I learned very early in the summer of '96 that Estonians have little tolerance for small talk, especially where it pertains to weather. I mentioned to someone about how pleasantly sunny, yet cool, the day was. He told me he never understood why Americans, and especially Texans, talked about the weather so much. He has eyes and skin, he informed me, he can see and feel what the weather is like. No one needed to tell him.
Being young and impressionable, and going through the new-traveler phase that believes anything different from America was automatically better, I began to believe small talk was an unnecessary tool of unintelligent people who only concerned themselves with trivialities. Like many other things learned that summer, I'm quite sure I annoyed quite a few people upon my return to Texas with my statement that I didn't understand why we always talked about the weather.
I can assure you, I am once again fully Texan.
In case you haven't heard, the rain has been coming down hard in Waco for the past few days. Some people are annoyed, but I'm actually enjoying it. The past few summers have been horrible as far as drought is concerned, so it's a good thing to begin the heat season with a few deep puddles. Through it all I've been wondering if Lake Palestine back home has been filling up. I'm not sure why this concerns me so much. For the past few years I only drive over that bridge on State Highway 315 once, maybe twice a year. The level had been steadily dropping for a while, making it to where you could practically drive across the lake-bed. Maybe it's full now, who knows. The streams here in Central Texas are doing well. Perhaps too well.
I overheard a conversation about the rain today. From our recent precipitation, I learned that this one lady's neighborhood is beginning to look like a jungle, because no one can get out to mow their yards. I could tell from her tone that it's pretty important on her block to keep your grass at a respectable length. I also learned that the guy she was talking to is a cyclist who is preparing for a multi-day race, with one of the days including over 100 miles. He seems pretty proud of his athletic prowess.
Weather can dictate how we feel, expose what we value, and, in places of extremes (like Texas,) reveals our level of toleration. But mostly, weather can be an invitation to tell our stories.
So, yeah, it's raining here in Central Texas. It'll probably continue throughout the week, letting up just in time for Tom and Beth's wedding on Saturday. Oh, and in case you haven't heard, after they are married they will remain in Waco. That's a fairly new development, one that may have inadvertently put me on the road to home ownership. I mentioned in a previous post that I'm looking for a place to live, which caused several emails asking if I am leaving Waco. I'm not. In fact, I may even be planting the roots deeper into the ground. Which, with the rain and everything, is a good thing.
So how's the weather where you are?