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Friday, April 28, 2017

A Twenty-Minute Day

One of the characters in the book The Help says that "Mississippi has the most unorganized weather." She goes on to say that everything will be covered in ice one day and that the following day it's 90 degrees for the next several months. I can certainly appreciate the vagaries of that type of weather, but I don't think that Mississippi is the champion where changeable weather is concerned.

Those of us who have lived in Colorado for some time (especially natives, people who think that they're better than the rest of us just because their mother was here when they were born, which they seem to take as their own personal accomplishment) have our own descriptions of normal Colorado weather.

Many long-timers say that Colorado does not have four seasons. My friend Kris's father used to say, "Yes, we do too have four seasons - Winter, June, July, and August." Only slightly less famous is the claim that Colorado has a whopping two seasons - Winter and Road Construction. Hey, plowing and salting and sanding and heavy traffic do take their toll.

My Gram taught me my favorite Colorado weather saying, and the best, in my humble opinion. "Welcome to Colorado. If you don't like the weather, stick around for twenty minutes." Trent and I, as well as my sister Liz and everyone that we know who has lived here for a long time, believe this to be true. Actually, scratch that. We know it to be true.

When someone brings up oddities of weather, we jump in the deep end like the champs that we are. "Hey, do you remember that one time in September when it was 93 degrees on Sunday, and then there was more than a foot of snow on the ground when we woke up on Monday morning?"

"Yeah! That was even crazier than the time that it snowed in June!" Note: technically, it could conceivably snow during any month high in the mountains here in our beautiful state. What I am referring to here is weather in the Denver Metro area. You know, the weather in the lower elevations of only a Mile High.

I am not a Colorado native, but I come close enough that Trent, who is a native, says that I can and should claim Colorado as my home. Heck, I came here when I was 7 years old and have lived here since. My age once again ends with a 7, but there's a goodish number in front of that little digit. And I must say that while the weather in my beautiful home can catch me unprepared, on the deepest level I am rarely surprised by what a different day or season may bring.

In the Metro area I have seen heavy snows in every month except July and August. I have experienced snowstorms that included lightning, spring rains with hail and tornado activity, sub-zero cold and baking heat. A couple of days this winter, Colorado had the highest temperature in the nation. Let me expound on that for a moment. It was warmer here on those winter days than it was in Miami, Phoenix, and Honolulu. Now that is disorganized weather!

The other day Trent and I needed to get out and run some errands. It was a lovely morning, bright and sunny and in the 50-degree range. Suddenly I noticed that it seemed as if the clocks were all wrong. Surely it couldn't be that dark and still be early afternoon. I looked out the window to find dark skies and rainy weather. Trent, being the tough Coloradan, said that he didn't care, he was wearing shorts anyway. I didn't want to deal with carrying a jacket so I put on a sweatshirt. Before I got in the car, I walked over to the mailbox. As I walked, I noticed a white spot on my shirt. And then another, and then several more. Yes, rain mixed with snow. Oh, well. 

We went on our way, dodging raindrops (snowdrops?) as we walked into the supermarket. We didn't have much to get, so we were in the store fairly briefly. When we got back outside, the sun was shining in its full glory and the rain was drying up. The car was hot and I told Trent that he was smart to wear shorts, and that I felt like an idiot with my nice warm sweatshirt. That day had Colorado written all over it. We stuck around for twenty minutes and it changed. And then it changed again. And then it changed a third time. Yep. That's my home!

A final thought and a wish - may your skies find you safe and happy, wherever you live or visit.


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