Driving back into Peterborough this afternoon over Temple Mountain we hit thunderstorms. The windshield wipers were beating as fast as possible trying to sweep away the rain. When we got over the mountain and down into Peterborough we were confronted by snow on the ground. Very odd, since the temperature was 40 degrees outside. On closer inspection it was sleet, maybe hail, indicating something fierce had been taking place up in the clouds. Then, clearing, and suddenly a double rainbow as vivid as any we’d ever seen stretched across the sky. Just about everyone was coming outside trying to capture the event on their smart devices.
We had guests from Tennessee this past weekend leaving after breakfast to drive up to the top of Mt. Washington. They’d been doing some homework and were questioning the report from the weather station atop Washington saying 28 degrees with wind gusts to 90 miles an hour.
“Seriously,” they asked?
Oh yes. Seriously. Mt. Washington weather is the jewel in our crown, we explained, amplifying our standing as having darn near the worst weather in the world. That’s New England. British soldiers, it’s been told, received Tropical pay to live and fight here. And George Washington’s troops nearly froze over the winter. It is a place of weather extremes, even, as today, in an instant.
Don’t like the weather? Move. Don’t like the weather? Wait 10 minutes. Those are the maxims around here. Plenty have moved, especially as they get older and it becomes harder and more dangerous for them personally to get through winter. But, others embody a Yankee mentality very much born of the weather. One neighbor and grand denizen of town whom we met shortly after arriving as the new innkeepers several years ago answered our question, “Do you head south for the winter?” with a curt, “Certainly not!”
Quite so. Tomorrow we expect the Hancock Market across the street will be full with the usual crowd and maybe a few others eager to talk about the todays thunderstorm and especially the double rainbow. Magnificent, wasn’t it?