The weather is always a safe topic when one needs an icebreaker.
Too bad the topic doesn't last any longer than an ice cube on a Georgia sidewalk in the summer. But right now it's spring, so who knows from one day to the next how long an ice cube could last, much less how to dress appropriately? Short sleeves or long, jacket or heavy coat - lately, whatever works for the morning is "out of season" by the same afternoon. Maybe if I stayed tuned to the meteorologists, I'd know what to wear. But their schedule doesn't fit in with mine too well.
And really, I've got a better source. Her name is Ms. Parker, and she lives downstairs in my apartment building. Always considerate of others, Ms. Parker said she smokes her cigarettes outside on the porch so that whomever rents her apartment after her won't have to deal with the smoke.
But really, on the porch, I think she's in the best position to see all, hear all and - most of all - greet all who approach our building. Ms. Parker is the best watchguard and the best doorwoman around. I can't count the times she's held the door open for me when my arms were loaded with packages. And she keeps me informed of the weather conditions better than any weather scanner ever could. From her, I can find out the weather report of each and every media source, whether it be television, radio, newspaper or scanner. She even knows when they've contradicted each other.
I usually regret it when I've missed seeing her because then I end up dressing according to the previous day's weather. I don't recommend using that method; it's too inaccurate for comfort.
More than affecting my wardrobe, Mother Nature has been creating some stress with event planners lately. The recent Railroad Days festival in Camak jumped the tracks of success and drowned in puddles of too much rain. But conditions couldn't have been better for the Thomson-McDuffie Denim and Diamonds Concert last week. Spring breakers who stayed in town had a cold, wet beginning that gave way to a beautiful middle only to switch back to a teeth-chattering ending of their week. Children participating in the state fishing day last weekend enjoyed themselves in spite of the rain, and maybe even more so because of it.
And I'm sure the weather worries are just beginning with upcoming events like the annual Car Show at the Depot, Mayfest, Blind Willie Blues Festival and Relay For Life. If organizers are worried about how to prepare, they can turn on the weather channel.
But when I'm getting ready, I'm heading downstairs to my back porch. Ms. Parker won't let me down.