Welcome to the em space, a staff writer's commentary page with reflections on life experiences in Logan County and beyond. Thank you for reading.

- Mary Krallmann


Subject to change

Weather conditions during the festival weekend in Lincoln didn't satisfy everyone all the time, but it's not the first occasion when plans were subject to change. In everyday life, announcements of schedules and prices sometimes mention specifically that they're subject to change without notice. We usually notice changes in weather without being notified, and current technology adds considerable information about weather changes that are likely to come our way.

Where I grew up there was a saying to the effect that if you didn't like the weather, you should just wait 15 or 20 minutes and it would change.

I knew from experience that sometimes we'd have to wait longer, but I still liked the idea and the statement.

In later years, I found out that people make that claim in more than one state. At first I was disappointed to lose the sense of uniqueness, but I'm glad that variable weather isn't limited to one small corner of the world.

Especially from a child's time perspective, it's encouraging to think that when it's uncomfortably hot or cold, the situation won't be that way all the time. If it's still too hot after waiting half an hour, an hour or even half a day, at least the rule of thumb provides some hope for relief in the future.

I knew the 20-minute plan worked sometimes. When the sky turned dark and the wind came up on a warm summer day, you could feel the excitement in the air. Even adults would hurry to finish what they were doing outside, and I soon learned that the cooler temperatures after a thunderstorm were worth waiting for.

The promise of change was also reassuring if the weather was already more exciting than necessary. When repeated thunder made me jump or lightning kept me awake, when hailstones pounded on the roof and sent me scurrying for cover literally under the bedcovers to try to hide from the sound, I knew it was temporary even if temporary seemed to last quite a while.

Sometimes, of course, we experience days that feel almost perfect, and we'd like them to continue, but perfect weather doesn't guarantee perfect happiness.

 

One evening a couple of weeks ago as I sat on a park bench and was surprised to feel goose bumps on my arms in the middle of August, I knew from the predictions that within 24 hours I'd probably be wishing for that cool breeze. In fact, my unscientific notes on the calendar during the week told an alternating story day by day: cool, warm, hot, cooler, hot, cool, nice. From another part of the state, someone wrote to me that their department picnic was conveniently scheduled on the 70-degree day sandwiched between days of 90s and thunderstorms. Sometimes people's plans and the changing weather do fit together.

Similarly, there were times this past weekend when scheduled activities and the latest weather seemed to be made for each other. Just as my mind got stuck on the thought that the morning humidity was enough already, the next change in direction brought a refreshing breeze. I finished at an outdoor event before a thunderstorm began, and the downpour ended by the time I was ready to leave a building and head for my car a distance away. The timing could hardly have been better.

If nothing else, what we like and don't like about the temperature and humidity, the winds and the rains and their timing, all help to keep our minds occupied and our senses alert to the world around us.

As it's been said, "Don't knock the weather; nine-tenths of the people couldn't start a conversation if it didn't change once in a while." *

I guess you have to start somewhere. You can always take a hint from the weather and change the subject. You don't even have to wait 15 or 20 minutes.

 

* Kim Hubbard quotation

[Mary Krallmann]     

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