I'd better go check the news


Va said...

Hope you ran out to get your bread and milk. Enjoyed that entry. Thanks for the alert to the latest !

VA said...

Really enjoyed this one- hope you bought your bread and milk in time.VA

"imagine the darkness in love with the light." said...

lucky you. only snow flakes that don't amount to stickage. but car wrecks. lol and here we get the ice and snow that stays for a week. don't know how many wrecks. i know one officer said that he worked eight to ten wrecks himself. and glad that you up-dated us on that breaking news story. ^^