Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Here in Northern California, the sun has not made an appearance since the new year. And, while a dozen days of overcast skies can be a bit tiresome, there is something far harder to endure: listening to Northern Californians complain about the weather.
It's true. Whether on the local news, on blogs or in Facebook updates, my fellow Sacramentans are talking about a lack of blue skies as though it were some kind of hellish torture. Most complaints are of the quiet, "enough already" variety, but a good handful are genuinely peeved at the injustice of it all. "I've just about had it with this s--t," read one.
Keep in mind this is a place where the sun shines 300-something days a year. By any standard, the weather is outrageously generous. To me, getting to live in a climate like this requires that you keep quiet when the weather makes rare forays into less-than-ideal territory. It's an implied contract. Besides, complaining about January fog when people in Chicago are listening is like kvetching about your scuffed shoes to a man with no feet.
A few days ago, my daughter asked me about the coldest day I could remember. I answered without hesitation. January 20, 1985 -- it was 27 below zero in Chicago and 83 below when you factored in the wind chill. Eighty-three degrees below zero! (I pause here to point out that on this coldest day in the history of Chicago, my friend Kevin and I drove to an indoor tennis match between Jimmy Connors and John McEnroe. Kevin's Dodge Dart started on the first try -- maybe they should bring that model back to save Detroit.)
Today's weather forecast called for rain, the beginning of a week of wet days. But when the morning was a balmy, drizzly 55 degrees, I decided to bike to work. I'm happy to say I was rewarded richly for this decision. Not only did the rain fail to gather any momentum, the sun struggled out while I was riding alongside the river.
You can call it another error of weather forecasting if you like. I prefer to think that the sun chose to thank me for not nagging it during its brief time away.