Don’t Take The Weather Personally
Unseasonably mild weather last week meant I could work outside in my shirt sleeves while the Highland cattle seem over-dressed.
For New Year's Eve, the weather was all warm and balmy with shirt-sleeve temperatures, no wind, and pretending it didn't try to kill us the week before. I was on vacation in Georgia when the Arctic weather descended. Below-freezing temperatures, weather that we in New Hampshire take for granted, had Georgians frantic to keep pipes from freezing. Most newer houses had adequate insulation and no external water pipes, but those living in pre-1990s homes were told to keep a faucet running all night. And high winds made everything worse.
Meanwhile, back in New Hampshire, the weather was worse. A mini-tornado whirled across Miles Smith Farm. Farmworker and next-door neighbor, Marianne told me, "The weather was warm and breezy on Friday afternoon when I drove to the farm to get my cell phone that I'd forgotten in the store. As I pulled up to the barn, the sky turned black, rain pummeled my car, and the wind tried to tear off the car door. Within 10 minutes, it was over, but by then, six trees had toppled onto the road to my house. I had to scramble through the tumble of branches to get home. I missed being crushed by the trees by mere minutes.”
That 10-minute storm caused the power to be out for days, but fortunately, our whole-farm generator kicked in to keep our freezers and refrigerator running and pumping water to the cattle. In winter, our herd drinks more than 400 gallons of water daily. That would have been a lot of buckets for our house sitter Craig to carry.
A Griswald-like Adventure
We had no trouble flying to and from Atlanta on Jet Blue, but I read that some, less-fortunate travelers, spent days stranded in various airports. I heard that Southwest passengers had it the worst. My cousin, Eileen, told me about a friend of hers who was stranded at the Florida Keys airport. The friend rented a car to drive home to Nashville. A great plan until -- Griswald style -- an hour from the airport, the car broke down, and the rental agency refused to help. I don't know what happened next, but I hope their luck changed.
So much of what we experience is neutral: a car breaking down, scrambling through downed trees, freezing pipes, but when it happens to us, often we take personal offense. The weather is the weather and is not out to get us. A broken car is not trying to get revenge. These are neutral circumstances, and we can be angry or laugh. It's easier to blame circumstances for our anger or hurt, but it may be time to look at life differently. We can choose how we feel no matter what happens. That’s my new-year resolution.