The Basement Files

Climate change I can get behind


Do my eyes deceive me? This information can’t be correct. I must use every ounce of journalism skill and employ every last iota of my “weather-nerd-ery” to learn if this is true. Can it be? Can the snowiest month of this winter be over? Yes, it is indeed May next week, and we’ve got rain and 70s in the forecast.

Rain… I have never been so glad to see you. All the extra time spent inside this winter has given me the opportunity to reflect on things I never appreciated about the summer months. Sure, I track storms with the best of them, but whenever the forecast calls for rain part of me was kind of depressed. Rain was always a thief, stealing away some of the few days of sun and warmth we Minnesotans get a year. Rain steals away the chance to sit outside and enjoy the sounds, smells, sights, and most importantly, the stogies.

It’s the little things I enjoyed over summer, but I never really had it in me to actually like those damp, dreary days that occur every now and then.

Until this April, that is. It’s a winter that won’t end. And being “hunkered down and hibernated” in a basement far too long will give you perspective on things. During those brief periods of lucidity when you are not staring blankly into the inviting gaze of a 3D TV that may or may not have been purchased by a different family member, one that I may or may not be completely hogging, that is.

We all know the saying, “April showers bring May flowers,” and in my case, “May allergies.” Until this year, that fact alone contributed to my growing disdain of the spring rains. But after waking up at the end of April and seeing all the deck furniture you put out at the end of March stupidly thinking that spring was on its way covered in an eight-inch blanket of snow and having a subsequent partial mental breakdown, the only choices left are a new way of thinking, or heavy medication. Good thing I’m cheap…

For example, my allergies are awful. But you know what? The women folk seem to like flowers, and it appears that when men give women flowers, they score points with the women. And if the rain makes flowers grow, then the rain can’t be all bad now, can it? Sure, flowers make my eyes swell shut, but I guess that’s what they mean by the phrase, “Love is in the air.”

Another thing, as previously stated, I disliked “missing out of the nice warm day,” whenever we had a rain. This is still true, but our extended winter has shown me a few things that, if every day were perfect, I might miss. For example, one day I left the basement and found a place called “the kitchen.” It’s a wonderful place. It had this doo-hickey called a microwave, and that thing has made it much easier (and in my case, much safer) to cook bacon. And bacon makes everything better. If I’m going to be stuck inside, and have figured out how to cook bacon, it’s not a bad thing, especially if there is a ballgame on.

Finally, one thing that really “got my goat” about rain was when it did rain, it occurred right after I washed my car. It’s cliché, I know, but irritating nonetheless. But after our epically long winter, hearing other people complain, complain and complain some more about the weather, I realize I’m not the only one out there. Uing the transitive property of Murphy’s Law (I think, I’ve never been good at math or theoretical physics,) if it rains, chances are someone just washed their car, and if it irritates me so, it must irritate them.

So, if I didn’t wash my car, and it rained, and someone else is irritated, that makes it funny. And in some sick, twisted way, knowing other people are just as irritated as me, kind of makes it all better.

Chris Hamble is a freelance writer and humor columnist serving newspapers in Minnesota and Wisconsin, and is a lifelong Stillwater resident.