Tag Archives: weather

Monster Dash into the wind

November 2012

This was the second year that the Meier family participated in this Halloween-themed 5k race with special races for kids, a costume contest and a sudden dip in temperature. I’m not sure it the sudden weather change is an annual thing, but it certainly has been the trend for the past two years.  It’s as if Lake Jackson can’t figure out whether or not it wants to participate in fall temperatures until the weekend before Halloween.  Then, suddenly the weather decides to jump into fall with temperatures resembling the north pole.

Well, it might not be that drastic, but there is a drop of about twenty degrees that strives toward freezing temperatures. Last year, the temperature was in the low 40’s when we started our run.  This year, the temperature was in the mid 50’s, but included a wind chill that cut right through the cotton running outfit you thought was surely going to keep you warm enough.

(At the end of the kids’ “fun run” we were all still feeling the sting of the cold air.)

Unfortunately, I wasn’t really physically ready to run a 5km this year.  Last year, I had jogged the 5km while pushing my darling little Grace in a running stroller.  Stephen had the double stroller with Jared and Luke bundled up inside.  The boys didn’t mind too much being in the stroller.  They had participated in a 100 meter race before the 5km.  Half of the participants had dressed up in Halloween costumes for the race so that they could compete in a costume contest at the end of the race.

This year, I had not been running on a regular basis.  I hadn’t even been walking on a regular basis.  The most exercise I had been getting was in the process of cleaning the house.  Sweeping, mopping, dusting and scrubbing on a weekly basis had been the extent of my muscle use.  My poor little tread mill had seen the vacuum cleaner and duster more often than it saw my running shoes in the past six months.

Therefore, I became the spectator and Grace became the participant in the kiddie race.  It was her first race ever.  She can’t really run yet, but she did a great job speed walking.  She came in dead last, but she finished the race as the youngest participant.  Jared and Luke were actually near the front.  Jared came in fourth place even after falling on the gravel path twice during the race.

When the time came for Stephen to run the 5k race, he decided to leave the running stroller at home so the kids could watch the race with me.  We sat in the car to stay out of the wind until we saw Stephen coming around the bend for the final 400 meters of the race.  The boys ran out to the race course yelling, “Go Daddy!  Kick it, Daddy!  You can do it!”

(Jared and Luke cheer on their daddy as he approaches the finish line.)

Although Stephen wasn’t really impressed with his own time, he was able to get second place in his age group and received a special Monster Dash glass.

The people wearing costumes also were also given points for their outfits as they ran the 5k.  In the end, there was a prize given to the best adult costume, the best kids’ outfit and the best group outfit.  There were a group of runners who were dressed up as different condiments (ketchup, mustard, etc.) and one person as a hotdog.  There were a group of elves and a group of Star Wars characters.

It was a fun race to be a part of, in spite of the cold weather.  It was also good to get back home after the race and warming up again with a mid-morning snack.

Weather or not in Lake Jackson

November 2012

I grew up without any seasonal changes, so I’m not a person to be disappointed by snowless winters, a lack of a real spring blossoming or colorful fall foliage.  The process in which a tree goes from green to gold and then brown before become leafless is something I only read about in books. It also doesn’t help that my book knowledge of tree species is limited to elementary basics.  I’m pretty sure I can identify your basic pine tree (although I will probably confuse it with the spruce and fir trees).  I think I can tell the difference between a maple, oak, magnolia and birch, but I might get confused if you throw a beech or sassafras tree in front of me.

My first experience with true seasonal changes among these deciduous varieties was when I lived in the Appalachian mountains of Virginia.  The trees would begin to turn colors in early October and bursts of brilliant colors would cover the hills as we moved slowly from fall into winter. By December, the trees were appropriately bare and the weather would dip down near freezing on various nights.

Then I moved to Texas. The trees I have met in Lake Jackson, Texas during my year here were different from the ones I’ve seen up north. It doesn’t help that there is a curious blend of tropical plants and palm trees planted in the same neighborhoods with the oaks, maples and firs. They all seem to live and thrive well together for most of the year.

My confusion began when fall weather came upon us in a rush on a cold October morning.  Perhaps these Texan trees are confused by the fact that October temperatures still resemble those of early August. Maybe they feel the peer pressure of their tropical counterparts to keep their leaves to themselves. After weeks of balmy weather, October temperatures dropped to near freezing leaving tropical plants crying out in misery. The rest of the trees seem to fall in three categories.  The first group of trees turned to their fall colors in a flash. Their reds, oranges and yellows happily cried out, “Fall is here!” After a few weeks, these trees began dropping their leaves in accordance to Mother Nature.

The second group of trees was less decisive.  They waited until the first group had long begun to lose their brown leaves before tentatively allowing some of their green robes to fade to yellow.  Eventually, they would also catch up with their fall-happy partners and begin to lose their leaves as well.

The last group of trees is a bunch of stubborn oak trees that wait until spring before they realize that they have not updated their wardrobe.  In a sudden rush, they work to remove the old leaves while pollinating at the same time.  I learned that this is actually normal of the oak trees in our back yard as they deposit both leaves and a layer of yellow and brown dust on our back porch and lawn.

In any case, we have discovered that our biggest raking efforts need to be saved until mid-March when we finally are able to collect the last of the leaves that fall from our trees.

(Kids in the Yard – March 2013)

Just Another Busy November

The MK Meier family has finally settled into life here in Lake Jackson, Texas.  During the past month, we’ve seen the weather go down from the 90’s range to the 40’s. We’ve watched the mosquito armies bring on a late summer attack for a couple weeks, just to die off every time the temperature dropped below 50.  We went from using air conditioning on a regular basis to needing to use heat. We’ve settled into a routine that keeps the boys busy (and Mamma from going insane).  She also been quite busy attempting to potty train Luke and to get Grace to eat some of her first solid foods.

If any of you have been following the blog, you’ll note that I’ve actually been adding posts a little at a time over the past month.  However, if this is the first time that you’ve visited the blog since the past update, here are the stories you will find:

1) Our two big prayer requests (probably our biggest stressors at this time)
2) My 25 hour day (thoughts on what Cristina should do on the day that daylight savings ends)
3) Halloween alternatives (how the MK Meier family celebrated Halloween for the first time)
4) A Trip to Chicago (find out why Stephen left Lake Jackson for three days to attend a conference)
5) Remembering Smashed Potatoes (discussing some of the cute phrased the boys have said)
6) The Lake Jackson Speed Trap (owning up to Cristina’s first time caught speeding)
7) Texan invadors (dealing with the Texas mosquito population explosion)

Feel free to read through the blog and enjoy!