A weather momento of my grandparents

P1050999 Yes, as the thermometer shows, it is hot season.  And just like hot season anywhere in the tropics, heat comes with rain which the humidity gauge (what do you call them, humidimeters?) shows, too. 

Interestingly, we’ll get more of the rain when rainy season begins around late June so don’t let this 100% humidity scare you away.  It does get worse!  Or, at least, wetter.

There is a little story behind this retro-fifties combo temperature and humidity gauge.  This hung in the Merriam, Kansas home of my paternal grandparents for as long as I can remember. 

Being midwesterners, the weather was always a topic of interest and concern.  Letters and phone calls pretty quickly addressed the recent and current state of the weather, often offering comparisons to extremes set in previous years:

“Lots of rain, the most we’ve had since the spring of ’73…”

“Don’t recall a snow before Halloween except that October after we moved into the house..”

On the coasts, where people see themselves as so much more sophisticated than the people in “flyover country”, the arrival of weather as a topic is a clichéd sign that the conversation is about to die a sudden death or get bogged down like a superpower in a third world nation.  Not so in the midwest, where weather is front and center in the evening newscast and equally prominent in conversation and correspondence.

Now that I’m here in Thailand, I miss those detailed weather reports.  I know there is more going on than, “Very hot with a chance of rain.”  I feel a breeze… is that a low pressure system?  From where?  How can people live without knowing?

In the final fourteen months before I left the US for Thailand, I lived in my grandmother’s house.  By then she was in assisted living until she passed away three years ago this summer, preceeded by my grandfather fifteen years before that.  As we cleaned up the house and sorted through their things, this thermometer struck me as a small keepsake that would remind me of my grandparents.  It was also a little piece of my fourteen months of being a Kansan.


6 thoughts on “A weather momento of my grandparents

  1. That’s a nice story. I think for some people, their livelihoods are so closely tied to the weather. Therefore it takes on a lot more significance than for someone like me.

  2. As a native “west-coaster” I’ve always wondered why the weather isn’t talked about more. True, living in California, we rarely have anything that midwesterners would actually call “weather”, it’s still something I like to talk about. We have a thermometer on our front porch that I watch frequently. I’d really like to own one with a humidity gague like the one you have. Pretty cool.

  3. Now, that’s a real piece with sentimental value! Near 100% humidity!! I remember sweating from head to toe when I was in BKK during the Songkran period!ryc: Not planning to go anywhere, so I’ll be in town during your visit to the States.

  4. the instrument that meassures changing weather conditions – ex: humidity is called barometer 🙂 you can say that again, it’s too hot here in southeast asia. i went out from the office yesterday late afternoon and guess what i got? a headache. ach! 
    thanks for visiting my site. i am loving your entries, wish i have more time today to read them all. i’m subscribing 🙂

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