Why do people always talk about the weather? People that you don’t even know will speculate on the weather, tell you what they heard about the weather, ask you if you know what weather is coming. Why?

Until recently, this bothered me. I felt like it was somehow fake. Like it was a generic, meaningless conversation and that it served no purpose other than to make me a bit uncomfortable about engaging in a fake conversation about nothing for its own sake.

Then I started to see it in a different light. I got into an elevator at work with an elderly man and he began talking about the weather. For two reasons, I jumped into this conversation with both feet:

  1. For my whole life, I’ve witnessed people start up converstations with my mother on a regular basis. Strangers in a store, cashiers, just anyone, anywhere. There’s something about her that makes people want to tell her things. These aren’t weather conversations that she has, these are life story conversations. And it happens all the time. This never happens to me and I’ve assumed it’s because I have an unapproachable air. I can tell you where that came from – I created it for a reason, but that’s another story. Point is, I thought WHY NOT. Maybe I’m becoming less unapproachable, which is what I’d prefer, and here was my chance to try it on and connect with another human being. WHY NOT?
  2. I didn’t want to seem impolite. This older man was from a generation where people didn’t pass on the street without saying hello. If he had the guts to reach out to a stranger, I didn’t want to punish him for it and cause him to lose all hope in today’s generation (even though I’m yesterday’s generation, but you know what I mean).

So we had the talk. The weather talk. It was very give and take. We both made observations and agreed on the quality of the weather and how we hoped it would change. It was painless and pleasant and it didn’t even seem that fake. He seemed really genuine. He didn’t even seem to notice that we were having a fake conversation.

That got me thinking. Maybe it WAS real. But how?

Easy. It was real because the subject was a thing we had in common. It affected both of us that day. The weather affects all of us, all the time. We all have our separate lives and thoughts and opinions and experiences and values – but we all get rained on by the same rain and we all shovel the same snow. It connects us all. When it’s windy, our power goes out and when it’s -30 C, we are ALL freakin’ freezing.

So, thanks, old elevator dude.

Today we’re having weather again. Last night was freezing rain and today it’s warming up and the ice is melting. I popped outside this morning with my camera to see the icy world. Here’s my (one-sided) conversation with you about today’s weather:

I saw the deserted feeders this morning and thought it fitting that the birds would be hiding out, waiting for better weather to come out to feed.

Weather-5 I realized I was completely wrong about how tough songbirds are when a flock of goldfinches landed in the apple tree, ready for elevensies.


 Look at this little guy’s tiny feet on the icy branch. Makes me cold just thinking about it.Weather-7

Other things that caught my eye.
RabbitIcy silver rabbit.

Weather-2Black-eyed Susans.
Weather-3Black-eyed Susan encased in ice.
Weather-4Slushy boots.