The Epistle of Q — Chapter Eleven Part A

Q #1
Why is it that one only notices when the weatherman is wrong? Where is our sense of gratitude that weather predictors more often are correct than in error?

The Thursday ski report predicted good skiing conditions, good snow and lots of sun. The temperature would be rising and there would be no wind to speak of. It looked like it would be the ideal winter day. So off we all went. And it was sunny, and the snow was very ski-able!! The temperature took its time rising — in fact, I’m not sure that it did, although at lunch some claimed an air inversion made it warmer at the top of the mountain than at the base. What certainly did happen was the wind came up and the wind chill took another dive. The result was a shortened ski day — only 7 runs and some extremely white looking finger tips. There was some good skiing, especially on the favourite runs but it was bitterly cold.

Things warmed up at the luncheon party/ The cabin (higher up the mountain than where we get on the lifts) was warmer by a great deal. But again, there was a wonderful fire in the stove-like fireplace and the friendship in the place was well-aged. Moreover some delightful red wines found their way onto the table well in advance of actually sitting down to eat. Not sure what it is about red wine especially in the winter, but it sure has a tendency to cover over any annoyance with folk at the Weather Network. On this day, the food was equally warming — great casserole, superbly baked beans and very tasty ribs. Furthermore there were generous portions of it all.

But back to my original question — for this is not a segment ripped from the Food Channel. The conversation initially made light of the rather inaccurate prognosis that we all had viewed on the web-site in the early morning. We often do the same about the ski hill’s announcements concerning which runs have been groomed. But then someone pointed out that it was extremely sunny (almost no clouds at all) and the snow was great — 2 out of 3 ain’t bad!! And if we took up cross-country skiing we would be even warmer as we would be in the woods and away from the wind. Why were we complaining?

This took on more poignancy when we reflected on why we were even having the meal in the first place. While it is a tradition to do it at least once a season, we usually wait for the first one until February when temperatures have risen. But one of the group is battling some serious health issues and is going for more tests this weekend. It had been decided we should get together before that occurred as we do not know what the findings might be and therefore what follow-up treatments might do to his ski schedule. This individual is probably the most positive, extraverted individual I know. During the course of the conversation he openly talked about the weeks and months ahead in a way that made any complaining about the temperature rather spurious. There was no bemoaning the turn of events; rather, there was laughter and joyousness at the fun that was to be had today.

In other words, the mood of the luncheon was very upbeat. Why worry about the negative or even the inaccurate? Revel in the good that is around us. After all, we don’t know what the tests will prove. so why get upset in advance? Why cry about a cooler temperature, when there was sun and we managed half-a-dozen runs more than anyone who’d stayed in the valley?

Gratitude too often is in short supply and it’s time we did something to increase its abundance. I need to reduce my complaining and increase my thankfulness. I’m going to start by picking my friend up in the morning and take him to the airport for his flight — it won’t take me out of my way and it gives him some more chat time to pump me up. I’m grateful for such a moment. Look around you today — where can you demonstrate a little more gratitude, even for those who are not always 100% accurate in their predictions?!