Thursday, August 07, 2008

Real Weather

I normally stay out of my wife's way in the early morning. She is a creature of habit. I get the distinct feeling my presence is frowned upon as an unneeded impediment to the start of another all out day. Nothing tangible, just those feelings I have developed over the last 28 years of learning her moods and body language. Maybe it's the way we grunt at each other first thing that captures the morning mood here in Acton. Both of us seem to need some private time to get our day rolling along. Well she does anyway. Mine often never gets fired up, but I do usually get it to smoulder into a slow burn.

For some reason this morning I chose to be in her space at the same time she was. I made the coffee. I washed out some coffee cups and some plastic containers for the recycling box. Just some mindless puttering Bobbi Ann usually contends with first thing. I probably should have left everything alone. Just as I finished washing out that last piece of plastic, she walks in the kitchen. After a mutual good morning grunt, I felt immediately uncomfortable. I had robbed her of her warm up chores. I had stolen a small daily ritual from her. Her routine was out of whack already and the sun was not even up. Only the passage of the rest of the day will tell me if there will be payback or not. I definitely should have stayed in here or walked the dog.

The gray light of dawn is just now bringing the yard into focus. There will be no spectacular lifting of the Sun with loud red and pink banners streaking across the sky. Today will be as yesterday was. As what seems everyday for the last 3 weeks has been. Dreary, gray and wet. We are trapped in some kind of maddening weather loop. It's either raining, just stopped raining, or feels like it is going to rain any minute. Double digit inches of rain in the last week alone. As used to real weather as Mainers are, this recent cycle has some beginning to notice and actually comment.

I found it odd as a kid when I first heard a Mainer call what we have here, "Real Weather". Like what went on elsewhere was not "real"? It took me awhile to realize that when a New Englander says "Real Weather", they mean bad weather. We just get so much "real weather", we had to come up with a description that was not so depressing. Enticing the tourists with signs or postcards that say, "Come to Maine, enjoy the wonder of bad weather", just does not have the same hook as say tossing out a challenge, "Come to Maine and experience Real Weather". The trick with tourists is to get them to come. Once they are here, they always spend money. Rain or shine.

The "real weather" and the wonderful economy have combined to make for a sucky summer around here. I have never seen so many vacancies down at the motels on Rte 1. An eatery we like to frequent was almost always full with folks waiting to be seated. 2 weekends ago, we went in and there were some lobstermen at the bar and that was it. We had the place to ourselves. A bad tourist season in Maine means a tough winter will follow. But as usual, we will just tighten our belts, throw on one more sweater and hunker down until next Spring. Dealing with Real Weather translates well to all facets of our lives. With this mindset, any weather can be handled, economic or otherwise.

Which brings me to this weekend. I have a 24 hour mountain bike race this weekend. I will be camping out for 2 nights this weekend. And what have I seen on the news when they do those little daily window predictions for the upcoming days? Rain and more rain. For 2 weeks I hoped we would break the cycle. Apparently not. My 5th race at the 24 Hours of Great Glen will most likely be a wet one. I am now girding myself. Resigning myself to the idea of wet clothing, wet bikes, and wet people everywhere. I have located every piece of foul weather gear I have. I am packing enough clean riding duds to have a dry set for each lap I might do. And I am trying very hard to locate and tie down a happy face to deal with what may be a weekend best spent indoors. Bailing is not an option. Race fees are not refundable. Besides, 4 other people are relying on me to show up.

And since any time between now and when I leave Friday morning to head to the race is precious time, this will be my last post until probably Sunday night or Monday. I have tents to locate. Tarps to find and folsd. Cooking gear, ice chests and sleeping bags to pull out and dust off. Too much left to the last minute. I wouldn't know how to act if it was any other way.

You all have a great weekend. I will try to do the same.


Dawn on MDI said...

Good luck at the race, friend, and I hope you come through it dry and whole. I look forward to reading your report when it is over.

toklas23 said...

Have a great time this weekend...and stay healthy. And take lots of photos. Should be a fun read for all of us when you get back.

Carlita said...

I'll think sunny thoughts on your behalf. Good luck with the race.

GJG said...

Sounds like you got the old competitive spirit going, gonna do your best to give em hell---sorry about all the rain, but have always wanted to say this---"keep your powder dry", and good luck in the Race. (ohh, and I liked your blog and photo of the rain puddles.)

Gary (aka old dude)

American Hill BIlly said...


I liked your analogy/metaphor for always being prepared; in order to weather through the storm.....Have fun in the rain race!

Peace and Freedom

BBC said...

When I was married I always got up before the others and spent an hour or so reading and enjoying my morning coffee. That was my 'me' time.

Then I would take a cup to the bedroom and wake her, hoping for a morner of course, nothing like a morner to get a man in a good frame of mind and ready to tackle the world.

I loved morners, when I could get them and that was seldom.

Anyway, have a great biking and camping trip.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know where's Crummmy? He ok, just MIA?


J at said...

I hope the race went well, that you came out unscathed and not TOO muddy.

I kind of think we have 'real weather' here in Sunny CA, too. Not often, mind you, but when it's 110 degrees outside, it feels too darned real to me. :)

Luckily, we're out of the weather and back to our normal 'climate' right now. Whew.