Thursday, March 26, 2015

Weather Love (Courtney McKinney-Whitaker)



It sounds weird to say, but I love weather. I love seasons. I love watching them change. I just really enjoy different times of year. Fall is my favorite, when it's here, but there are things I love about other seasons, too.

I love watching snow fall when I have nowhere to be. I love holding a hot cup of tea and watching the snow pile up in ways that defy the laws of physics.

I love working in my office on rainy days. The rain makes me feel like it's just me and the words.

I love the way the wind picks up and then falls still right before a storm breaks.

I love the beginnings and the ends of summer days. One of my favorite things to do in summer is to take a shower in the early evening and let my hair dry with the windows open.

I love that first scent of fall in the air in August. I notice it every year, however fleeting it is.

I love the day I first turn on my space heater and the day I first turn on my fan.

I love the flowers of spring: azaleas in South Carolina, tulips in Illinois.

I love the way the leaves change. Of course I love the way the leaves change. Every year, a single leaf on the red maple in my backyard turns fully, brilliantly red before the others budge, and I love how brave it is.

Weather plays its part in all my memories.

My grandparents embodied a battle of elemental forces. At the first sign of frost, Papa had the woodstove running and Grandmama opened the outside door in the same room. (I love the smell of woodsmoke in the fall.)

We buried my great-uncle ahead of a Carolina ice storm, January rain turning to sleet as we stood at the graveside.

The first dog of my adult life, my precious Hildy, sickened and died during the hottest week of June, when all the orange tiger lilies were blooming. One night that week we sat outside to watch the twilight and the sky was divided perfectly between purple and blue and we knew we were saying goodbye.

Despite all my years of Illinois living, when it's 50 degrees with a cold humidity, I think, "This is Christmas weather."

My husband and I were married on a sunny day at the end of November. It was 75 degrees and (accidentally, I swear) the day of the Clemson-Carolina game. (I don't love football, but I love football weather.)

Speaking of, the most miserable football game I ever suffered through was in October in Columbia, SC when I was a junior at USC. It was so hot we all got sunburned and nearly passed out, and afterward we showered and aloe-ed up and went out for shrimp. Because of course we did. I miss you, Columbia.

The leaves changed while I was in the hospital giving birth to my daughter. When I went in on a Sunday night in September they were all green, and when I came out on Wednesday afternoon it was 
fall. It was drizzling rain the Monday morning she was born.

What do you love about weather? What are your weather memories?

9 comments:

  1. I feel the same way. I've always loved living where I get an extreme variety of weather.

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    1. Me too! I complain about winter, but I would miss that first snowfall.

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    2. I hear you. I don't think I would like living anywhere where I didn't get the four seasons.

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  2. So true Courtney, weather does make our memories more vivid. I loved that the leaves changed when your daughter was born. So sweet. Lovely post!

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  3. Oh, Courtney, you always make me want to write a blog post in reply to yours!

    I grew up in New York with vacations in New England, so of course fall is my favorite season. The colors are spectacular, and I miss those blazing fiery trees. Here in Colorado, the color of fall is the bright gold of a wedding ring, which is lovely but not quite the same.

    Which is why, now that I'm here, I think spring is my favorite season. Winter hangs on for a long time here (winter and spring are partners, really, taking turns; you'll have a stretch of days in the 60s in February and a snap of 30s with snow in April) so spring isn't a process as much as an overnight eruption. Sure, there are daffodils and hyacinths, but the native plants are smart - they wait for the "real" spring which doesn't commit until around May 1st when all of a sudden, everything bursts into color - green and white and yellow and pink and purple springing up everywhere, literally overnight. It's positively joyous, and completely infectious. No wonder we quit school early here. Once that happens, the kids are ungovernable.

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    1. The aspens, right? The aspens are one of my favorite things about Colorado.

      My husband's family is from upstate NY--just gorgeous. In summer, that is, which is the only time I visit ;-)

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    2. Yes, the gold is from the aspens. I am so lucky to have one gorgeous, flaming red maple in my front yard. Must have been an Easterner who lived here once.

      Summer in the Finger Lakes region is gorgeous indeed, if you are so lucky, but fall is so beautiful upstate with the trees and the apples, and apple cider fresh out of the press, and cider donuts... Oh, you're making me miss more than the pizza and bagels!

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  4. I love to write on my back porch--especially when it's raining. The sound on the roof is incredible. ;)

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