When I was a kid my grandpa lived in southern California and he was obsessed with the Weather Channel. He always seem to be acutely aware of the likelihood of a storm on any given day in Salt Lake City, even though he lived a 12-hour drive away.
Grandpa was also the most paranoid human being I have ever encountered in my life. I have somewhat crippling anxiety, and I 100% inherited this through my mother's father. Grandpa was convinced that the life of every single person he knew was hanging by a thread at all times, and he regularly issued all of us both comically specific and ominously general warnings every time we saw him.
It became a family game to keep a list of these warnings and reference them from time to time.
One time my mom and I had lunch with grandpa while he was visiting Utah. I think I was about 15. As we each walked to our separate cars, grandpa to his and mom and I to ours, he called over to us, "it's a sunny day and you'll be driving into the sun, so you need to be careful."
It was so earnest and intense, the way he said it, that it took us a few minutes to realize how funny the request was. He literally warned us that the sun was out, and he did it in a tone like we were swimming in a pool with sharks and didn't know it. We laughed for the entire drive home and to this day, now twenty years later, my mother and I regularly remind each other to be careful about driving when it's sunny.
"We are turning into my grandpa," I told Skylar recently, as we finished a fifteen-minute conversation about the minute differences in forecasts as told by the various weather apps we each have downloaded onto our phones.
"Well this one says there's a 20% chance of rain until noon, and then that's likely to turn to snow."
"My app, which has been more correct lately than yours, says the rain probably won't turn to snow until at least 2:00 PM."
We check the Utah snowpack map 20 times a day, texting each other things like, "they just updated southern Utah. 170% now. It's looking like a good year for the reservoirs."
"It's looking like a good year for the reservoirs" is not a thing I ever thought I would regularly say to a peer, but here I am, saying it, regularly.
Last night Skylar left the house around 8:30 to meet his friends from medical school to celebrate having taken an exam earlier in the day. The roads were clear; I knew this. It hadn't stormed at all during the day.
"Please be careful, Sky man," I said as he grabbed the keys to leave.
"Why?" he asked. "Do you think the roads might be icy.
"No," I told him. "But it's dark and there's a cloud cover, so please just be careful."
34 is feeling old.
At least I know where I got my fabulous hair, too.
~It Just Gets Stranger