January 14, 2010
It snowed the other day, which is amazing because it was actually predicted. Normally when the weather forecasters predict snow it doesn’t snow, and when they don’t predict snow, well, usually then it doesn’t snow either, especially in the summer. I do remember one winter, though, when my parents had bought one of those weather radios that comes on automatically when there’s bad weather headed into the area and starts talking like Stephen Hawking. Or you could just turn it on and it would give you information about the weather that you could get just as easily by looking out the window. I think they got it partly because they had an antique barometer in the den, but it was broken and perpetually stuck between "Cleare windf from the Eaft" and "Blameth Me Not, I Voted For Jamef Madifon".
Also my parents got the weather radio because everyone else they knew was getting one, which is usually as good a reason as any to buy something. Anyway, we were at home one day and it started snowing. This was, in Tennessee terms, a blizzard, which is what, in Colorado, would be called flurries, and in Canada it would be cleare windf from the Eaft. Big fluffy flakes were coming down so fast and close together the ground was quickly turning white. Since the weather radio hadn’t come on automatically my parents turned it on and Stephen Hawking proceeded to inform us that clear skies and warm temperatures were predicted for the area with a zero chance of precipitation. I suspect whoever was in charge of writing the weather forecast for that day was using a broken barometer, or, like ninety-nine percent of us, had no clue how to read a barometer and was just guessing. By sunset that day there was about six inches of snow on the ground which, I have to admit, was the most amazing zero chance of precipitation I’d ever seen. The only person I ever knew who could actually forecast snow accurately was my high school history teacher, Mrs. Krakowski. She also knew everything there was to know about history, having lived through most of it, but that’s another story. Every time Mrs. Krakowski’s knees hurt it would snow enough that we’d be out of school for at least two days. Her accuracy was amazing. I started wishing that her knees would hurt, especially before big tests, like the final exams. Even though I knew it was pretty unlikely we’d get any snow in May, but, hey, any time I heard that there was a zero chance of precipitation it got my hopes up. And then I felt guilty for wishing her knees would hurt, mainly because I’d never want someone else to be in pain for any reason.
And Mrs. Krakowski was a great teacher who told us hilarious stories about how, for instance, the mayor of New Amsterdam was a transvestite, which just goes to show how little things have changed. So I started looking for other signs of heavy snow. I never really did find any. There was one day, though, following a long winter storm that brought with it a long-lasting cold front and dropped so much snow that we were out of school for about three and a half months, when the snow had pretty much all melted and it looked pretty certain that school was going to reopen. The weather reports all said there was zero chance of any more snow. I was over at a friend’s house and there were several of us there laughing about how our last day of snow-granted freedom was a Thursday. And then someone looked out the window and noticed it was snowing. We all ran out into the yard and started dancing around like idiots. Maybe a bunch of teenage boys dancing around a yard like idiots is a sign of heavy snow to come. For all I know we caused it. Somehow we all just knew that we’d been granted a reprieve, that school would be called off yet again due to snow. And the best part is nobody’s knees hurt.