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Whether or Not, Weather is Talk of the Town

Snow and heat turn up the chatter.

My neighbor is stuck behind a round mound of snow.

"I can't wait until it's summer and 90 degrees."

Nine months later, the same neighbor, with water bottle in hand, is making her way up the walk. "Man, it's hot. I wish it were cooler. When is this heat going to stop?"

That's the beauty of weather. If it's one way, you want it the other way. Give me snow on a 100-degree day. Give me blistering heat on a freezing cold day.

Weather also brings out the best in us...most of the time.

Anyone who was alive and breathing in the epic Blizzard of 1978 remembers how neighbors who barely said  "hello" to each other were opening up their homes, sharing supplies and friendship. My neighborhood designed a system where we would go house to house, asking what people needed, and then we would go to the store and load up on supplies. We also dug tunnels to one another’s homes so we could get around the mounds of snow.

With its destructive force, weather has a way of bringing us together. It also has a way of getting the chat meter rising.

In my neighborhood, a lot of people's first language isn't English. You can go to the car in the morning and not here a word of English. I like that. You learn about difficult cultures, especially when you each have a snow shovel in your hands.

The weather becomes the language. With a shake of your head or pointing to your ice-covered fingers, you don't have to say much. You know it's cold. Real cold.

Last winter, I was stuck in a snow bank after the snowplows had fenced me in. My neighbor shook her head, reached into her back seat and grabbed a snow shovel and started shoveling away. I don't speak her language, but she speaks mine a little better. We were able to communicate through our hatred for the white stuff, while we prevented frostbite. After half an hour, we nodded thanks and went about our day.

It's funny how the weather is an ice-breaker. With the weather, especially around here, you always have something to talk about and it's a safe subject. We can love the Red Sox. We can also be Yankee-lovers, but we all hate the weather.

Think about it. You’re stuck on the phone in a conversation. You really don't know what to say to the person on the other line. "So how's the weather there?" Now you've got a chat going on.

"When do you think this heat is going to go away?"

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