Our stepmother Beatrice was known for her obsession with weather. Our local channels would strategically put a big ‘W’ in the corner of the screen as a warning that a storm may be heading our direction. The operative word being ‘may’. That’s all it took for Beatrice to begin her less than quiet descent to the basement. She encouraged, yelled and screamed at the rest of us to join her. But we never did.
Many the night poor Beatrice spent hours in the basement waiting for the all clear. There wasn’t a television in the basement so she depended on us to tell her when the coast was clear. We weren’t eager to have her return so sometimes would delay the good news regarding the weather so we could spend some time together without her constant verbal chatter.
Beatrice also disliked any kind of weather that was out of the ordinary. It threw her for a loop. The wind, the heat, the cold, the rain all were grounds for her to throw one of her hissy fits about how much she hated weather. Somehow she thought our dad could control some aspects of the weather and was disappointed when he could not.
For someone who had such a stormy personality, you might think she would not be so aware of the changes. Maybe she was in tune with the drop in barometric pressure or could tell when climate change reared its ugly head. She talked about weather and the various weather personalities like they were old friends. If you didn’t know better, one might think she was a trained meteorologist. Throwing around weather terminology has always been at the bottom of my list of things I could give a rat’s ass about.
Here’s my way of predicting weather: if you stroll outside and your body is showered upon, it’s raining. If you open the door and are greeted with a cold blast of arctic air and white flakes falling from the sky, it is winter and lo and behold it is snowing. If you find yourself outside sweating buckets of liquid from your armpits, it is damn hot and if you venture outside and your dress is blown over your head, exposing your underwear or lack thereof, it is windy.
I like the simple approach. Beatrice, always wanting to be in charge, once again tried to control the situation but without much luck. Sitting in a basement all by yourself worrying is no way to go through life. Too bad she didn’t have a pair of those ruby slippers!