I confess to being a weather junkie. I grew-up, mostly in Maryland, a state with seasons and to a certain degree unpredictable weather patterns. I remember, except for a few odd days here and there, that I could have certain expectations with regard to the weather. This has not been my experience living in Southern California. Up until about a year ago, I would have said that here in LA we have two seasons: rain and no rain. But we are currently in the midst of a record-breaking drought. Seems like every morning for a very long time, when I turn on the local news for MY weather report, it is nearly identical to the conditions of the day before: hot (90’s), dry and no rain. The relentlessness of the sunshine forces me to wake-up squinting my eyes. That is why my sunglasses wait on the night stand next to my bed.
When I was very young, the first day of school was also the unofficial first day of fall. On those days, I remember wearing a new outfit, mostly meant for much cooler weather, my anticipation usually outweighing my comfort. But I couldn’t wait for the much cooler weather, especially living in the suburbs of Washington D.C. Urban lore has it that soldiers stationed in D.C. where given “jungle” pay, because of the stifling heat and humidity. However, as a child, I took comfort on those unbearable days in knowing that after summer there would be fall and it would be cool and colorful again. It meant wearing sweaters not coats, and being able to comfortably hike on wooded trails without breaking into a sweat. I liked that the sun set earlier. The change of seasons and the accompanying weather, for me, were the most concrete rituals of my childhood.
When I got married, my husband and I lived not too far from where I grew up. As I recall, we had a good sized window that faced west in our living room. I remember, in the summertime, especially in the late afternoon, I could watch storm clouds build through this window. I remember the blue-black clouds becoming thicker and darker. There was even a part of me that secretly wished to see a funnel cloud. But like I said, I am a weather junkie, so I like this kind of stuff.
But I now live in the land of coastal-eddy’s masquerading as possible rain showers. And if memory serves, it smells differently outside when it rains, sort of sweet and damp. When, (notice I didn’t say if) the rain comes to LA will it have been too long? I like rain, but not floods. However, how much longer can we go without precipitation? After more than 30 years in LA, a couple of years ago, I finally adjusted to having just two seasons. But for too long it has been only one. I think this situation is messing with my body clock. I no longer have the anticipation of change, even if that is only in reference to the weather. One day seems to run into the other.
You would think that my interest in the weather would cause me to keep the Weather Channel on the TV, but it doesn’t. I am just curious about my immediate surroundings, so the local news can easily give me a weather fix. OR perhaps I need an intervention, after all, I keep turning on the news in hopes of seeing something different, but all I get is same forecast day after day after day.
However each and every time I turn on the tube I expect that Dallas Raines or Fritz Coleman is going to tell me for sure we are going to get some of the wet stuff. Soon. I’ll even take low pressure system coming up from Mexico and through Nevada. Sigh. There I go, doing the same thing every day but expecting different results. I think there is a saying for that in 12-step programs. Maybe I need to go to weather re-hab. Do you think it is covered under Obama Care?