How’s the weather? Prompt #93

“How’s the weather?”

It’s a question often asked. And sometimes we really want to know the answer.

Right now, Summer 2014, Northern California where I live, is experiencing a drought. Lawns are brown, cars are covered with layers of dust and dirt, flowers and plants are drooping. But I’m not complaining. We have plenty of water to drink and the public pool is a great place to cool off.

Breana.weed  How’s the weather? We want to know!

Photo by Breana Marie

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  1. Ke11y

    For thirty-eight years I piloted a Sea King helicopter for the Coastguard, based in the Hebrides. The weather was the constant question, the mistress of good and bad. For many years I lived on the Isle of Barra, a remote island, but central for the profession I was involved in. The weather was made up of certain words for me, poetry in some ways: Bailey, Rockall, Shannon, Fastnet or Forties, Dogger, Cromarty, Faroes, S.E Iceland, Malin, Bailey, Faire Isle, Viking and German Bight, and in these areas I worked and thrived, bringing up my family and doing a job I loved every day. I know a thing or two about weather; being raised, punished, freed and confined to its complexities. I learned my boundaries within its walls, and watery boundaries. I’ve been shaped, honed, and broken by its beauty.

    How’s the weather?

    Variable 5 or 7, becoming cyclonic 7 or 9.

    Sea State:
    Heavy, occasionally phenomenal later in north.

    Hail. Visibility: Poor, occasionally blind.

    The cottage I left each day has been in my family almost two hundred years, my great-grandfather, a crofter, built the original. I kissed my wife, told her of my love, and left to what I’d been trained to do. Meet with my mistress and see if she would be kind to me this particular day.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Kelly, how do you write such amazing, meaningful writing? Writing that is easy to read, tasty to digest and lovely to contemplate. I could read your writing all day and be enthralled with every word!

  2. Ke11y

    There ought to be a carnival, a sky full of colored balloons drifting with tags on them saying ‘Thank you, Marlene Cullen,’ and these balloons would sail around the world on the trade winds of friendship. Weren’t we all touched by one teacher, one person taking the time to teach, and nurture us through our educational years, no matter how late the learning?

    Marlene’s kind words above are my ‘Today’s Prompt:

    Prompt Title:

    The teacher we remember.

    I remember sitting in the classroom at school, I was maybe ten years old, looking out across the bay, daydreaming. I was never interested in Math, and even less in Latin, but I was interested in the sea and all those places beyond the water’s edge. Ms. Cullen, a round faced, kindly teacher who wore her hair short, told a story how Columbus rediscovered the ‘New World’, she also said I shouldn’t stare out the window so much. Adventure was everywhere, but the greatest adventure was running to catch the school bus and taking the ride down the Sound of Mull on our half hour trip to Craignure, where I boarded the ferry, which sailed to Oban, on the mainland, heading for school.

    While other kids sat in the warmth of the ferry’s canteen during those blustery winter morning journeys, with threatening rain clouds low over the waters, I stood on the bow, letting the sharpness of the wind crisp my ears until they felt like ice packs on the side of my head. Hurting so much I entered the classroom crying with pain, tears streaming down my face. Ms. Cullen would shake her head, grab my hand and pull me down the corridor to the school’s boiler room. ‘Read this,’ she’d say…thrusting an adventure book into my hand…‘come back to class when you’ve thawed out,’ but never left without first handing me a chocolate bar and offering a soft palm across my floppy scalp. I was a ridiculous kid. She said that, too, with the hugest, most forgiving smile on her face.

    I learned, many years later, now living in California, that Ms. Cullen is still teaching, encouraging her hopeless students to become better. How we pupils love her, never wanting to leave her class, and me never wanting to be anything but the boy to whom she first gave a chocolate bar for my stupidity.

    Write me. Tell me about your Ms. Cullen. I’ll bet you, too, want to clean the board for her, and offer her your rosiest apple!

    1. mcullen Post author

      Wow, my heart fills with gratitude and tears pool on my lower eyelids. . . and I’m smiling. Kelly, once again, your writing touches my heart and my soul. I love working with writers like you. . . you get to the heart of the story and bring the reader into a new world. This time, I can feel those ears so cold that they burn. I revel in the joy the narrator feels not wanting to be confined to the canteen, but wanting to be where the action is. And I’m filled with joy for this student/teacher relationship. . . where she recognizes his passion and fondly embraces his character. And to be considered in the same league as this kind teacher, well, that just makes my day! I’m so glad we connected years ago in a writing class and continue to connect today . . . the power of writing.

  3. Copper Penny

    Weather is a matter of whether.
    Whether to stay in or go out.
    Whether to bundle up or strip down.
    Whether to sit with a book or walk the dog.
    Whether to visit under the tree or call on the phone.
    Whether to throw logs on the fire or turn on the fan.
    Whether to grab hot coffee or iced tea.
    Whether a sweater or a coat; boots or sandals.
    Weather or whether
    So glad to experience both.

    1. mcullen Post author

      Copper Penny, this is brilliant and fun. Thanks for sharing your clever writing.

  4. Ke11y

    Copper Penny (please tell me this is your real name, I just love it!)

    What a fun play on the word. I’ve weathered so many whethers! Loved it, thank you for the reading.

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