Watching the weather


Melissa Stagnaro

When you work for a newspaper, people expect you to know everything about anything that is going on. For the most part I do my best to stay up to date on happenings, whether they be here in our little corner of the world or on a more global scale. With one glaring exception: the weather.

Every day, my mother asks me what the forecast is. Every day, I tell her I don’t know. A good daughter might start paying more attention so she could provide that pertinent bit of information, but not me. But not me. I categorically refuse. Not because I enjoy depriving her of the daily forecast, but because, for my own mental health, I just can’t go there.

I have found that paying attention to the weather forecast can be detrimental to my already fragile psyche. I just can’t take the disappointment when a much anticipated storm or rare sunny day fails to materialize.

I choose instead to keep myself in the dark, and be as prepared as possible for any turn Mother Nature might take. An umbrella, a change of footwear, an extra pair of gloves, sunscreen…why else do you think I carry such a big bag?

This time of year, I don’t pay attention to talk of the next big snow. I just go under the assumption that it will snow every day. I’m going to be driving the same country roads to and from work, so what does it really matter. Without an expectation of anything else, I’m never disappointed. And when a brilliant beam of sunshine, or bright blue sky, does break through the perpetual gray gloom, it always appears miraculous.

I know that to some, this may seem like a defeatist attitude. I assure you, it’s not. I consider it a more realistic approach to meteorology. Because lets be honest, it’s going to snow whether I or some TV weather man wants it to or not, the same with scattered showers and partial sun.

In general, I don’t mind any of the above inclement weather. In fact, when I lived in Western Colorado, the land of 300 days of full sun a year, I longed for a bit of precipitation and cloud cover.

Oh, I wasn’t always this way. I used to be a veritable Weather Channel junkie thanks to my dad the pilot. I would watch religiously for the latest Doppler radar updates just so I would be prepared for the slightest change in weather.

But after one too many times of freezing my tail off when the 70 degree day I’d been promised never rose above 50, or sweltering in the wool sweater donned in anticipation of sub zero temperatures on a unseasonable balmy day, I became a little jaded. (And maybe a touch bitter.)

So I quit cold turkey. Now, I just sit back and take what Mother Nature sends my way. While some people I know feverishly track the path of whatever storm might have us in its sights, I go about my day knowing I’m prepared for any eventuality.

What is my response to the question of whether it will it snow today? Of course it will, I say. It snows every day.