Loose Ends: Weather watching year ‘round

Dolly Viscardi
Spring was three weeks late, the summer monsoons three weeks early and even the reliable western sunshine all of us have come to count on popped in and out unpredictably. Weather watching now tops the list of time wasters. One just never knows if it is possible to count on a few hours without precipitation these days.
All winter residents complained about the heavy snows and cold weather. Lately, others have been heard to lament the wet weather and don’t even bring up the subject of heat. It’s good that it is time for the fair, as the county fair is the best place for venting one’s frustration about the past year’s weather. Fellow exhibitors can commiserate.
No one has to ask how they are winterin’ or summerin’. Their livestock or produce tells the tale. One never hears a farmer or a rancher say they wish winter weather would come sooner. What many folks call “small talk” — that seemingly mindless chit-chat about the weather — is “big talk” to those who grow crops or produce livestock. Nothing minuscule about it, really. Their inquiries throughout the year serve to remind them that others are experiencing the same problems and frustrations in endeavors so dependent upon the weather.
The old-timers’ stories about the worst winters or the scorching hot summers serve to remind us all that weather patterns are predictable. That doesn’t make them any less annoying, though. Throughout the country this year one hears a common complaint, “We haven’t had summer yet!” Weather watchers everywhere are already starting to bring up the possibility of an early winter.
Those of us who enjoy the four seasons also appreciate Mother Nature’s timetable for their appearances and their disappearances. As far as cold weather is concerned we resent its early arrival and complain when it leaves too late. We are inveterate control freaks when it comes to the weather. We might as well stop watching the weather for a while and figure out how to do what we need to do with what we’ve got.