The problem with spring in the Midwest is one can never be entirely certain what to wear. One might start off in a parka, change into a sundress, and then race for rubber boots and a rain coat — all within the space of an hour.
No matter how one dresses, it’s almost guaranteed that at some point in the day, one will be wearing the wrong thing. The weather loves to trick people. Put on a sweater since the weather is cold and rainy, temperatures will soar to the eighties. Wear a sundress on a sunny morning, and teeth will chatter before the day is through.
The weather is essentially the mean kid in school who always pulled people’s chairs out from under them.
Leaving the house for a day requires packing to cover any and all possible weather eventualities. Forget the survival kits of winter with handwarmers and MREs, spring survival kits must include both hand warmers and ice packs, swimsuits and emergency blankets, wool hats and sun visors.
By the time one gathers all the variety of clothing articles that might be needed, Midwesterners end up heading to U-Haul in order to have enough space to transport everything.
For me, a non-native, the worst part of Midwest springs is the danger of tornadoes. After a childhood spent watching The Wizard of Oz, I absorbed the terror of being carried away by the spinning wind, but I was too practical to believe that I might end up in a magical land wearing ruby slippers.
Not that I have room for ruby slippers in the U-Haul anyway. I threw them out in favor of rubber boots, sandals, and snow shoes.
I suppose the best option to deal with the weather is to embrace the uncertainty. Whoever invented those pants that zip off into shorts probably lived in the Midwest. I’ve always wondered though what one does with the pant legs one has just zipped off. My purse barely has room for my phone let alone pant legs. What about someone who doesn’t carry a purse? Do they drape them over their shoulders? Stuff them in their pockets? Create earrings out of them? I mean, seriously, if we can’t even keep track of socks how are we going to keep track of pant legs?
Entire mystery novels could be written on the subject. And while mismatched socks might cause some face reddening, imagine mismatched pant legs!
Yet for all the griping Midwesterners might do about the weather uncertainty, pretty much everything in life is uncertain. Before my family moved to Brazil, we faced many decisions with the phrase, “Well, if we move to Brazil….” After moving to Brazil, the phrase morphed into, “Well, if we get our permanent visa….” And today, decisions still come with questions attached.
Which is why the one true certainty in life is a comfort…
“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” Hebrews 13:8
Has the weather ever tricked you?