Snowstorms, Calamity Days…and Weather Reports

snowflakeI don’t understand weather reports anymore.

Used to be Dick Goddard, a Cleveland meteorologist, clad in his green sport coat and snazzy brown polyester pants, gave us an evening weather report on Channel 8 news.

It was fairly straightforward. Dick stood in front of a big map of Ohio. A giant cloud of green moving towards our area meant rain. A cloud of turquoise meant snow. This was followed by a large picture with potential snowfall amounts for local cities; 1-2 inches in one color, 3-6  in another color and so on.

There were red funnels for tornadoes and yellow sunshine graphics for sunny skies. Being Clevelander’s we knew “Alberta Clipper” and “Lake Effect Snow” meant potential school cancellations.

My father often joked that “Dick didn’t know di@k” about the weather headed our way, but we understood that Mr. Goddard did his best. Sometimes he was right on, sometimes not even close…

Enter better technology.

We have satellite views, fancy radars, more classifications and risk categories and very technical weather terminology in our weather reports, which is why I rarely watch them.

snow

I don’t understand. I try, but when the weather people start talking, their lips are moving—and I have no idea what they are saying. I would need a glossary of terms from the weather channel to get it.

Dick Goddard is older and has long since retired, but he occasionally comes on TV… and rambles–He STILL makes more sense than the younger, more tech savvy meteorologists, who follow him with the ‘real’ weather report.

Because I don’t understand television weather forecasts, I’ve tried online reports and weather apps for my iPhone. Still no clarity.

And it might just be me. I might not be too bright.

After all, I’m the girl who is perpetually BEHIND the salt truck and IN FRONT of the plow.

While I don’t mind my children’s school being cancelled for a Snow Day—or what they now call a Calamity Day—the family vacation to Hilton Head, S.C. is booked for July. Given the amount of Calamity Days this year, I’m hoping my children aren’t STILL in school mid-summer.

I’m not well-informed on weather conditions in our area, but here’s what I know:

It’s been a snowy, cold winter. I didn’t leave the house yesterday, because when I looked out the windows, I could see a blizzard and the road did not appear plowed. Today isn’t great. Still cold. I don’t currently see a blizzard outside. So I’m going out to get some groceries, because I hear rumblings of more snow days this week. That means I need extra food in the house to keep the bottomless pit (my almost 6’2” teenager who is pushing 200lbs) fed. I haven’t watched the weather today—but cold temperatures produce ice, so I can ascertain the roads are slippery. I will drive slow. And I will take the bottomless pit to the store with me, so I get the right stuff.

Blizzard outside. Rocky dog is happy on the couch inside.

Blizzard outside. Rocky Dog is happy inside.

I also know not to let the dogs outside longer than it takes to do their business. We stand and wait, to make sure they are only out for a minute. No worries, they don’t hang around outside long.

Am I the only one who doesn’t understand? Or am I alone in this?

If anybody can recommend a weather app, website or TV station with a weather report I might be able understand, please comment on this blog.

My Life by the Numbers

I rarely posted to my blog in 2013. Sort of wimped out–I never stopped writing my thoughts, just stopped posting themnumbers.

Why?

There was too much upheaval, change and transition…

By the numbers:

ONE child graduated from high school and packed off to college. Big milestones for both parents, children and family. There’s final games, final concerts, the college decision, graduation festivities, parties and finally shopping/packing for college.

ONE child finished his freshman year in high school and started his sophomore year. He adapted to being the only child at home.  Also eventful, this child played three sports, earned a varsity letter as a freshmen starter in football and was a state qualifier in pole vault. He got his driver’s license in June, 2013. Exciting stuff!

TWO houses. We started 2013 in the white ranch house that I rented just after filing for divorce in 2009. Me moved to The School House in the summer of 2013. The move was traumatic because the kids and I created many happy memories in the white ranch house. Plus moving is a whole lot of work!! But it was time to move on. And The School House has already begun to have its own memories.

THREE jobs. Sigh. ..yes, I was employed by three different companies last year. I begun 2013 a marketing manager, then wrote obits for our local newspaper and finally landed my current position. Job change is stressful. It means new people, new routines, new computer systems, processes and going back to the beginning in some ways.

FOUR dogs. We had two dogs; Grace the mutt and Rocky the golden retriever. With the move came two more dogs. The School House’s owners are out of the country on a work assignment, so we kept their dogs. We now have a long-haired dappled dachshund and a tiny sprite named Lola.

ZERO marriages. I remain a single parent. (I haven’t remarried.) Which means its all on me to maintain a home, raise the children, mow the yard, pay the bills, etc.

ZERO vacations. I could really, really use a few days off work. The kids and I are looking forward to that happening in July, 2014. We’ll spend a week in Hilton Head, S.C.

I’D RATHER NOT COUNT trips made back and forth to daughters college, how few walks I took during the fall and winter, pounds gained from stress and lack of exercise,  time spent packing and unpacking and the number of dog hairs vacuumed.

The constant chaos kept me too busy to put my thoughts out there. Often, I had no idea what (if anything) I was thinking!

However, I miss posting to this blog, miss connecting with others—because I’ve formed some wonderful friendships through writing this blog. I plan to post regularly again.  

And I’m changing it up for 2014. After five years as a single parent, I’m ready to tackle issues I’ve steered away from in the past. Playing with Perfect  has always been light, relaxed, playful and positive. It still will be, because that’s my nature—who I am.

But I’ll also be writing about deeper issues that I’ve gotten increasingly passionate about in the past five years.

Examples:

  • The realities of divorce, single parenting, its impact on children and families.
  • The working poor, the difficulties of going from homemaker into the workplace, the shortage of jobs and the challenges of establishing a job/career that can support a family.
  • Medical insurance, navigating Marketplace and Healthcare.gov and other options for getting health insurance. It’s common for employers to use part-time staff and not offer insurance. I’ll soon be without health insurance and I’ve been weighing my options.

Millions are dealing with similar challenges; it isn’t just me. I’ve noticed that many people don’t speak of them, are embarrassed, plagued by fear and/or a profound sense of failure at how off track their lives have gotten. And yet, talking about it eases the burden.

My writing style is my writing style. I tend to tackle the heavy stuff with humor. And please (continue to) excuse my incomplete thoughts, occasional grammatical errors and other imperfections. I’d love to be more Perfect–but in reality, that isn’t going to happen!

For now, I’m going to post at the beginning of each week.

I’d like to post more–but will begin with a manageable goal.

Welcome 2014!!