The old sayings about the weather leave us forever wondering

The wind in the great out of doors a short-short ago was slicing like a Saturday evening straight razor. We are supposed to be kissed here abouts 45 miles north of the Gulf of Mexico with sea breezes that gently caress the evening. But alas those winds, like the 30-plus mph gusts that ripped me a new one as I walked out of the office today, were more like a nasal-to-chin sloppy one planted by the town drunk on a suicide mission.

Metaphoric pictures, and not necessarily pleasant ones at that, aside are the “March Crazies” as I call them. It isn’t a particular weather feature but more like a pre-Spring phenomenon that leaves you not knowing whether to fly a kite or tie your ass down to a sturdy oak tree.

The old sayings about the weather leading into Spring have now faded into memory. With the possibility — and for many probability — of intercontinental travel these days could only a meteorologist who has studied weather of areas traversing the big ponds know if these sayings universally hold water, pardon the pun.

Had I not witnessed it myself would I have known the old mariner’s weather verse is as true — many times — on the Big Sur side of the mighty Pacific as it off the Indochina coast looking fore and aft while sailing down the middle of the South China Sea. I once knew what basis in fact was “Red sky at morning, sailors take warning. Red sky at night, sailor’s delight.” Of course, that verse is also as foretelling sometimes as does the old saw: “If your left hand itches, it means you will be blessed with money.” That very circumstance has proven true at times, though just as often as when my left butt cheek itched.

My mother was not overtly superstitious but I think that she loved when these old sayings with which she heard all of her life became a reality. She used to point out “Thunder in February, frost in April.” And I can remember those times more than not.

The most confusing of the old weather sayings has been how “March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb.” Or is it vice versa? At least in my part of the world does the former seem to be the most evident.

As entertaining are these old wise tales does the same go for the completely unpredictable. The wild and sometimes dangerous storms of Spring are still as great a wonder as can be imagined. Were it not so, perhaps L. Frank Baum might have spun an epic story around a blizzard or a drought rather than a tornado which caused a farm house to conk Dorothy on the head and heave her ho out into Oz.

The nugget of wisdom that points out how “April showers bring May flowers” seems as if it is making up for a ruined day, perhaps it is why Johnny had to stay inside. But it is just as true as “April showers bring April flooding.”

Times were back during the recent droughts when it seemed as if it would never rain again. But it did. Like that rainy July 4th I remember. Nothing was ruined for me on that festive day as the blessed steady showers came during a severe rain-free period.

Talk though you may about that weather and say there is nothing that could be done. Someday science may prove that just as empty as some lakes left dry by drought. But I had just as soon weather be left alone with perhaps the great advances in forecasting being a welcome exception. It is those winds that blew from the sea with gusto and which seemed to tear my bones apart likewise provide me a great comfort in its mystery.


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