Before I departed for Belgium, I looked online for info about the weather. Seemed like it would be much like Asheville: a lot of rain, many grey days, not too hot in the summer, not too cold in the winter. That weather pattern is in part why I left friends and a good teaching situation in Asheville, lo those many years ago. Well, that and the lack of a beach. To be honest, though, I really love the sun. A lot. A really whole lot. Too many grey days can get me down in the dumps. But Asheville, while lovely, is not Europe, and the ability to get to Spain and France easily definitely trumps the weather, so here I am, just south of Brussels, and happy to be so.
I joined a Facebook group for Shapians, too, weeks before I left the States. The group has a lot of good, practical info about living in Belgium. Posts on the site range from looking for someone to cut and color your hair to rants about poor customer service. (To the latter, I wanted to say, “Hey, have you BEEN to NC lately???”) Anyway, sometime around Christmas, when I was toasty warm in 70+ degrees in sunny Southeastern NC, there was a flurry of posts about really strong winds, cold rain and ice. So I poked around a little more on the site. Hmmm…what is all this business about day after day of rain? I looked out my Wilmington window at the blue sky and sun, taking particular note of the black-eyed Susans still blooming beside my front step.
The first two weeks I was here, it was in the high forties to very low fifties every day with, as the meteorologists love to say, ABUNDANT SUNSHINE. Kind of cool but definitely bearable, with blue skies above and sunshine on my smiling face every time I stepped outside. I was surprised and happy. Everyone kept saying, “This is not normal,” and “Enjoy it while it lasts,” and “You must’ve brought the sun with you.” Oh, pshaw. Did I mention I really love sunshine?
Well, for the last week, the sun has definitely disappeared. It has been grey day after grey, dreary day, with rain or threatening rain nearly 100% of the time. In fact, it has rained 10 of the last 12 days, at least a little. Most of the time, it has not been a downpour, but sunless skies reign. I have worn my rain boots only once, but I have wished I’d worn them at least four or five times. And today…well, today it was as cold as a witch’s, um, ELBOW, as my mother used to say. And that isn’t the end of it. The aforementioned meteorologists are now saying the high will be at or below freezing every day for the next five days. The HIGH, people. *sigh* The high.
So now I see what all the complaints were about. But hey, I’m going to Corrie Ten Boom’s house in March! Maybe catch the Van Gogh Museum while there in nearby Amsterdam! Who needs sunshine when you’ve got a Starry Night? (Singing) “…paint your palette blue and grey…”
Click the link for Don McLean’s Vincent, along with a slide show of Van Gogh’s work.
Click the link to learn about the Van Gogh Museum.
Click the link to learn about Corrie Ten Boom.