7.09.2007

New England Weather Report

It's feeling like what I imagine the weather is in the rain forests- impossibly hot, no trace of a breeze, and so humid that to take a deep breath is to risk drowning. This is what I hate about living in New England. I can handle the snow, I love the crisp fall air, and most of the summer is bearable. I can't tolerate the humidity. On days like this, it almost becomes possible to convince LT to move to Kauai. Give me a week of this weather and she'll be helping me pack. Of course, it never really lasts a week. That old saying about New England weather ("If you don't like it, wait a minute.") is very true. I assume they have thunder storms on Kauai, but I have to say that the thunder storms we used to get when I lived in the Monadnock valley of New Hampshire made this humid weather worthwhile. I could sit on my back porch in Jaffrey for hours and watch the lightning. The storm would often get trapped in the valley, and it would take a long time until it either spent its energy or dropped enough moisture that the clouds could rise high enough to get over Mount Mondanock. The light shows were spectacular, and the thunder just echoed everywhere and shook the house. I love nothing more than to fall asleep to the sound of thunder and the sight of strobe-like lightning.

The only time I was ever scared in a thunder storm was the summer I spent living in a pop-up camper. I had graduated from nursing school and moved back home to Massachusetts. I had a job ready to start in June, but an apartment that wouldn't be ready until the end of August. So I bought a second-hand camper, hitched it to my pickup truck, packed all my furniture into a storage unit and hit the road with my cat and my Jack Russell terrier. The week of July 4 was a string of those miserably hot, humid days that make me want to die. There was no relief to be found, but as the dog and I tried to get comfortable enough to sleep one night, we heard the rumble of distant thunder, and I hoped that it meant the weather was going to break. It broke, all right. The thunder got louder as a breeze started to kick up, and it was like heaven blowing through the screens. I unzipped all the windows to make the most of it until the rain started. As soon as it started to rain, I had to zip back up to keep from getting soaked. The wind was blowing sheets of rain against the "windows" and the camper was shaking and creaking. The thunder was a constant pounding that vibrated everything. I could feel the static electricity from the lightning, and it was so frequent that it was like blue-tinted daylight. The dog was whimpering and burying her head under the sleeping bag, and the cat got into her litter box and wouldn't come out. When I heard the sound of trees falling nearby, I joined the dog under the sleeping bag and stayed there for what seemed like hours until the rain tapered off and the wind died down. I called my mother to tell her I was still alive, and she told me she had considered sending my dad to go get me, but that she figured I was safer inside my tin can than outside of it. The next morning, I woke up for work and went outside to find a pine tree had fallen across my picnic table and smashed it to bits. A few feet to the right, and it would have landed on me and the dog. That would have been bad. I said a prayer of thanks and headed off to work to tell everyone the story of my near-death experience. When I got back that evening, the tree (and the picnic table) had been cut into nice pieces of firewood and stacked neatly at the edge of my campsite. There was a brand-new picnic table right where the old one had been and a note held down with a rock was sitting on top of it. The note just said "WOW!" in big, bold letters. I built a little campfire for myself that evening to stave off the newly-chilly air and the dog and I ate toasted marshmallows until we were too tired to sit up anymore.

I fell asleep last night to the sound of thunder and the flashing of lightning, and the last thought through my sleepy mind was "WOW".

3 comments:

palolo lolo said...

I live in Honolulu,altho I lived in Bedford, Ma a loooong ime ago. Tropical weather,at least here,isn't as hot as you may think. Nor as humid. Record high is @ 93 and the low is @ 54-EVER!! There's usually a breeze blowing,which always helps. The few bad days are not quite as bad as there-90 degrees,70% humidity and no wind. hat rarely lasts more than 4 days. Very few thunderstorms, however. We don't have the collisions of warm and cool air that produce storms. Maybe 1 a year.
But it IS nice to wear tee shirts year-round :) Come visit

Amy said...

palolo lolo-
All of my Hawaii-related experiences have involved Kauai. I've been completely in love with the place since my best friend showed me pictures of his grandparents' home in Princeville when we were in 5th grade. LT and I try to go back at least every other year. The weather there is absolutely perfect, and everything is just so beautiful... So far, I've seen no reason to visit any of the other islands, but maybe LT and I will be feeling adventurous one of these times...
P.S. I check the Kauai weather and ocean report daily just to torture myself (see link on the sidebar).

shrimplate said...

A little thunder and rain is always nice here in The Valley. Send us some please!