Weather or not

by Lorin Michel Tuesday, August 12, 2014 10:27 PM

One of the things we Westerners get used to is the lack of weather. We have sunshine nearly all year. The days we have rain can often be counted in single digits, especially in the years when we’re severely drought stricken, like lately. I love the sun, it gives me energy. The heat can sometimes get to be too much, but just when that happens, often there comes weather to cool us down.

I was born and raised on the east coast, predominantly the northeast, where there is a lot of weather. Even in Maryland, which many people think is sort of south, there is plenty of weather. For regular examples just look at Washington, DC. In the winter they are often buried; in the summer they suffer from horrible rain.

I went to college in the northeast as well, at the University of New Hampshire, in Durham. During my sophomore year, I got a job there, at a restaurant in town. In the summers following, I worked at the restaurant and also at several other restaurants catering. In the winter, I catered the occasional bar mitzvah or wedding, anniversary party, on Saturday nights. I remember one Saturday. It had snowed all day and it was piling up. I kept hoping for a phone call cancelling the event. It was not to come. At the appropriate time, I got into my Toyota Celica to drive to Portsmouth.

At one point, the road split in two, with one going off to Dover, the other going to Portsmouth. I went left, as I was supposed to. A car in front of me went right, through the medium, spraying snow onto my windshield, blinding me. I remember thinking how much I hated winter. Hated. It.

By the time March would role around, I was completely ready for anything other than show and cold and ice and sludge. I wanted the sunshine, some warmth; short pants. I had always had a fascination with the west. I wrote stories about Native Americans when I was a kid. I asked for a book on the subject for Christmas one year so I could study my subjects and the west. My mother bought one for me, and it was a bible for a long time. When I graduated from college I never even looked for jobs in Boston or New York, or anywhere along the east coast. I packed up my car and headed west to seek my fortune. I headed west toward the sun.

I settled in Southern California and for years I would joke about how excited I would be just to see a single cloud in the sky. Look how cloudy. My mother always gets a kick out of it. They have so much weather and we have so little. Often in the west when there are clouds there will soon be rain. It makes me happy.

They’ve been predicting major monsoon action for days now. When I woke up this morning, the sky was already heavy. I took Cooper for a walk while Kevin slept and the air was thick. By noon, the sky had dropped so that it was just over the rooftops. My phone said that rain was eminent. By 2:00 there was an 80% chance.

It started quietly enough. Big ploppy drops on the driveway, the back patio. The skylights vibrated with each drop. The wind kicked up. Soon it was pouring. Thunder roared, lightning flashed. Weather had descended upon the west. For the day, the sun was quiet.

It poured for two hours. It was lovely. When I look Cooper for a walk at 6, the temp was 71º and the air was sticky, like gum.  My skin felt weird, my hair curled, Cooper’s leash was damp. This is the part of weather I’m not as crazy about but I’ll take the humidity over the cold and snow and slush any day because it’s not everyday. And on this day, I’m celebrating it, weather or not it’s living out loud.

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live out loud

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