As I sit here and write this, it is a beautiful day weather-wise – spectacularly so, in fact.
The sun is shining brightly, with only a few wispy clouds interrupting what are otherwise clear blue skies.
A woman I work with wore a sleeveless blouse. She didn’t leave her jacket in the car. She said she didn’t bother to bring it at all.
Another woman, dressed in a T-shirt and shorts, pushed a baby stroller past my house.
At some point along the way, she may have crossed paths with our postal carrier, who wore short sleeves and shorts. And he also looked to be sweating as he reached way into the back of his truck to grab some mail.
A student at the local middle school got into a little bit of trouble. Her short shorts were too short short, thus violating the school’s dress code and forcing her father to deliver some replacement clothes – another pair of shorts, though a tad more conservative.
Some other kids bolted to the miniature golf place across the street right from me after school to play a round – or two.
People in the neighborhood opened the doors and windows of their homes, and drivers cranked down their windows as well. The slight breeze – the fresh, cool air – felt better than just good. It was wonderful. I should know. I was one of those people in both regards.
It’s been like this all day. In fact, it was like this even before the day really got started. When I got up 3½ hours ahead of sunrise this morning, the temperature was 52 degrees.
It’s about 12 hours later now, at exactly 3:15 p.m., and the mercury has surged its way up to 73 degrees, which, if the weather site I’m on is correct, is a new record for this date.
June 5? May 27?
None of those – nowhere close, really.
It is Friday, Nov. 18, six days before Thanksgiving. This is the upper Midwest, and winter starts in 33 days.
No, I’m not dreaming, or delusional – at least not this time, anyway. I pinched myself to make sure it was real.
What time do the Indians play today?
Darn, I can’t watch them play, I’ve got to mow the lawn – again. It won’t stop growing. But before I do, I had better water the geraniums. They look a little dry. Gotta keep those blooms coming.
Indeed, the only thing missing is some Beach Boys music on the radio.
Geez, how cool is all this?
It’s been that kind of fall throughout the region, with the weather being so warm and so nice for so long that the leaves held onto their leaves for way longer than usual, extending their display of unbelievable color for nearly a month. There are a good number of trees with their fiery red leaves still attached. If they hold on just a little while longer, then that red will be perfect for the holidays. The other color of the season, green, is visible everywhere on our lush lawns.
Why all the fuss?
Because if we are going to complain long and loudly about all the bad weather we get in good-weather months – and we certainly receive a lot of that – then it is only fair that we give Mother Nature some well-deserved thanks when she staves off the cold, snow and ice well beyond the time when it usually arrives in the bad-weather months.
As you fix yourself a piece of pumpkin pie topped with whip cream that is left over from Thursday’s big feast, consider the fact that two of the biggest snowstorms we’ve ever had in the Greater Akron-Canton area have come over Thanksgiving weekend.
There was the storm of 1950 that hit on Thanksgiving Day, bringing with it snow and 40-mph winds, causing huge drifts and the temperature to fall 30 degrees, to single digits, in a matter of hours. Without all the sophisticated snow-removal equipment of today and also our modern-day, front-wheel vehicles that tackle bad-driving conditions pretty well, it took almost a week for things to get back to any kind of normalcy in the area.
But it wasn’t just this area that got walloped. It was, in fact, the whole state of Ohio and well beyond to neighboring states. The Ohio State-Michigan football game that Saturday in Columbus became known as "The Snow Bowl," keeping 30,000 fans away from Ohio Stadium and forcing school officials to ask fans to help shovel out the stands. Perhaps the OSU marching band spelled out a "Script Snow" at halftime.
And it was 42 years ago, on Dec. 1, 1974, that a storm began late on Saturday night of Thanksgiving weekend and just kept dropping snow for a full 24 hours. It caused the University of Akron to postpone its fall final exams – the school was still on the quarter system – for a full week. It is said that many students became religious that weekend as they waited for word of the call-off.
If those former students, now grandparents, are still believers, then they no doubt got their prayers answered again this fall with the heavenly weather.