Circling Back to the Weather ... Again

>> Thursday, October 29, 2009

Another few weeks have gone by, and still I find myself staring at rain more often than not, and I still can't figure out what outfit to put me or Toddler in on any given day. A few days ago I managed to wear a sweater and it was 80 degrees by lunch. The day before that I wore a t-shirt and jacket and the temperature didn't break 65. I was outside that morning watching a tennis match with Toddler and some other family members, so this was a bad choice. Part way through the second set, Toddler asked if he could go back to the car, poor baby.

Although I generally like the idea of living in a state where true winter doesn't start until at least Thanksgiving, if even then, there is something to be said about predictability. If it was October in Pennsylvania, when I was a kid, we were pretty much wearing coats, and that was that. Even if "we" (the kids) didn't want to, "they" (the moms) put their feet down.

This weather pattern, and the stubborn mothers, made Trick or Treat a bit of a disappointment. Of course there was the candy, and the going door to door with friends, and all the good stuff, but the costumes left a little bit to be desired. We would plot and scheme for a whole month about what we were going to be, convincing our parents to buy this or that special mask or accessory to go over our outfit (which sometimes consisted of a generic black sack because the mask was so cool we didn't need -- read parents wouldn't pay for -- a full costume). All of this planning sort of went for nothing when the whole ensemble, with wooden sword strapped to the belt, or cat tale taped to the buttocks, was hidden under a big, heavy, long winter coat.

Aah, weather gear. I lived for four winters in a part of Pennsylvania where we all owned an "over the butt coat". Down here in Virginia, if the weather is that bad, things shut down. I also lived for three wet winters outside of Boston where ice floats on the puddles in the street, and we called it "slog". Because we were at sea level, the water never went anywhere but right there in the street. The puddle on one side would reach almost to the center of the road, and the puddle on the other side would reach almost to the center of the road, leaving a mere 18 inches of dry land in the middle of the sea of floating ice caps. For Boston, the mandatory weather gear is boots, and tall ones at that. Here in Virginia, we wear boots only to look trendy or go mountain climbing. No icebergs float on sidewalk puddles here. (But, for a few days in August, the pavement will begin to melt, causing much sliding and tripping by those on rollerblades.... not that I'd know anything about that or anything.)

Circling back to Hallowe'en and Trick or Treat, I have kept my annual disappointment and parental arguments very much in mind as I pick out Toddler's costumes. We buy full-body warm fuzzy things so no coat is required. There is always the possibility, however, of a late warm spell, meaning we might worry about excessive sweating rather than toe numbing cold.

Hard to tell.


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