Weather or Not

-Lori Oliver


Minnesota weather…think fast! Did you think of snow? Or did your mind go to hot and  sticky summer humidity? Well, if you were here this past week you thought of thunder  and lightning. Or more correctly, lightning then thunder. Nearly every day the night  sky lights up and rumbles, for hours. Sometimes there is no rainfall, just drama. But  occasionally the skies open up like the escape scene from The Shawshank Redemption.

I love it. I respect lightning. It can kill you, but not if you stay indoors. And you know,  of course, how NOT to get hit by lightning…you hold up a 1 iron, because even God  can’t hit a 1 iron. But the best way to experience a thunder storm is from your cozy bed,  looking out through large, double-paned windows, across a huge field that cowers  beneath the broad, black sky. Monsterous clouds, invisible in the dark, appear for split  seconds, then disappear into the inky night.

What makes a big storm even more enjoyable is when it happens AFTER you have had  your new metal roof installed. I used to harvest shingles off the lawn after even a  normal rainfall, but these big wet and windy storms always threatened to propel a tree  branch into my wobbly old asphalt shingle roof like the hammer of Thor. Not only have  the trees been trimmed way back, or in some cases removed entirely, but also my new  metal roof…or tin roof as they are called here (even though they are steel, not tin)…is  literally a shield that protects my home from airborne projectiles.

By the time you read this I will also have fancy new LeafFilter gutters; the big, 6-inch  ones, not to mention two new downspouts. Wind, water, leaves, ice, snow…and  raccoons…be damned. My new roof has transformed my 122 year old house into a  fortress. Now when I take one of my many-month-long road trips I won’t worry about  coming home to a pile of splinters. Speaking of, I may be seeing you all sometime in  January or February as I make the circuit from here to North Carolina, to Florida, along  the Gulf coast, up through Texas and across the desert southwest to you, my wonderful  Coachella Valley friends.