Why Does Everyone Talk About the Weather?

Miscellaneous American rural scenes, 1925-30, Library of Congress, LC-USZ62-54356

I remember asking this question when I was a little girl. I grew up in a rural environment where everyone was dependent on either a personal garden or some commercial agriculture for their winter survival.

We all had a responsibility toward the family — even the children. I have written before about picking beans and stringing and breaking them in preparation for canning. We helped plant the garden while learning about crop rotation and weeding. It was not unusual to work helping with gardening chores.

What I did not understand was how the weather impacted the lives of everyone in our little valley. I remember early morning television and radio broadcasts dedicated to the farmers. People would ask each other “Think it will rain?” when they ran into each other at the store. My grandfather never went to bed until after he watched the evening news and weather forecast.

I only remember once or twice, when the creeks overflowed their banks and once when my dad and grandfather went to help fight fires. That was frightening.

Today, fewer and fewer people look to the weather because of gardens or crops. We are more concerned now about floods, fires, property damage, and conservation. This morning when I opened FaceBook, the first thing I saw was our drought map.

The area where I live is in a D2 Severe Drought area. This is extremely concerning because of the risk of fire is a valid concern. We live in the foothills of the mountains and we are surrounded by trees. As more dry leaves fall, they can serve as fuel in the event of a fire.

Our local town just sent out a notice asking for voluntary water conservation. We are not on city water, but it is good for everyone to be cautious. There must be concern about the water tables.

I think I talk more about the weather now than I ever have. From hurricanes, to fires, to blizzards, to flooding, to droughts…the weather is important. It may not be our survival because of a garden or crops, but it does indeed impact our survival.

How’s your weather?