I couldn't help myself. Mesmerized by the Christmas winter storm, I flipped the TV to the Weather Channel. Of course, I did this when Justin left the room for an extended period. And when he came back in, he took one look at the TV and rolled his eyes. "The Weather Channel?" he asked with great disdain.
I hung my head sheepishly. "Yes."
"You and that weather!" he exclaimed.
I've always had a fascination with weather, even as a child. I asked my mom and dad to buy me books about clouds and tornadoes and hurricanes. I read them front to back and back to front. "Nerd!" Justin exclaimed when I told him this.
"Yeah? So what," I retorted. "It's interesting."
Maybe I was the only 10 year old who wanted to be a meterologist, but when I look back on those times, I realize I still have that same fascination with weather, especially extreme weather stories. If there's a docu-drama story on TV about a tornado outbreak, storm chasers, a hurricane or a flood, believe me when I say I've seen it - possibly multiple times. And you know those crazy storm chaser people in the Midwest who drive around looking for tornadoes? If one of those trips didn't cost thousands of dollars, I'd totally do it.
Yup, weather geek indeed.
Last summer, when the derecho moved through the area at the end of June, I found myself glued to the local news station's on air weather report. Justin made a face and paced nervously, staring out the window at the darkening sky. "Why do you want to watch this?" he asked me.
"Don't you want to know what's coming?" I challenged.
"No," he said as he reached for the remote.
Justin does not appreciate my fondness for weather things. He had an unfortunate incident with lightning on a family trip when he was a child, and he's not been a fan of weather stuff since. Usually if there's bad weather coming, he just does his best to ignore it. I'm sure he doesn't love when I reinforce the thoughts of the storms by watching them approaching on the television.
"Fine, I'll just go in the bedroom and watch," I let him know. I made my way to the bedroom, turned on the TV and settled in to watch the latest. In the meantime, I could hear the wind picking up outside, and inside it was so dark at 6:30 that it felt like it was 9:30.
Justin, probably still in his "ignore mode," determined that now was the appropriate time to go outside and make sure his motorcycle was in the garage. He was outside for about a minute, and when he came inside, he said sarcastically, "It's a little windy out there." Then he stood in the bedroom and stared at the radar on the television.
I waited for about a minute before I said anything. He still stood there, watching intently. I cleared my throat. "I thought you didn't want to watch this?"
"I don't," he said, still staring.
He is a bit more amenable to watching the Weather Channel - briefly - when the impending weather isn't headed directly towards us. We were on vacation in Jamaica when Superstorm Sandy hit the East Coast, and one afternoon when we were taking a break from the sun, I was pleased to find coverage of the storm on pretty much every major network. Now Justin HAD to watch weather news.
And so it makes sense that on Christmas night, I turned the TV to my favorite channel to check in on the weather events of the day. In addition, we had a winter storm watch locally, so I wanted to hear the latest about that. Justin had this look as if to say, "You can't even break away from it on Christmas?"
Well.... no, I couldn't. I didn't bother telling him the first thing I do when I wake up each morning, after I shut off the alarm on my phone, is check my weather app. Well, I need to see what the temperature is and what it's going to be like during the day. It's important!
I suppose no matter how much I try to reason it out to myself or to Justin, he'll always think I'm just a big weather geek. Then, so be it. I embrace my weather nerdiness.
Now if you'll excuse me, I haven't checked the forecast for a few hours....
Hershberger can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org