Over the course of the past few weeks, the Foo Fighters have been making their way across the Southern Hemisphere, touring all over New Zealand and now Australia. And since its summertime in that part of the world, there have been many photos popping up of the guys enjoying the beautiful weather on their days off – cycling around Christchurch and Adelaide, and lounging on the beach in Sydney.
Seeing those pics made me wish I was already filling the role of Jewish Mother to the band. Because I’ve never been to Australia or New Zealand, and that would be a spectacular opportunity. And because it would be such an awesome and fabulous job regardless of where it took me. And because if I was there, I would be warm!
A favorite Texas saying is “If you don’t like the weather, wait.” Usually, you don’t have to wait long. We can have a bitter cold snap, followed by a stretch of warm, beautiful sunny days. Other than the aforementioned summer months, this can happen during any season. I’ve had to wear a coat in early September, and I’ve donned shorts and a t-shirt in January. I’ve had to run the air-conditioner on Thanksgiving Day, and the bunny has hidden eggs indoors on a snowy Easter morning.
In short, Texas weather is weird.
This winter is no exception. In the past few months, there have been some lovely weekends, full of sunshine and shirtsleeve temperatures. Just a few weeks ago, Mark and I hit the trail and squeezed in a six-plus mile walk on a spectacular sunny Saturday.
The following week, we loaded the dogs in the car and headed out to the Fort Worth Nature Center to hike for a few hours. When we returned home that afternoon, I noticed I had picked up a rosy touch of sun on my face. That day, the temperature was near 80. An Indian Summer, right in the middle of February.
But then winter came to, realized it had fallen asleep at the wheel, and came barreling back into town. The last two weekshave been pretty wretched, as Texas winters go. They began with the prediction of a few inches of sleet, which showed up as promised, early on a Monday morning. Almost immediately, area schools and businesses, including my employer, began to announce that they were closing.
Woohoo! A snow day! Who doesn’t love a surprise day off from work?
I made the most of it. I tried a few new recipes. I got caught up on my laundry. Jarrod was visiting for the weekend and had elected to ride out the storm at our house (where there is always plenty of food and Netflix), and we spent many hours watching mindless entertainment.
The next day, the roads looked a little worse, as the low temps and insistent clouds hadn’t allowed for much melting, so most every place that closed on Monday was also closed on Tuesday. Snow day redux. Yeah, okay. Surely there was something else on Netflix.
By Wednesday (at least I think it was Wednesday – so hard to remember when the schedule gets mucked up), it was snowing, but the warmer temps had melted the previous sleet accumulation, and the snow wasn’t sticking. At last, the world went back to normal, and I went to the office.
And yet the forecast was calling for snow. Again.
Yes, batten down the hatches, they said. Raid the supermarkets and buy all the bread and milk! Friday morning it’s going to snow.
“No,” I told Mark, “that can’t happen. I’m taking Friday off to get my hair colored and go for a mani/pedi! It can’t snow!”
So I willed it not to. What do those meteorologists know, anyway? They’re wrong sometimes, maybe even half the time. I was confident it wouldn’t snow.
Except it did. And it was bitterly cold. None of this mamby-pamby stuff with the temperatures hovering right at 32 degrees and preventing the snow from sticking. It was in the mid-20s. Less than an hour after it began, the roads were already slick.
But I was hell-bent on keeping my appointment. My stylist and I had exchanged texts. She was at the shop and would be waiting. I was going, snow be damned. Mark offered to drive me, but I told him not to be silly. It’s just a little snow, right? I was a little anxious, but I set my iPod for an all-Foo shuffle and headed out.
Here’s a fact about Texans in general. We don’t know how to maneuver our vehicles on snow, ice, or sleet. We don’t even fair well if it’s raining. We’re like an army of idiots behind the wheel anytime there is a weather event. And everyone is behind the wheel, because Texas is not mass-transit savvy. Unlike urban centers in other parts of the country, Texas has very mediocre transit options. For most commuters, a vehicle is a necessity. But owning a vehicle and having a license does not guarantee an ability to properly operate said vehicle. There are a lot of assholes on the road, regardless of the weather.
I had to figure out on the fly that the brakes weren’t going to work as efficiently as they would on dry pavement, but I did this without hitting anything. The trick, it seemed, was to drive slowly, brake lightly, and keep a good distance between myself and other cars. Apparently this lesson is harder to learn if you’re in a pick-up or large SUV. Maybe it’s the altitude. Or the attitude.
After about 40 tense minutes, sustained by a steady stream of Dave and the boys, I made it to my appointment, a little late, but no worse for wear.
The trip home was less harrowing, but much slower. While I was being de-aged, the snow kept coming down, and by the time I got back on the road, the rest of the Fort had shut down and I got caught in a mass exodus of downtown commuters heading back to the burbs. This turned out okay, as nobody was moving fast enough to make trouble. I had my band keeping me company, and I was not in a rush to be anywhere. Except home, that is. I decided the mani/pedi could wait.
That was last week. This week, we almost got back on track. I snuck out of the office a little early Tuesday and finally got my nails done. Just in the nick of time, it seemed, as another wave of gulf moisture had a brief, but torrid, affair with a Canadian cold front, producing a significant wave of sleet, ice, and snowthe next day.
I hate to say it, Mother Nature, but you’re kind of a bitch! Just sayin’.
The sun finally came out yesterday, just in time for Spring Break. It’s gonna be a chilly vacation week, but at least there’s nothing threatening in the forecast.
January contest winner De Lisa, from New York City, will be enjoying a pan of brownies within the week. Have you subscribed to Will Work For Foos yet? It’s the only way to win, you know!