Nowadays, The Weather Rules My World


Welcome, February! With all its promises of good things to come, February is one of my favorite months. First there’s my birthday, then Valentine’s Day, then my brother’s birthday, then Presidents’ Day, then — whoosh — February is over and we’re catapulted feet first into spring with the sudden arrival of March. Winter is over and new flowers are sprouting up everywhere.

I grew up in Wisconsin where February was a damp, bleak and frozen month with people starting to get cabin fever and feeling miserable about facing at least two more months of winter. The only thing that got me through was the plethora of holidays, especially those that centered around me, Debbie.

But right now I am in Kansas City and it is so different from the winters of my youth. As I write this, it’s 68 degrees outside. By Sunday night, it is supposed to drop to 10.

That is some whacked-out weather.

Of course I caught a cold. I was ill-prepared wherever I went. I’d step into a movie theater wearing a light sweater and emerge from the building two hours later into a biting wind and snow flurries.

I am starting to see a pattern, however. It seems that gray skies and colder weather take place Monday through Friday and then the weekends are nice. My husband Mark was grilling bratwurst poolside last Saturday!

So I am trying to plan my birthday celebration, but first I have to consult a calendar. If my birthday falls on a weekday, it’s probably going to be chilly. The family could gather around the fireplace and toast marshmallows and play Scrabble. However, if my birthday falls on a weekend, it’s going to be too warm for that.

Then I would want to invite a lot of people over to congregate on the patio, sip frozen drinks and play “Minute to Win It.” (You can see that these poor guests are going to be subjected to Games Debbie Thinks Are Fun no matter what.)

But the weather makes it impossible to count on anything. I credit global warming. If this a harbinger of weather to come, the equator is going to continue to warm up, the sub-tropical states will become more tropical and people will start to move into the “temperate zone” of Middle America. They won’t go as far as Wisconsin, of course (that would just be crazy) but they’ll migrate a little bit north.

I see Kentucky and Tennessee becoming more popular, vacation condos springing up in the corn fields of Iowa, and Kansas being talked about so often that schoolchildren will actually be able to correctly point the state out on a map.

A thousand years from now, maybe even icy Wisconsin will enjoy a more temperate climate, yet another reason for drunken celebrations in the stands by deliriously happy fans of the Green Bay Packers (not that they need one).

No matter what happens, this year my birthday is going to be different.

And I like different.