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Dear New Mexico Weather

May 3, 2011 at 9:35 pm

Please stop conspiring to drive me mad.  For you shall surely win.

Yes.  Soon, you will crush my sanity like an overripe canteloupe, and when I go gibbering to the madhouse, wrapped in rags and possibly my own filth, I shall hear your heartless laughter in the incessant howling of the wind.

First, you decided to play limbo with the thermometer.  Which led to the shattered pipe in my kitchen.  So that was awesome.  But I tried to keep a good attitude about the whole thing.  Just one of the joys of home ownership, right?  And I feel sort of lucky to own a home even if it occasionally requires emergency plumbing services and a big mop.  So I didn't take it personally.

(By the way, the kitchen is looking good again.  One more coat of paint and it'll be better than it was before you had your, well, episode.  I'm thinking of a warmer color this time around.)

And then early spring rolled around.  Now I'll admit that after the past few years I have developed a bad attitude about March.  I'm partially at fault for our escalating enmity; I'll admit it.  I cringe when I see March coming.  Because March means the goddamned wind

You make it blow for weeks upon weeks.  And it's not a nice soothing wind.  You don't give us a refreshing, bracing wind.  You give us cold gale-force gusts for days and days on end.  The constant howling and gusting becomes a backdrop to everything I do, every thought I have.  Cold eddies of meteorological malice snake into my dreams, circumscribe my hopes.  Seriously—sometimes I feel like I'm trapped in an episode of Northern Exposure.  But rather than creaking thawing ice up in the mountains driving me crazy, it's the incessant wind.  So every year I can't wait for early April and the return of my sanity.

Except this year.  When the winds didn't stop.  They blew straight through April. 

Why, weather?  Why must you do this?

But again, I tried to keep a positive attitude about the whole thing.  Ha ha ha, there goes my recycling bin again.  Ha ha ha, there go the notecards from that book I was plotting.  Ha ha ha, there go my dead Aspen trees (thanks for killing those, by the way) getting read to blow over into the neighbors' yard.

(Hey, weather: your fight is with me, apparently.  Don't take it out on the neighbors, okay?  They're nice.  They put up with me.)

But then you did it.  You went to far.

Yeah, you know what I'm talking about.  This would be the little business of me having to scrape the snow off a car yesterday morning.  That would be yesterday as in THE FIRST OF MAY.  As in, my peach tree was just pushing out new leaves when you decided it would be cool to have subfreezing temperatures and snow in May.


John Murphy May 4, 2011 at 6:58 am
... don't let painting the kitchen turn into kitchen renovations. Trust me on this, that way lies even more gibbering madness than with the weather. I hope your peach tree is OK! They're pretty tough, right? (See? I was good and didn't make any comment about complaining about the weather where New Englanders can read ;)
Steve Halter May 4, 2011 at 7:41 am
Are you sure you're not still in Minnesota--it sounds just like the weather here. Or, it could be the squirrels.
Melinda May 4, 2011 at 9:25 am
The Death of the Blossoms. It's such a wonderful description in the Milagro Bean Field War, and every New Mexican knows it well. This year the extreme cold stressed my fruit trees so much that they didn't even _try_ to make blossoms. They just went straight to leaves. Ah, and the wind. I'm almost a native (five months old when we moved here). I like wild weather, but it does get old. Especially when you own a horse. Horses really don't like the wind. They get silly. On the other hand we don't have mud slides, earthquakes, or tornadoes. I think there have been three in all the time I've lived here.
Ian May 4, 2011 at 9:31 am
Good advice on the renovations! I can promise you there's little danger of me renovating the kitchen in the near future. Although, I would like to replace the countertops.... and the cabinets.... and maybe the dishwasher... Oh, crap. The peach tree has proved itself a hearty little thing in years past. (I grew up in Minnesota, which gives me a towering sense of entitlement when it comes to complaining about weather :-)
Ian May 4, 2011 at 9:37 am
Yeah, sometimes it feels like Minnesota. It usually isn't quite as chilly here in the winter, except that -25 cold snap back in February would count as legitimately cold even up there. If it were squirrels, they would have left scat on the car rather than snow.
Ian May 4, 2011 at 9:38 am
I never understood the Death of the Blossoms until I lived here for a few years. Now I get it. Really, really get it. In addition to the lack of tornadoes, another thing NM has over MN, at least comparing the specific places I've lived, is the relative scarcity of mosquitos. That's a big plus. Let's not talk about tarantulas.
John Murphy May 4, 2011 at 10:49 am
Send someone else to get the paint, lest you get distracted by wily dishwashermen and cabineteers.
Ian May 4, 2011 at 12:28 pm
Or I could just not paint the kitchen for a long time. Most of my home improvement projects succumb to apathy early in their life cycle.
DMS May 4, 2011 at 12:37 pm
Please stop closing my city down. The snow you sent earlier this year was somewhat of a novelty for a region where the lack of winter is one of the few redeeming qualities. Did you know so few inches would shut everything down for two days? Is that exposed fragility what emboldened your attack on TVA's infrastructure last Wednesday? Did you just want to see what would happen if you powered down two counties for a few days? My house just got electricity back yesterday. I suppose I should thank you for not doing any damage to my property or killing any of my friends. Or congratulate you on how thoroughly you managed to sever all connections to the local nuclear plant forcing them to use generators to take three reactors off line (though you really should have taken out a dam or two upstream and tried to flood those generators; wouldn't that have been fun). Instead I think I'll go see what is salvageable from the garden and enjoy not having to go to work until next week.
Ian May 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm
Wow-- at least when the snow kills my fruit blossoms, I don't have to worry about that getting followed up with a nuclear meltdown. For which I am grateful. And given what tornadoes have done to the south recently, I'm doubly grateful I no longer live in tornado alley. Yikes.
DMS May 4, 2011 at 2:05 pm
We were fortunate to have friends in an unaffected section of Birmingham and one car with most of a tank of gas in it. As soon as they announced the anticipated 4-5 days without power, we left. That was before they started urging everyone to conserve water and instituted a dusk to dawn curfew. I am so glad we did not stick around.
Ian May 4, 2011 at 2:32 pm
Wow, yeah, I would have left, too! 4 days without electricity is bad enough, but an actual curfew... ouch.
Sara G. May 4, 2011 at 6:47 pm
... Yeah, I got nothin'. That wasn't to gloat. But you know whose fault it really is? Our ancient ancestors who left the clement zones in the first place. If they'd had a little more self control about the whole population thing, there'd still be room for all of us in a land w/o winter.
Tengland May 4, 2011 at 9:18 pm
Normally, I'd have something breezy to say about your whining, but, frankly, I'm winded. And a bit dis-gust-ed. Not with you, with the weather. Cold spring, enough rain to drown a horse several times over (sorry, Melinda) and ... yes, wind. Enough to make me think I'm back in NM. Except there's no dust 'cause the soil's too sodden to move. Still, it's not as bad as other places, as others have pointed out here. We'll all just have to put up a good front so we don't get so depressed and say the hail with it all. Put a sunny smile on your faces, folks, and the pressure will rise. God, I hate myself.
Ian May 5, 2011 at 9:43 am
If you were gloating, and that's not to say you were, I still think you'd have earned a little bit of schadenfreude after enduring more than a decade of Chicago winters. One single year in a tropical paradise doesn't really seem like a fair exchange.
Ian May 5, 2011 at 9:45 am
Your punning is almost like a form of glossolalia. But is it a gift... or a curse? Didn't know you were getting so much rain in KC. Wowsers. I'd gladly take the rain but leave the wind behind.
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