• John Hogeland

A Change in the Weather

There was a time.....


There was a time when my grandpa would say that a storm was coming, he knew because his shoulder ached, or because my grandma's corns were hurting her.

Storm on the horizon

'Red sky in morning, sailors take warning, red sky at night sailors delight' is a beautiful phrase and often right, where 'If the cows are all laying down facing the same direction, it's going to rain' missed as often as hit. Maybe if it had been more lyrical?


My parents would sometimes read the farmer's almanac for projections about the seasonal weather, and dad would read the forecast in the paper. Then the tv news got better, getting things right more often. 'Doppler radar' was the big thing and projections let us plan (with at least 50 percent accuracy) when to plant and harvest.


Today, weather comes to me on my phone, updating every few minutes, with storms featuring as big green, yellow and red blobs moving across the tiny screen. I can plan within a few minutes when to stop planting and when to wait to cut hay. It is a great help in

this world of fine margins and slim profits. But then, in all this knowing, what have we learned?

In so many areas of our lives, massive amounts of information is gathered. How many steps did you take today? What sorts of things are you shopping for online? Is the camera on your computer watching you? When the president tweets something outrageous, the first ones in the stock market to see it sell before the market tumbles, congratulating themselves for the speed and acuity of their information.


All of this requires that we gather a little more information, get the latest app, follow the newest feed, react a little faster and with more knowledge so that we can be successful in so many areas of our lives.


Is this progress? I don't know, but there is sometimes something joyous about being caught in the rain.

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