Two years ago, our sons gave my husband a weather station kit for Christmas. I must tell you that there were some snickers and inappropriate titters from the distaff side of the family.

In retrospect, it was most unkind and ultimately wrong of us to have treated the gift and the givers that way.

In fact, it was a wonderful present. He loves it.

It came in many pieces, much assembly required, directions printed in several foreign languages and just exactly what my husband wanted – even though he didn’t know it at the time.

Things that come in many pieces, by their very nature, require trips to hardware stores. And, in this house, a day without a trip to a hardware store is, well, a day without sunshine or purpose. Thus, that weather station was the gift that kept on giving, from day one.

I’ve been told that in its assembled state, it lives on our dock. I prefer the accu-window style of forecasting, but apparently there are better, more up-to-date and precise ways to determine the weather.

As an aside, I’ll admit to a bit of jealousy here. That weather station gets over 8,000 hits a month. Eight thousand! I, dear reader, don’t get that many, not even close. Can you feel my angst?

In defense of the weather station, it’s fun to learn that you’re going to get a pop-up shower at 2:15 in the afternoon. On the other hand, it’s also fun to be surprised by the dark rain clouds forming in the west, bringing a cooling storm our way.

It’s a little like knowing – or not knowing – the sex of your unborn child. Okay, maybe not quite that dramatic, but still. You get my drift.

One of my daughters-in-law, who lives near us and shall remain nameless, said she has her own weather station and has had it for years. Do tell, we asked. “It’s simple,” she said.

“You hang a piece of rope from a tree in the back yard. If it’s dry, it hasn’t rained. If it’s wet, it has. And if it’s gone, we’ve had a hurricane.”

I just love the way she thinks.

Sallie Collins enjoys living on the banks of the May River and writes about it in her blog,, from which this article is taken.