Our Unusual Usual Weather

There are many ways in which a small rural city can be amusing. Local lore plays a big part in that because so much of it remembers a time that never quite was. Weather is one of those things in our community. It’s always “unusual.” Whether a hundred above or ten below, raining or dry, cloudy or clear, it’s always “unusual.” We bought into that for a while, but it didn’t take long to wonder, “What is usual?” It’s always hot and dry in the summer, cool and foggy in the late fall, spring always starts in March and doesn’t end until mid-June, but none of that is “usual.” One thing that does not happen very often is a lot of snow two or three days in a row with really cold temperatures. Something like that happens maybe two or three times a decade, and it happened this last week. Sure enough, I got in the middle of a conversation with an old timer assuring me that this was “usual” for our valley. That we might go five consecutive years without a white Christmas – that’s most unusual. That we might actually have one at last – that’s usual for us. Go figure.

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