This weekend, our local weather forecasters here in Nebraska have been really excited. In fact, I haven’t seen them this keyed up since two days ago when it accidentally snowed several inches during rush hour. That morning when I pulled out of our driveway and it took me 30 minutes to get from my house to my next-door neighbor’s house, I was miffed. Fifteen minutes later after I’d finally made it out of my neighborhood, I checked my watch. It had been one hour since my husband left for work. I called him on his cell phone.
“Where are you?” I asked.
“Twelve blocks from our house,” he replied angrily. “Why wasn’t this snow predicted?”
I wondered the same thing. A meteorologist is the only job I know of where you can make mistakes every day, blame it on your faulty expensive Doppler radar systems, and then never get fired. But occasionally our weather forecasters are right, like the day last week when they predicted “a major arctic blast from an Alberta Clipper system” will pummel into Nebraska causing everyone to run screaming into their warm houses, never to come out until either (a) they book a trip to the Caribbean, or (b) spring arrives.
“I am sick of these unwanted gifts that keep arriving from Canada,” I told my husband after watching the weather forecast during the Friday evening newscast.
He opened the sliding door to let the dog out who happened to think she had to go potty until she felt the cold blast hit her face. She promptly squatted on the floor.
“GOOD GRAVY!” he yelled as he slammed the door shut. “You could hang beef out there!”
“It’s so cold, the polar bears aren’t even going out,” I replied.
“We don’t have polar bears in Nebraska,” he answered as he cleaned up the dog urine off the floor.
“If I had a voodoo doll of Old Man Winter in my possession right now, I’d stick a needle right in his eye,” I said, my voice dripping with hostility.
“What do you say we go out to dinner?” my husband suggested.
“With sub-zero temperatures and dangerous wind chills?” I asked. “We’re going to have to dress in layers, wear thick gloves and scarves, and fill the trunk with candy bars just in case we get stranded.”
“That sounds like an awful lot of work just to eat a hamburger,” he replied.
“Oh come on,” I said, “If the pioneers could ride to church in a drafty horse-drawn buggy on a Sunday morning in 15 inches of snow and high winds with only hot bricks to warm their feet, we can certainly drive in our car to a restaurant.”
I opened the door to the garage and a blast of arctic air hit my face. I screamed, “I THINK I JUST GOT A CHILLY WILLY AND I DON’T EVEN HAVE A WILLY!”
My husband dragged my already-frozen body inside. “Let’s flip a switch and turn on the fire and stay home tonight,” he said. “I’m sure we can find something to eat.”
“If only you would have hung some beef outside yesterday, we could have hacked off a slab to cook tonight,” I muttered sarcastically as I turned on the news.
Our local meteorologist’s face filled the entire screen as he cautioned viewers, “We are initiating a several wind chill warning. If you must head outside, please immediately get in your car, drive to the airport and buy a ticket to somewhere warm. Just don’t forget to pick me up on your way there because there’s another cold front COMING ON DOWN tomorrow!”
‘BOB BARKER RETIRED ALREADY!” I shouted at the television as I huddled by the fake fire.
“I’d kiss you, but your lips are blue,” my husband said as he sat next to me on the hearth.
“Well you have icicles hanging off your eyebrows,” I murmured as I snuggled closer.
“You haven’t been this affectionate since last winter,” he whispered.
I suddenly realized why the pioneers always had so many babies. They had to do something to keep warm.