Last fall we cleaned out my dad’s house just prior to his death.
I didn’t want a ton of little treasures collected by my mom and dad
as I am old enough to have already created my own clutter without
adding more from the previous generation. There was one of a few
things that I took home about which I want to tell.
I left it on the floor until almost the last day before we closed
the house. I figured someone else must want it and as the youngest of
the kids I should probably wait. When it was still sitting there, I
took it home. “It” was a weather station made by the “Taylor
Instrument Company” of Asheville, North Carolina.
I remember this little weather
station sitting in the kitchen at mom and dad’s home back in Viking.
It is about the size of a small radio and displays temperature,
humidity and barometric pressure. The barometric pressure gauge also
has a marking hand for forecasting future weather. There is a
center, knurled nob which is used to move the marking hand to a place
where it lines up with the current position of the barometric needle.
You do this at night before bed and when you wake up you will see
whether the barometer has fallen or is on the rise. Falling
barometric pressure is generally associated with clouds and
precipitation while a rising barometric pressure typically foretells
clear skies and dry conditions.
The Taylor Company is still in business but I didn’t find a lot of
information on the weather station. The body appears to be made of
Bakelite with a clear, plastic front. I found several stations for
sale online with an average price of about $15. This particular model appears to
be quite sturdy as it still works and looks good considering it
appears to have been made in the late fifties to mid-sixties.
Here’s the thing; I don’t care about value or rarity of the weather
station, this is a personal. First off, I am always interested in the
weather and this tool is extremely helpful. I find myself driven to
simplify and I’ve tried most modern weather stations and
typically am disappointed. This little station not only tells me the
current or future weather, it has at least half a decade of
experience and proven results-something I respect.
The weather station also reminds me of home in Viking. I always
wondered about that magical little box when I was a kid and fortunately did not explore
its workings with my screwdriver or hammer. It is very much like an
old friend who waited for me to mature enough to appreciate
its function and now we can work together to know the weather. It is
also an item which finds itself the center of my focus during short
daydreams of my own childhood. Perhaps that is the point of these
little family heirlooms; talismans for a future that includes good
reverie of past times and increasing barometric pressure.