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Monday, March 24, 2014

Crossing the Line

A few of you may know that for thirty-two hours a week, I work at our town’s senior center.  My employment continues to school me in the kind of wisdom gained via experience.  In this regard, Friday I had a conversation with one of our van drivers, a man in his early seventies.  I whined, I suppose, about the storm that’s predicted to sweep up the east coast in the next few days and pummel us with late-season snow. 
“You may not know this,” he said.  “But the old timers, the old-salt Yankees who predicted the weather by the almanac, or the feeling in their bones, had a name for the kind of storm that comes up the coast this time of year.  It’s called a line storm.”
 “Really?  I never heard that term before.”

 “It’s one of those storms that will melt in about three days.  They say you have to have one before the seasons can change.”   

The idea resonated with me.  I had this picture of a grey-bearded farmer watching the horizon, knowing, sans the Internet, or a weather report, or the newspaper, or anything other than having lived a lifetime in which such storms occurred, that they herald the real end of winter.

As for me, well, I Googled.  According to Merriam Webster, a line storm is an “equinoctial storm,” and a long time ago, back when folks still predicted weather by the shape of the clouds and the ache in their knees, Robert Frost wrote a love poem called A Line-storm Song.  If you are so inclined, you can that find here.  

Let's hope this new found knowledge keeps me warm on Wednesday, when I’m shoveling it.


Dianne K. Salerni said...

Awesome trivia fact.

BUT WE ALREADY HAD ONE OF THOSE STORMS LAST WEEK!! We don't need another one. Grrr.

However, I can remember quite a few of these late season storms. The most memorable one for me was on April 1, 1997. My school actually closed for a snow day, but that didn't matter to me. I was on the way to the hospital in labor (although Daughter #1 wasn't born until the next day).

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I learned something new as well! Hope it really is the last storm of the season for you.

Old Kitty said...

Oh the poem is delicious, thank you!!

Hope this storm is a line-storm - it's about time Spring arrives and settles! Take care

Karen Walker said...

Love learning something new - never heard that term before. Love the last line of your post.

Robin said...

Never heard of a line storm before, but I bet the guy is right. People who have lived long enough see the patterns in ole Mother Nature.

Just keep telling yourself it is only for a few days while shoveling. You can do anything for that long...

Susan Flett Swiderski said...

All those modern tools help us predict the weather, but our reliance on them has diminished our innate ability to be attuned to weather patterns. Those old-timers did a pretty darned good job of predicting the weather without the modern tools.

That being said, I don't care what they call this next line of storms, I'm glad it won't be extending into our neck of the woods. Don't forget the magic words: "This too shall pass."

J.B. Chicoine said...

I guess it doesn't much matter what they call it, this kind of weather is 'crossing the line' right in to insanity! Seriously, it's driving me to the brink! I hope you are holding your own. :)

Jennifer Shirk said...

That's interesting! I do hope that this storm is IT.

mshatch said...

Loved the poem; Old Kitty took the words right out of mouth :)

Carol Kilgore said...

There are lots of ways we can be smart. You just found a new one.

Arlee Bird said...

Never heard of a "line storm". Somehow I'm picturing clouds line dancing. There must be some kind of hokey poetic imagery in that. Or maybe it's just the hokey pokey.

Since I was a kid I've always wanted a copy of the Farmer's Almanac. Never had one though. Look through one once. It had a lot of interesting info in it. Don't know why I never got one.

An A to Z Co-Host
Tossing It Out

'Yellow Rose' Jasmine said...

Cool term. I love people with lots of life experience.
Anything that will get this winter over with- I am all for it!

Lisa said...

All of the major storms this winter went right by us. We've had rain, teeny-tiny hail once, and one wind storm. We did have heavy freezes for the first time in years, so the garden needed a lot of cutting back!