Whether weather

It rained for a short time last night. Rain is unusual in the desert. I don’t own an umbrella, raincoat, or any rain gear, for that matter. Showers rarely last long enough to require rain paraphernalia. Now that I think about it, in the desert, we don’t have “weather” in our vocabulary. We talk about “temperature” and “sunshine.” Oh, and “wind.” That’s not weather. It’s simply what is. Whether hot, cold, or somewhere in between, there is always sunshine. And wind.

The Sierra Nevada Mountains lie to the west of us. In the Sierras there’s weather. And it changes quickly and dramatically. We know its winter in the Sierras because its capricious weather often dusts the mountain crests with a faint sprinkling of powdered sugar-like snow, as if to remind us that winter weather in the Sierras is real. Last night, the Sierra winter weather ventured over its mountain tops and marched down its eastern slopes to deposit a blanket of brilliant white snow as low as 3,000 feet.

It usually takes less than 15 minutes to drive the six miles from my house to my office. This morning, it took more that 35 minutes because of the frequent stops to admire the show the Sierra winter weather whipped up for us last night as we slept.

This evening, it’s gotten very cold. I’m enjoying a cup of hot chamomile tea and listening to Robbie snore gently at my back. It’s raining lightly as I write this post. I understand the Sierra winter weather has something more earnest in store for us tonight.