Saturday, March 12, 2016

'tis the Season to Eat Crow

Not even a month after posting some snarky remarks about expats in San Miguel who complain about our “winters,” in addition to snickering about our friends marooned in subarctic hells like Chicago, New York or Boston, punishment has come down on my head from Lakshmi, Isis or whoever is the Goddess of Karmic Retribution.  

Following two days this week of near gale-force winds that threatened to knock down our cypresses and some younger trees, Thursday morning we woke up to subzero temperatures and a quarter inch of snow on the ground that for several hours turned the surrounding mountains into an alpine postcard. Adding to the eerily unseasonal ambiance when we got in our pickup the iPod slid into Andrea Bocelli singing “Adeste Fidelis.”

Honey, get the skis. Quick, before it all melts in two hours. 
Where are we and what time of the year is it?
Sensing we might get an overnight freeze, Felix had brought in the fifteen trays of seedlings that just last week seemed to be thriving under one of our makeshift cold frames. The formerly perky plantlets now sit dejectedly in the garage leaning in this and that direction, wondering what happened.

Two of our dogs, the biggest and the smallest, briefly frolicked in the light snow cover but then fled to the warmth of the heater in the living room.  Neither one of them is Iditarot material, I'm afraid. 

The sight of snow was a big event among the locals who stood around awestruck, many taking photos with their smartphones, including my dentist who showed up forty-minutes late for our appointment. That's not unusual; he seems to have his watch set to A.M.T., or Approximate Mexican Time. But yesterday he got even further behind in his schedule to show me a brief video of the snow he took on the way to work. 
Beside the snow and the cold, we also received a full inch of rain. In a desert-like climate like ours one never complains about rain but this downpour was unusual because our rainy season is not due for at least another three months. 

If this rash of strange weather occurred in the U.S., the media would be erupting with theories. Is the result of El Niño? La Niña? La Abuela? A meandering Polar Vortex that didn't know where to stop? 

Here life is simpler. The headline Thursday in one of the local papers was just "Brrrr" followed by snippets from here and there of people complaining about the cold. Let's just take a picture and move on.

Indeed, for the sake of my peace of mind, I'm gradually converting to laissez-faire Republican meteorology so I can be oblivious, to climate change worries no matter how weird the weather gets. It's a more tranquil way to live at least until the Atlantic Ocean backs up into Miami and Marco Rubio's cars float away to the Azores. But that's fifty years from now. By then he'll be dead and so will I and perhaps the 2016 presidential primaries will over too. 

Immediately though, I'm just embarrassed about my previous gloating about "winter" in San Miguel and Up North particularly since yesterday, while we were searching for our winter jackets here, New York's WQXR-FM merrily forecast afternoon temperatures in the low-seventies. 

Someone once defined bad karma as "ha-ha screw you!" and I think that's what happened here. It serves me right for being so insensitive to other people's winter complaints—real or imagined. 

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