Friday, December 15, 2006

"Welcome to Colorado"

It was 68 in Denver today. By tomorrow night it's supposed to snow. For three days.

Before the last snowstorm last month, we were set up the same way. Balmy, 60+ degree weather one day, snowstorm the next.

I was in the elevator the other day with a couple of guys from work I know to be native Coloradans, and since talking about the weather is a favorite Elevator Discussion, I marveled out loud about how the weather goes from 60 to 40 to Snow in a matter of hours.

"Welcome to Colorado," Dave said.

I said "You know, you Coloradans say that and I used to think you were being sincere. It took me a while, but I figured out you were being sarcastic."

Laughs in the elevator. A few semi-guilty smiles and nods.

AHA. I discover they think they're being funny in that Midwest sorta way. Subtley making a joke at your expense. But all in good fun.

Yes, if you so much as hint, marvel, complain or kvetch about the weather here, you often hear back "Welcome to Colorado", which comes with a knowing smile and a shake of the head that says "Welcome to Colorado newbie."

A couple of summers ago, we dropped 30 degrees in 30 minutes on June 2nd, and it started snowing.

I've heard thunder and seen snow fall at the same time -- I call it thundersnow.

I've seen it snow when the sun is shining brightly in my face and I can't tell where the heck the snow is coming from because no clouds are visible. It makes it look like rainbow-prism crystals are falling out of the sky. It's positively magical.

I've seen the Rockies disappear and a few minutes later, whatever weather is rumbling over the Great Divide hits Denver with a force.

I've seen clouds turn sickening green and pink, right before a funnel cloud appeared. There's a primal urge to stare at it and go inside and hide in the bathroom at the same time. Fortunately when this happened, I was out on the plains in East Aurora, so this kind of thing doesn't happen at my house not far from the foothills.

But for some reason we have a tornado siren tower not far from my house. I'm told it's "just in case", but who puts a tower up if it hasn't happened before?
I ask my neighbors and they shrug and look at me with the look that says again, "Welcome to Colorado newbie."

I've had thunder clap so hard while I sat out on my screened porch that it killed my phone and made my ears ring for a few hours. Kinda like my college experience going to an AC/DC concert on a whim.

I just hope it really does come tomorrow. I'm dying for another chance to walk my dog in the snow while all those wussy Coloradans who apparently don't know what Gore-Tex is for stay inside.

But at least they say I'm welcome here!

Sort of.


Deb said...

Ok Jules, if I wasn't your friend I would be really annoyed by this post. I have been in company of natives, as I am one myself (Colorado native that is), and we all say to each other "welcome to Colorado" when the weather gets freaky. I wouldn't take it so personally! I also don't consider ourselves wussy Coloradans, but I guess that is a matter of persepective. And of course, you are very welcome here. At least, I am very glad that you are here! Anyway, I hope you get your snow too. It sounded like you had a great walk the last time!

Jules said...

This wasn't intended to annoy -- only recognize that Coloradans take pride in their weather, and like to tease the newbies about how fast it can and does change.

But then Seattleites don't like being teased about the rain either. ;)


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