I dislike being cold. A lot. I dislike the feeling of my freezing feet and fingers. I usually feel lethargic and stuck when it’s too cold outside. It’s usually too cold for me outside when it’s below 50F. Cam likes the snow. It’s pretty, I’ll give him that. I like looking at it when I’m drinking hot tea from afar.
What I mean by from afar is, say, Africa. Since returning from the other side of the great pond, I have been fairly lucky in experiencing fairly mild winters. I missed a few ice storms while living in Africa, while learning to cope with sandstorms instead. I am pretty well equipped at handling the sandstorm, flash flood, or the long suffocating hot season of the Sahel.
On top of that, mild winters are generally the norm in the southern state where we live. It snows just enough to cover the ground overnight, then melt by noon the next day. (Don’t worry, officials will still cancel school anyway with an inch of snow on the ground.) So, to wake up last Monday with 12 inches of snow on the ground, I was happy to join the rest of my state in skipping work. I stayed on the coziness of my couch, kept company by Captain Picard of Star Trek: Next Gen on Netflix.
Yes, a foot is absolutely nothing compared to the extreme weather my friends in the northeast experienced. Had I experienced anything remotely close to that, I wouldn’t have left the house for a month. I would have been completely caught up on every Star Trek series Netflix has to offer.
Not only do I dislike the cold, I dislike driving in it. Anyone from the north who has attempted driving in the couple of inches of snow on a southern road understands what I mean. Most of us cannot drive in it. I don’t know how well I can drive in it, because I DON’T drive in it. Cam acted as my chauffeur in his four-wheel drive SUV when he was able. He wasn’t able often, because unlike the rest of us too whiny to step foot outside, he worked a lot of overtime to compensate for those who lived in the more rural areas and couldn’t make the commute to work.
Not only is the driving of southerners (myself included) driving in the snow a source of humor, the en mass shopping for milk and bread is puzzling to me. It’s as if we believe we are going to be snowed in for a month. So, why do we purchase the most perishable items at our local grocery store? I guess everyone was one step ahead of Cam and I. We did not even prepare to that level. We usually dismiss how bad the storm will be. That logic usually doesn’t fail us. We’re generally amused at the overreaction to a couple of inches of snow. However, last Monday afternoon, we found ourselves scouring through the frozen pizzas at the nearest grocery store.
We have a saying here, “if you don’t like the weather here, wait fifteen minutes.” I didn’t say it was a unique saying. It isn’t a very accurate saying either. Every morning I woke up, I still found the snow and the ice outside.
It’s still there, in fact. In a compromise, I ventured out to have fun in the winter wonderland with Cam. He found his old snowsuits and coveralls and we played in the snow like 10 year old kids. I layered on every possible piece of clothing. I lasted about 20 minutes. Now, I am just patiently waiting for the slow advancement into spring. Perhaps the wait seems longer because as soon as spring comes, it’s full throttle ahead to finding a new home, planning a potential trip abroad, and perhaps a wedding ceremony in there somewhere. In the meantime, I’ll sit with my mug of hot tea and pretend it’s the Sahel’s latest sandstorm hitting my windows, and not the sleet, to take the chill out of my achy bones.