Friday, February 26, 2010

Calling all weird weather stories . . .

Too much snow?

This, from WMRA's Virginia Insight host, Tom Graham:
Hey Martha --
A friend who studied social psychology once told me, “If you want to get people to tell you stories about themselves, it’s best to prime the pump by first revealing one of your own.”

I don’t know if that always works. But on “Virginia Insight” this past Monday I decided to try it.

The topic was this winter’s crazy weather.

In addition to discussion with two weather scientist guests [Stan Ulanski from JMU and Jerry Stenger from UVa], I was hoping to get listeners calling in. I thought maybe we could encourage not only questions and comments about meteorology, but also revelations about any exceptional winter weather experiences anyone had had.

This past Monday was the first time I had ever publicly revealed the story below.

And again, this does not prove my psychologist friend was right. But we certainly were overloaded with calls this past Monday.

So many that we couldn’t get to them all.

I’m curious if … after this gets posted … well, if anyone who didn’t get their call in during Monday’s broadcast might feel encouraged to share a winter survival story here on the blog. Or anyone who wasn't listening, for that matter.

[By the way, anyone who missed Monday’s program can now access it online.  The show will also be re-broadcast this Sunday at 11am. ]

Okay, here’s my long secret weather story as revealed at the beginning of the February 22, 2010, “Virginia Insight.”

Some people make fun of talking about the weather … as if it’s the thing you do when you’ve got nothing else to say. But for others of us -- there are weather-related experiences so intense it seems like they will never completely leave our mind.
I still vividly remember the time, at the age of four, when I was allowed out in the front yard of our home near Buffalo to play in the snow.

We lived on a side street, no traffic, but the plow had recently come by and there was a huge mound of white stuff at the end of the driveway.

I was bundled up in galoshes and snowpants and snow jacket with attached mittens and of course very warm knitted hat pulled low over my ears. All in blue. So looking like a sea colored miniature Michelin man -- I waddled down to the end of the drive and climbed up that mountain of snow.

And then I began to sink.

The more I tried to escape. The faster I sank.

It was still snowing. I couldn’t see very far, so I knew nobody inside could see me. I was all alone outside, and as I found myself trapped up to my shoulders in snow, the thought that actually passed through my four-year-old mind was -- “nobody’s going to find me till summer time!”

But then, on this street where there was never any traffic, a dark-colored sedan drove up and stopped at the end of the drive. A man I’d never seen before got out, walked over, picked me up out of my snow mountain prison, set me down on the driveway, smiled at me, then got back in his car and drove away.

Okay, now it's your turn. What's your weird weather story?

1 comment:

  1. Martha W: I'll go first. Not with a weird winter weather story, but with a weird summer weather story.

    One hot summer long, long ago when I lived in a house close to the University of Virginia, the heavens opened and it poured. And poured. And poured. As soon as it was finished my daughter, step-son and I walked down to the corner of 14th and University to see what was happening. Well, what was happening was that the whole depression under the railroad bridge had turned into a giant swimming hole. So what did we do? Went swimming, of course!