So, I was driving home from work yesterday and as I left Abbotsford and grew closer to Chilliwack, the snow started to fall. Well, not fall, exactly. More like, um, assault my car. I could hear it hitting the windshield with a “paff” sound that made me think of disintegrating moths. But thousands of them, at once. Visibility grew to nearly nil, drivers around me slowed to a near halt, and we all took part in the Lower Mainland ritual of cursing weather we don’t understand. For whatever reason, the moment it started, I thought of Ned Flanders, when his house was torn away by a tornado and the town pulled together to build a new house for him. The work they did was done “Shoddilly-iddily-iddily-diddly” and Ned tries to “diddly” his way out of his rage, but then finally explodes in “aaaw hell diddly ding dong crap!”
Every time I see this episode I think that someday that’ll be me. It makes me laugh, a lot. And when the snow started to fall last night on the drive home, I felt like Ned. But then I got to thinking. Why do we curse the weather? What is it about precipitation that can bring out the worst in us? Why is it that snow can make me curse, and hail makes me laugh? Why do I feel better when the sun comes out, even in the middle of a cold and stormy day? Why are clouds associated with depression (even the pharmaceutical companies have played on that trope)? Why are we so emotionally wrapped up in weather?
BTW, I “sepia-ed” this same photo because both my wife and I thought it had an “old” look to it. What do you think? Which is the better photo?
I don’t know what happens around your house when someone gets sick, but when anyone in my house gets the stomach flu (and this time it’s my daughter), we make sure we have plenty of Canada Dry Ginger Ale and saltine crackers on hand. It’s weird, because if I was ever offered ginger ale and saltines at a party I would immediately be transported back in time to the many times I’ve had stomach flu. And what would that look like, you ask? Let me tell you.
Firstly, I make sure that I pull out the sleeping bag and move it to the couch. Preferably the couch in the basement, because it has the creaky springs and grooves where my back fits. Secondly, I make sure there’s plenty of ginger ale (has to be Canada Dry) and saltines around. Thirdly, the sad vomit bucket has to be nearby. Fourthly, the path to the bathroom has to be cleared. And, lastly, the t.v. has to be set to something inane and insipid. I now have satellite t.v. and three hundred channels of insipid to choose from, but when I was younger, I would watch whatever came on.
That meant that I got to catch up on how Bert and Ernie were doing. I got to see if Oscar was still grouchy and whether anyone had seen Snuffleupagus yet. At the same time, and I loathe to admit this, I would catch up on soap operas like General Hospital and One Life to Live. I guess I was a closet soap fan, but only in between bouts of barfing.
A little educational t.v. A little trashy t.v. And a little ginger ale and saltines on the couch. The recipe for getting well.