Tag Archive | weather

What a difference 7 days can make!

Last week we visited family in the Adirondacks to celebrate my grandson’s graduation – how this sweet baby grew up so fast is beyond me – but I digress. The mountains are known for delayed springs. I expected chilly weather and was not disappointed, yet when the spring snow came, however, it provided impetus to complain. Even the locals expressed their dismay. It was time for warm weather. This week, I am home in the suburbs of Philadelphia, the temperature is 84, and people are complaining that they are hot and uncomfortable because of the heat and elevated humidity. Isn’t there a better way to take action and expend our energy? Why, I wonder, are we humans so prone to complain about the weather and think it is okay?

ComplaintsAccording to Wikipedia’s Free Dictionary, the word complain is an action verb meaning to express dissatisfaction or annoyance about a state of affairs or an event and includes synonyms repine, grumble, lament and moan.

Although I have heard that several governments, including the US, are trying to control the weather by various means, obviously they have not succeeded to the point where everyone is satisfied. We still complain and regardless if we prefer cool or warm temperatures, we complain. It’s second nature to us. Yet it seems to me we are wasting our time. (Notice I’m including myself in these statements because I’m as guilty as anyone else.)

Wouldn’t it be more productive to complain about something we can change? What if we complained instead about the dirty windows in our house? We could get out the cleaning solution and rags and make them shine. Then we would have something to rejoice about. We could send out positive messages about shiny windows and invite our friends to rejoice with us. We could throw a party. If the windows were really bad to start with and obvious to passersby, we’d have no problem getting people to come. But no, we complain about something that it is impossible to change.

Perhaps we use the weather as a level playing field, a point of commonality, to initiate conversations – you know, break the ice. It does work because everyone will join in, yet grumbling and complaining are negative characteristics and instead of building people up, it drags people down. Who needs more of that?

It seems to me it will take an intentional effort to change my thoughts and expressions about the weather, but I’m going to give it a try. After all, it takes intentionality to do anything worthwhile. So here’s the deal. You have my permission to remind me the next time I complain about the weather that there is a positive aspect that I am missing. Who knows, it may filter down to other areas where I struggle to do better.

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Why is it we’re never happy?

spring has sprung Keukenhof09Appearances are deceiving. I’m looking outside my window at actual green leaves on a few of the trees, fading flowers and buds on others, grass that needs mowing (my neighbor’s yard), and perennials poking up besides the blooming bulbs. It looks like spring. The air sports an aroma of spring, BUT it’s still cool. What is up with this? We should have temperatures in the high 70’s. Although I don’t want to lose the temperatures in the 60’s we’ve been experiencing to return to the 20’s and 30’s, it’s still sweatshirt and fleece weather.

Why is it we’re never happy?

It is absolutely beautiful outdoors, yet in my way of thinking, all the windows should be open to let in the fresh air. I could do that without the heat going on, but honestly, it’s too cool to be comfortable. So I will just crack the door and let in a little. That brings me back to my – and a whole bunch of others’ – discontent. If discontent leads to improvement, then it can be a good thing, right? So I’m going to try to find 10 good things about cooler temperatures.

  1. You can go outdoors without a heavy coat.
  2. You can work outdoors without getting covered in sweat.
  3. The work is rewarding because the weeds you just pulled don’t come back overnight.
  4. The biting bugs aren’t out yet.
  5. The birds have returned and you can enjoy their playful antics.
  6. The daffodils and tulips are more vibrant.
  7. The spring flowers seemed to last longer in the cool temperatures.
  8. Nature continues to move in the direction of spring as opposed to waiting.
  9. The ground is not hard and is more workable.
  10. The air is fresh and invigorating.
  11. People seem friendlier because they’re anxious to get outdoors and share with one another.

I did it. I found more than the required 10. And I’m no longer as put out by the cooler temperatures. Maybe I will try this again when a spirit of discontent overtakes me – like when I think it’s too hot. It seems like the process is therapeutic.

Why do you need to vacation?

Planning to go on vacation sounds like it should be the adventure of a lifetime. You think about your destination, dream about the wonderful time you’ll have and then plan to do it. The only problem with all of this is packing.

You’ve got to be ready for any and all weather, well most weather. Hopefully you won’t need snow gear in August. That said, it might be really hot, very comfortable or on the cool side. August temperatures can change ever so  quickly. Did I mention rain?

Oh, and what about the types of activities you’ll be involved in? You’ll need appropriate clothing changes to match your plans along with something extra in case you spill, rip or otherwise detect a stain you had not seen previously. How can you ever pack lightly, especially if you’re playing your activities by ear or are at the mercy of an inventive host? Did I mention shoes? They need to coordinate with your activities and your outfits too.

What about down time? Should you bring a book, game, sports equipment? What if you get a headache, stomach ache, or, perish the thought, a fever blister? You need to pack effective remedies so you don’t spoil your fun. And, don’t forget the cell phone charger, iPad, laptop to keep in touch.  If you don’t, you’ll be drowning in email when you return. Speaking of mail, did you contact the post office?

Why do you need a vacation? The answer is simple. You have to rest up after all of the packing otherwise you’ll have no energy to do all of the extra laundry when you return. (There will be other benefits too, but you’ll have to keep your eyes open or you might miss them.)

Who controls the weather?

We used to get the Vermont news station when we lived in upstate New York. Actually, that was the only station we could get – this was before satellite dishes became popular. That said, the resident meteorologist had a favorite saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait 24 hours and it will change.” Funny thing is that was probably the only thing he got right. Though they are making some strides, have you noticed that few weather forecasters have a high rate of accuracy?

Not only can we not accurately predict the weather 100% of the time, but we can’t control it even a fraction of a percent. Makes you wonder why scientists make such a big deal about their qualifications and predictions. Considering that we can only recognize some weather patterns, do you ever wonder if there is any significance in them? I do.

In the Biblical accounts of God’s dealing with Israel, we see that a drought was a sign that people were disobeying and neglecting God. Rain, in the right amount, was a sign of blessing. Earthquakes, wind and hail were signs of judgment. Yet today, we just look out the window or at the TV’s depiction of the aftermath of a devastating storm and never even consider if there is something that God is trying to say to us.

We do know this. Man cannot control the weather. We take what we get and accept that we cannot change it. So obviously, there’s a higher power in control. Sounds like God to me. I’d love to do a study on this so that I can learn more. For now though, I’m just full of questions.