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February 27, 2014

WILLIAMS: Talking about the weather

My mother lived with me for almost 30 years and every week, I’d ask if she had any ideas for my column. For 30 years, she had the same answer — the weather.

“Mom,” I’d say, “I don’t write a meteorology column. I can’t write about the weather every week.”

This winter though, it has been hard not to write about the weather every week. Several days of above freezing temperatures now and I still see total white when I look out my window. My tree lawn is still a solid wall from the snow the Street Department (bless them!) has piled up there. My driveway is still pure ice. My furnace runs 24 hours a day.

In fact, I’ve fallen twice. That’s unusual. I’m not a particularly graceful person but I am usually balanced. I don’t fall often but these two times, my feet shot out from under me and I fell on my rear and rocketed down the drive. Fortunately, I’m well-padded in that area so no actual harm was done except to my dignity. The first time, I had just arrived at home so I went inside to put on warm, dry pajamas and comforted myself with a cup of hot chocolate. The second time, I was headed out but had to return to the house to change out of my ice-water-sodden clothes.

This is the first year I’ve ever heard of the polar vortex. I Googled the term to discover it has been in use for years (despite Rush Limbaugh’s claim that is a “hoax”). I guess it just didn’t register before. But polar vortex sounds much more ominous than “bad storm,” doesn’t it? I looked up the definition but it is long and complex and unless you are a scientist, you wouldn’t know anymore after you read it than you do now (except that is also a form of cyclone).

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