"Hey, I'm going to be a bit late."
"Went out to my car and there was this weird white stuff stuck to my windshield."
"Really? What is it?"
"Well, I hear tell from other parts of the world that it is called frost."
The weather here since, oh say, Christmas, has been mild to say the least. I have not gone out to windshield-blanketing frost for nearly a month.
The tulip festival will be done before the Tulip Festival begins. The feed store may run out of wormer for livestock and the coat industry is crashing because of our mild weather.
Just barely enough snow to cover our majestic Rainier. Hardly enough snow for the Olympic Games a few hours to the north of us.
Ya know, I get the whole weather pattern stuff but we should have been able to predict this based not on El Nino, El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO), or whatever pattern it is that we are having, but the fact that the PNW is hosting the Winter Olympics.
This is more typical of our weather for the last of January and the first of February this year: sun shining, windows cracked open a bit, buds bursting open. But just enough of these to keep warm and cheerfully tanked up on vitamin D.
Our cold normally comes in when it is clear, especially at night. The clouds and blustery weather bring in warmth from the Pacific. So we have had just enough beautiful clear skies in the day time to be warm and happy but just as it gets a little chilly the rain comes to "save" us.
Like this week for instance, a few nearly clear days and a clear night, wake up to frost finally and hours later it begins to rain and now this morning we are in the lovely warm greys. Yes, interior decorators you heard me correctly, warm greys. I know! an oxymoronic statement eh? But that's the PNW for ya.
So why my title? Because here in the PNW we are all holding our breath hoping that we don't all of a sudden get winter in the middle of March, or worse April. We have had snow and ice that late in the year many times and on top of somewhat mild years, but rarely on top of a year this mild, but it has happened. And when it does we lose our fruit crops and other produce is set back quite a bit.
Right now, with the way the temperatures are, I can't imagine that we would get much more than some frosty mornings but things don't always go as they usually do and definitely not as you'd like 'em to. That is why folks are fascinated with statistics, not to see how things always stay the same, but how every once in a while things bust out of the norm.
So this could be a year to grow things PNWeners usually can't without the expenditure of significant amounts of energy. Or, it could be the year we get no fruit. Frightfully exciting, wouldn't you say?!
It has definitely brought out the gambler in me. Oh wait, what is it that you say Dear Reader who knows me well? I'm always gambling? I guess that is true, very true to my nature for sure. Random change and risk taking keeps the blood flowin'. But really, I don't gamble with the stuff that is important, like my very soul or the souls of those I am responsible for, that would be idiocy, not exciting and fun, not even exhilarating.
But no matter what, we fear not, you and I, Dear Reader, because God has us in the palm of His hand. That I do know and know well. I am beyond grateful that my fate does not lie in the hands of karma, ground hogs, money, or myself, but in the hands of a loving and just God.