Are we On? (Dave Vilhauer blog)

Regardless of the season, there is one subject that everybody wants to talk about.

Pick a month, pick a location and I can guarantee you that weather will soon become a topic of conversation. Now, around these parts where agriculture is directly tied to the weather conditions, I totally understand our infatuation with the elements. After all, so much of our livelihood is impacted by how dry or wet the ground is or if a hail storm took out fields of crops.

I also understand that weather is a very neutral subject. When people are at a loss for words, weather is a universal topic that people can discuss without getting super emotional. Try doing that when having a dialogue about the current status of our government or even talking about your favorite professional sports team.

I, like most, will sometimes bring up the weather during a conversation, especially if the conditions warrant, like a monster blizzard or incredibly hot temperatures. However, because I am not farmer, I usually don’t get caught up too much in rainfall or snowfall amounts. Once I find out the totals, they are probably forgotten within hours. Not that I understand how important those numbers are to various individuals, just that they don’t mean as much to me as they do to them.

Others, however, appear to be consumed by moisture totals. The more I think about it, the more I feel it might be just as much of a generational thing as it is a work-related debate. I often hear people who are older than me talk about how much was in the rain gauge, no matter how small the amount. It’s almost like they are obsessed with comparing totals. I can’t think of any conditions in which my millennial children would ever talk about rainfall totals, much less keep track of them. Of course, my kids didn’t grow up on a farm either, so maybe like me, they don’t quite fully grasp the significance of those figures as much as those who grew up in the country.

It would be interesting to find out if the coffee shop conversations that take place every morning throughout the country include some of the same topics. I have a hunch that weather conditions are a staple no matter where you reside, although depending on location those talks might focus more on hurricanes or storm surge.

I know one thing, when a storm moves through the area like it did this morning, the weather dominates the discussion regardless of age or profession or place of residence. And if it didn’t, well, then we’d definitely have something to talk about.