The cold hasn’t yet loosened its grip on us. In fact, despite all the talk of a warm up, it is actually two degrees colder this morning than yesterday. (19 versus 21). Once again Calgary is milder than the parts of the American southeast, as it is 37 in the dark before dawn in Calgary, and 29 as the sun rises over the Atlantic in Wilmington North Carolina.
That will change, as the north wind that blew yesterday is swinging around to the south. Below are yesterday evening’s and this morning’s maps. (Click maps, or open them to a new tab, to clarify and enlarge them.) Yesterday’s isobars clearly show a north wind, but today they show the shift to a kinder direction.
The weak storm drifting across Hudson Bay is bringing modified-by-Chinook Pacific air east. It is the so-called “northern branch.” The weak low in southwest Texas is the “southern branch.” We get our big storms when the two branches come together and “phase.” This isn’t happening right now. Instead we need to draw an imaginary warm front north to south between the two features, bringing some light snow, freezing rain and thawing to the Great Lakes. (I’m sure those snow-buried folk don’t need any extra weight on their roofs.)
We just had a glorious sunrise, with the sun flickering crimson over the bottoms of alto cumulus as it peeked over the horizon. But now I have to go utterly waste my morning attending one of those adult-education classes the state requires of Childcare Professionals. The message of this class seems to be that children benefit from spending time outdoors. Duh. Or perhaps I should state that more succinctly:
Considering our entire Childcare is based around the premise the outdoors is good for children, it is more likely that I should be teaching this class than taking it. However….sigh…I need the “hours” of classroom time. And sometimes…(assume John Wayne voice)….a man’s just got to do what a man’s got to do.
As usual, the class wasn’t as bad as I feared. Of course, I can think of 1024 better ways to spend a Saturday morning, (and at my age I don’t have that many left,) however once I resign myself to the situation, I can find it amusing. For one thing, the classroom held 29 women and myself, the lone man. That alone is great fun.
One thing that is good to note is that the idea that the outdoors is good for kids, which was, for some bizarre reason, “radical” only eight years ago, seems to be gathering momentum. (Sometime I’ll have to write about all the hoops the State made us jump through, to run a Childcare on a farm.)
Had lunch with the staff and drove back from Keene, (over on the west side of Southern New Hampshire) and the short, wintry day, (as short as January 20), seemed pretty much shot. After a quick catnap, the clouds were already stained with the golden roses of sunset. You have to remind yourself the day is not done.
Headed off to a meeting of church elders. I guess I’m an elder now, though the idea still seems absurd. Some part of me is still a teenager who doesn’t trust anyone over thirty.
For geezers we talk about some pretty intense stuff. It is up to us to hand the Faith to a new generation, however New England has gone from being the “Bible Belt” of the USA in the 1800’s, to being an area where Christianity attracts hostility.
About the only thing retained from the 1800’s is New England’s remarkable prudishness. In the old days it was old fashioned prudishness, but now it involves political correctness. In both cases it is safest to keep your mouth shut, if you are not willing to be a parrot. As usual, I failed to keep my mouth shut.
After the meeting it was dark, but you could feel the change in the weather. The map shows the wind shifting to the west:
Though they do not draw a warm front on the above map, you can feel the air is moister, and it is attempting to snow, though the precipitation is drying up on its way east.
It is striking how subjective we mortals are. In a more ordinary November this evening might have been been after a spell of Indian Summer, with mellow air and temperatures touching sixty, in which case people would be walking hunched, hugging themselves against the chill of an evening with temperatures in the 30’s. However, because it was preceded by a record-setting cold spell, people are more at ease, and walk swinging their arms with their jackets un-zippered.
Our assessments tend to be tainted by yesterday’s skies.
Hmm. I sense a sonnet brewing.
How fickle we are, and how very strange
Are our postures. Although weather’s the same
Our stance is dependent on chance and change.
Yesterday’s skies deserve all shame and blame,
For if, with wind west and air forty, but
The day before bright, balmy, calm and kind,
We walk hunched with jackets hugged shut,
Then that should be the rule, and yet I find
If the day before froze brooks and cracked pines
Then west wind and air forty holds great charms,
And inconsistent people with mad minds
Walk with wide-open coats and swinging arms.
The past isn’t dead when smiles and sighs
Are puppets controlled by yesterday’s skies.