Been There, Done That by Laura Nethken

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The weather forecasters are saying we have a good chance of an El Niño coming this summer or fall. I'm all for it. After the horrible winter we had I'd love some warm weather.

And it wasn't just us in Northeastern Ohio, it was the whole country that had a bad winter. Warmer weather from an El Niño beats the frozen tundra of a Polar Vortex or an Alberta Clipper every time.

Along with higher temperatures, they said an El Niño can cut down on the number of hurricanes for the season. Although whether that's good or not is debatable. When we had an El Niño in 1992 there were only seven tropical storms that got big enough to be named. Sadly, the first one was Andrew.

I don't want hurricanes or the wildfires that pop in El Niño times, but I do want warmer weather. I'm very confused by the weather lately. It's nearly the middle of May, but it looks and feels like the middle of March.

The trees are just now getting buds and the scrub bushes are just now green. Well, if May is going to be March, then I think summer needs to last until November.

From what I remember in the past, March was all about the grass turning green and the yard turning into mud from all the rain. At least it was warm enough to not be snow. The buds popped out on the trees and dropped all over the driveway and sidewalks.

Every morning my truck was covered with a green haze of pollen -- reminding me of why I need an inhaler -- because it's springtime in Ohio.

According to the calendar, the first day of spring was nearly two months ago. According to outside, it just got here like yesterday.

Did Mother Nature get caught napping or on a coffee break? Is that why Old Man Winter was allowed to run amok in what is clearly outside of his jurisdiction calendar-wise? Who was supposed to be watching out for that?

It just seems like the calendar has shifted back a couple of months. The weather folks are saying that spring is about two weeks late this year. I think they're off by a whole lot more than that.

Dave and I were headed to the camper the other day and he grabbed his winter coat. "It's 65 and sunny (finally), you're not going to need that." Not at the house, but the camper is always cooler. Normally, anyway.

Everybody says we camp in "The Alps," because up on the hill it usually is about 10 to 20 degrees cooler than pretty much anywhere else in the campground.

Very early or very late in the season, you're going to need a coat and probably want to build a fire at our camper. All thanks to the thick cover of the trees on the hill.

But those poor trees are just as bald and leafless now as they were in January. So he brought a lighter jacket, too. Which I swiped from him later on in the evening when it got chillier and he went back to wearing his winter coat.

I'm ready for Africa-hot. Last summer we got ripped off. We didn't go swimming even one time because we never got our "dog days" of summer. I don't think it hit 90 degrees even one time last August. And that was after we had endured nearly an entire month of rain in June. July was nice. Good thing or we wouldn't have had a summer at all.

By the beginning of September, there was a chill in the air that made our tomato plants think it was mid-October. We still had a month or so to go and they were turning yellow and dying.

So, not like there's much of anything anyone could do to stop the arrival of an El Niño, I for one am ready to welcome him with open arms.

Copyright 2014 Laura Nethken

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