By: Dennis Bates
One thing you can count on about Iowa weather is that you can’t count on it.
Our lights have been flickering all morning and right now the cable is totally gone. Wind, freezing rain, snow and drivers who will not slow down, or better yet, stay home on days like this, ensure winter here is always a challenge. You don’t see reports about it on the nightly news all that much because, frankly, it isn’t news here. It’s pretty much the norm.
With the forecast portending a mixture of snow, wind, sleet and icy, cold rain from now until the weekend, it looks like we will be hunkered down for Christmas. Hopefully our younger daughter will be able to get out here to our housing development in the country. She works retail and is scheduled to work through tomorrow afternoon. Getting to work is not difficult for her; she lives right across the street. Driving the 12 miles out to us is problematic. It depends upon how the roads are, and right now everybody is being told to stay in if they live where we do.
I don’t remember that my parents were as concerned about the weather when we were growing up. We seldom stayed in because of it and just got into our car and went wherever we had to go. We just went slower. There were no cell phones back then, so once you headed somewhere, you pretty much had to get there because you couldn’t call somebody for help. Most people got where they were going just fine.
I blame a lot of our weather phobias on the media these days.
Weather forecasters have all these whiz bang, high tech toys that show snowflakes from three different directions in four or five different colors, all in 3D and all supposedly having some mystical significance that only the college trained meteorologists can decipher. I have nothing against higher education having indulged in my fair share of it myself, but when it comes down to accurately forecasting the weather, my grandfather’s rheumatism and lumbago were a lot more accurate. And they took no special training.
My personal opinion is that the money spent on all those fancy radars and storm indicators would be better invested in a study of what made my grandfather’s aches and pains a more accurate harbinger of the weather than anything that has been invented to date. And all it used to cost was the time it took you to grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and listen to him tell you about it.
I guess the weather forecasters need to make a living somehow, but maybe they could learn how to bake some cookies to go with the coffee. My personal favorites this time of year are plain, sugar cookies and gingerbread men, in case any of them are reading this. I’ll even make the coffee myself.
Weather doesn’t have to be all that complicated. Neither does Christmas. Grab a cup of coffee or hot apple cider with a cinnamon stick or two. Read the Christmas story out loud from the second chapter of Luke, and talk about all the great memories of the Christmases you had when life was so much simpler. Next year you will have added one more great moment to your list.
Leave the weather channel off. If you really have to know what the weather may do, ask the oldest person in the group to tell you about their aches and pains. That will be as accurate as anything is, trust me.
And have it all with a cookie…better make it a plate full if you’re coming to my house. I love cookies.