By Wayne William Cipriano
Like everyone, I’ve visited many different places with many different climates during my lifetime. Unlike a lot of people, however, I’ve lived for extended periods of time (a year or more) in many places as well. Places like Connecticut, New York, Washington, D.C., North and South Carolina, Virginia, Maryland, Georgia, Texas, Illinois, Arkansas, California, Mexico, Canada, Europe, and the Middle East. And now in our home here in Missouri.
These places are wildly different on almost any scale you might want to apply, except one. In every place I’ve ever lived, and just about every place I’ve visited, you hear the same song about the weather. It may be sung in different accents and even in different languages but it always has the same lyrics: “Changing weather? Why, our weather changes so often and so much that if you don’t like the weather we’re having right now, just wait a minute!”
Don’t we all wish we had a dime for every time we’ve heard that chorus?
I’ve noticed that at the higher elevations weather seems to shift more quickly and more dramatically than at sea level. And some places are more prone to violent weather changes on the heels of huge fronts caused by topography, oceanic proximity, tornadoes, hurricanes, and the like.
But seldom if ever have I notices the weather shifts we experienced here in almost sea-level, land-locked Missouri when the weather went from balmy bright 70º day to a cloudy, cold, blustery day with snow falling and then back to a clear, windless 70º day again, just like that!
I am sure I must have seen such variations before, but I cannot remember when that might have been.
Flowers popped up, were quick-frozen, dropped their buds, then re-blossomed within 72 hours. Cattle were so enticed by new grass that they ignored their hay, then were butting each other for “firsties” just two days later. Ladies were bundled up like Eskimos, sunning themselves in swimwear, and re-bundled all in the space of 48 hours (darn it!).
I understand that much of the country had these wild weather variations during that same time period just like we did here, but I was here when it happened. And so, listening to those ever-present song lyrics about weather changes I’ve been checking out those bundled-up ladies and waiting the required minute.