Weather or Not

I just packed up my kid (who is my “assistant” at work this summer, owing to a lack of childcare options) and left work in a bit of a hurry, because weather was expected.

The folks I work with and I were chatting between ourselves at work. “We’re expecting some weather.” “There’s some weather rolling in.” That sort of thing.

To which my boss Bob — who can’t resist making a little joke — said, “Don’t we always have weather?”

Yes, Bob, we do. Facepalm.

Being where we are in the triangle of southern Ontario, surrounded on two sides by Great Lakes and on the third by cottage country which is full of — WAIT FOR IT! — LAKES AND WATER OMG, we do get us some interesting weather bytimes. The abundance of big bodies of water all over the damn place makes for weird and wonderful snowfalls in the winter, and humidity and storms in the summer.

Now, where we live, sort of in the centre of the Bermuda Triangle of the triangle of southern Ontario, weather often actually passes us by. It will either skirt south of us, along the 401, hitting everything to the south, or pass north of us wreaking havoc along sort of a vaguely Highway 9-ish route. Or it will just encounter enough land to blow itself out before doing anything by the time it gets to us. So when we get weather warnings here… meh, not so much, when all is said and done.

But where I work, when I go in to the office, is an hour north of here, smack dab in the northerly Highway 9-ish path. And it is nothing but farmland, flat as all get out, so anything picking up steam off Lake Huron is going to come in fast and hard. So when I am there, and especially when I am there with That Girl, we keep an eye on the weather.

Today was a thunderstorm day, and in that part of the region, thunderstorms can quickly turn into hail and downbursts and the not infrequent tornado. So it’s important to keep a weather eye out. As soon as the severe thunderstorm watch is issued, it’s time to batten down the hatches — and for us, it was time to pack up and head out.

We encountered lots of rain, which, driving on rural roads in Mennonite country, means driving on not the best-maintained roads. Rutted and patched up, there was a lot of water on the roads, which my little car doesn’t particularly care for. More than once, a little hydroplaning action caused That Girl to say with concern, “We’re sliding!” or “It’s very slippery!”

The water on the roads causes a good deal of noise in the car. Not to mention, hard rain hitting the roof and windows, and the wipers slapping back and forth, cause a bit of a din. It’s not very calming.

Now, because we (potentially) get weather, since my daughter has been in school, they have had the occasional tornado safety drill at school. And it seems to have changed her opinion of weather somewhat.

When she was younger, she wasn’t fazed at all by thunderstorms. She loved them. She would sit out on the porch with us and watch storms roll in, and loved to be out in the rain. She would beg to stay up and watch storms when she knew they were coming after bedtime.

Recently, though, she is becoming a little freaked out by the prospect of a storm. All the talk of tornadoes and storms at school has, I think, heightened her fears about storms coming in. And she understands it more, so it’s less excitement and sound and fury and more awareness of OMG THIS IS SCARY AND COULD BE DANGEROUS MY TEACHER SAID SO.

So, today, as we were driving through the pelting rain, I could feel her getting more agitated as we drove along. Plus, now she is tall enough to see out the windows, and the skies were really dark. By the time we had hit the north end of the city and were about 15 minutes from home, she was crying and upset.

Of course, as I said, because of where we live, the chances of a storm actually developing are slimmer than most places, so by the time we came clear across the city to the south end, the skies were lighter and the roads were dry. We made it home with a minute to spare before the skies opened and we got a downpour at our house proper.

Rain, and a bit of wind. No thunder, no lightning, no dark skies or hail or anything vaguely dramatic. Not that I am complaining — my gardens and lawn really need the rain, not to mention the wind could blow away the oppressive humidity anytime now KTHXBAI.

But it was hardly the weather we anticipated when we were in the office. And I am guessing they got storms and wind. I’m guessing they got some weather.

I like weather, honestly. I ducked out of work because it’s no place to be stuck in weather with a 6-year-old, but I do like it. I just prefer to observe it from the comfort of my own rocking chair on my own front porch.

And as far as Stinkerbelle is concerned, she’d prefer to experience it from the basement, while curled up in a comfy blanket and watching a movie loud enough not to notice any weather at all.