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Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Outdoor Temperature

Have you noticed how much we have become weather junkies in our society today? God does whatever God will with the weather. And then we spend a fortune in time and money trying to figure out what God is doing.

We talk endlessly about it. And of course if the weather changes it makes news. Temperature drops, cold front moves in, heat wave arrives, thunderstorms, lightning, snow storm --- it doesn't matter what the weather does --- it will still be news to us!

I suspect God is amused by all this hullabaloo over the weather all the time. But I wonder if He misses the fact that banks of yesterday used to tell us the time and temperature. It seems banks are doing away with that public service. In my city, churches have picked up the weather torch. Most of the electronic signs at the churches now give us the local time and temperature. (Do you think they get it from God?)

At my house, we of course are interested in the weather. When we moved into our house, there was this fine pottery combination clock and thermometer. It looks like a sun, and has two dials. The clock works somewhat if we keep putting batteries in it. The thermometer --- not so much. But we keep hoping. We've lived here three years now and it still hangs on the back patio.

My wife bought another thermometer a couple years ago. It's an old-fashioned metal one, like you might have seen on your grandmothers back porch at the farm. I dutifully bolted it to the door frame on the back patio. Then of course we realized that we would have to brave the elements to go out and see what the temperature is. The numbers are far too small to be seen from inside the house.

So we bought another thermometer. This one is a big white one. It's numbers can be seen clearly from the kitchen table. I hung it over the door to the garage on the back patio, where we could see it easily and where I thought it would be protected from direct sunlight. Surely we'd have an accurate reading, and be able to see it. It was the perfect solution!

Now my mother-in-law lives in Florida. Hearing of all our problems with the thermometers, she came to the rescue with an electronic thermometer. She shipped it to us for an anniversary present last year. It has a gizmo that you clip to the wall outside, with batteries in it. This is supposed to provide the most accurate reading of the outdoor temperature. There is a matching gadget inside the house - also with batteries - that receives the transmission from outside and also gives you a reading of inside the house. It is supposed to display the outdoor and the indoor temperatures on a display screen all the time.

Now the thing with this new fangled contraption is that the solar magnetic forces, or a full moon or something seem to get it out of whack every once in a while. You'll get no reading or you'll get crazy readings. You have to take the gizmo down outside, remove the batteries from both, and "re-boot" them. Then they will work find until the next time (usually every few weeks) - or until the batteries die (again). Oddly enough, this has proved to be the very least reliable thermometer we have. And the irony is that it is the most sophisticated and the most expensive.

The other day, I came home from work. It seemed a nice day. As I entered the back patio I thought I would check the temperature to see just how nice a day it was. Here were the readings I had on my thermometers:
  • Original sun dial with clock said 10 degrees below zero (F)
  • Old metal bolted to the door frame said 84 degrees (F)
  • Large white with big letters over the door said 140 degrees (F)
  • Electronic, digital display had no reading whatsoever for outdoors or indoors.
I suspect the temperature was in the 70's. But folks, we will never know. I find myself shopping for a good thermometer for outdoors again. The only problem is I don't have any more places to hang one. Alas, it seems I will be forced to just ask God, or wait for the news to tell me what God is doing with the weather today!

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