OK, I’ve had it.
It’s icing again outside. We’re scheduled to have below freezing temps for the next two days….including a current wind chill of minus one. (Yes, right now)
The weather around here, for the past few weeks, has been beyond insane. And beyond having to contend with it ourselves, we’ve had to contend with it in the presence of pompous and self-righteous people from Green Bay and Pittsburg, complaining about what weather wimps we are, and wisely opining about what they woulda done in their cities.
And so, I’ve just had it. I’ve got to get this rage out somewhere. So, it’s gonna generally be directed at anybody who lives North of here. Oh yeah, and Mother Nature too.
First, to all you folks who think you’re such great winter weather experts, let’s get this straight. We’re not gonna buy hundreds of snowplows. We’re just not.
Think about it. Why would we? At best, we’d use ’em three times a year. Then what? They’d get to sit around in some parking lot for 349 days, rotting away. They’d be five years old before they got a months-worth of use. Yeah. That’d be real good use of public money. (turn on your sarcasm detectors).
So, please, stop acting like we’re idiots for not having them. We’d be idiots TO have them.
Then, there’s the issue of ice vs. snow. With all your vast winter weather knowledge –you wise and sage people from the North– you surely understand that it’s hard to drive on ice, right? Or do you get ice much?
Because, see, what we get most of the time –what we’re getting again here this morning– is ice. Yes, we’ve gotten two nice snow showers the past two years (record ones, in fact), and we’ve freaked out about those…BECAUSE THAT NEVER HAPPENS! We thought it was kinda cool and fun. At first.
But now we’re back to ice. And while we’re clearly naive simpetons when it comes to winter weather (turn on your sarcasm detector again) we do know enough to know this:
The only thing that drives well on ice is a Zamboni.
Not even YOU can drive well on ice.
In case you missed it, this is what we got the other day. The video of this girl skating on her street was filmed the *second* day of the ice. The snow fell on the fourth day.
Again, we get that you drive on snow. We do that too. Every time we go skiing in Colorado.
And we do it well. We did it well last Friday, when snow was mostly what we got. (Around six inches).
But we can’t drive on that ice out there. And you can’t either. So, please, spare us your cold weather lectures.
But if you want to know why we’re really getting pissed off, it’s because all of this is a break in our basic contract with Mother Nature.
You see, we get that you get a lot more cold weather. We understand that. You choose to live a place where that happens.
Why? We have no idea.
We just know that you do, and we assume you must like it for some reason. It makes no logical sense; but it can’t also be that everybody who lives in the North is inherently masochistic. So, we intuit that, somehow, you must like it. Good for you.
But we live here…
…Where it can often be above 100 degrees for three or four weeks straight.
…Where it’s in the high-90s for many more weeks beyond that.
…Where, sometimes, on an August midnight it can still 90 degrees out there.
…Where well into the summer, with temps in the mid 90s, you’ll find people sitting at outdoor patios having lunch.
That’s how we roll.
And here’s the thing: we understand that we don’t get to complain about it. I mean, we can bitch about it here and there. And, we do. Now and then. But we don’t cry in our beer. We don’t rend our clothes or gnash our teeth.
Because it’s a part of the deal. It’s a part of the basic contract we make with Mother Nature around here.
We learn to put up with it. We learn to LOVE it, actually. Really we do. Most of us. We LOOOOVE hot weather.
You know the only thing I personally don’t like about it? (And I swear this is true) Getting into a hot car. I don’t like that feeling of 130-degree air that slams into your face. I don’t like the feeling of hot steering wheels, seats, and plastic that feels like its about to melt.
But, see, that’s it. That’s all I don’t like about it. And I can live with that. Really, I can. In fact, I can MORE than live with that. Without seconds hesitation, I would take two weeks of 100-plus weather just to avoid one day like today. Really, I would.
But the problem is, we’re getting waaay more than “one day” of these below-normal days. It’s been almost three straight weeks of temps well below average; and temps that often don’t make it above freezing at all.
And we didn’t sign up for that. Like I said, it’s a violation of our basic contract with Mother Nature. We’ve lived up to our end of the bargain, by living here each summer. Why can’t she live up to her’s?
So, yes, we’re angry at her too.
OK. Got that all of out of my system.
I feel better now.
Better enough that I can recall the conversation I had yesterday with a friend who lives in another city.
She was talking about a mutual friend of ours who is a virtual shut-in in his home. She told me that our mutual friend is basically “homebound” and unable to get out and about. He’s got some chronic health problems that mean that he’ll never work again, even though he’s definitely still young enough to be considered of “working age.”
She visits him about once a week. Another friend visits now and then. But what this means is that, day after day passes, and nobody visits. In most weeks, what we all experienced here last week –four days of being shut in the house– is what he experiences every week. Every day.
And not by choice.
So, I meditated on all of that for a while. I thought about all the hundreds, perhaps thousands, of shut-in folks in our city who won’t be out on Saturday when it “finally” warms up again, because “getting out” is never an option for them. I thought about the hundreds of thousands (maybe millions?) more of them across the country.
And I realized that while I can –and obviously will– rant about all this in a blog; in real life I’ve got nothing at all to complain about.
And very likely, where ever you live, neither do you.