Brrrr it’s cold! Yes, even here in Arizona we have had a frosty, wet winter. But it is sometimes hard to grasp the wrath of Antarctica weather that has been wreaking havoc on more than 100 million Americans, causing them to shiver, shake and run for cover. Baby, it’s cold outside!
I was born in Cleveland and lived in Ohio for the first 26 years of my life. I think by the time I was 12 I knew that I was going to move to somewhere warmer. Perhaps it was because I had to walk to school in frigid, windy, lung piercing weather. Or maybe it was because my older brother got frostbite (while walking to school) on both of his ears and they looked like heads of cauliflowers. Ouch!
Cold weather brings challenges and rituals that most of us don’t have to worry about. Cover up the pipes, fire up the snow blower, scrape the windshield, start the car periodically or wrap the battery, throw the salt, shovel the walk-way, turn up the heat, keep a drip of water in the pipes … oh my, it’s a whole lot of work. Not to mention turning a Styrofoam ice cooler upside down and cutting a hole in the side for stray animals or throwing the bird seed and suet out for feathered friends. Blanket the horses, bring the chickens into the barn, put boots and a coat on Fido and “weather” the storm. Bang ice off the gutters and knock it off any flat roof before the whole thing collapses. Yes, Dear Readers, we are pretty blessed to have mild winters.
A writer in South Dakota pointed out that “winter brings out character.” Might be true. But I am certain that winter brings out layers of clothing, goose-down jackets, face masks that only criminals should wear, thermal underwear, ear muffs, hats, wool socks and sturdy boots. Character? Perhaps while shoveling snow it might feel like “only the tough can endure,” and provide a measure of solace. After all, record-breaking cold spells don’t happen all the time and accepting the “bad” with the good is one way of coping. How else could so many people live through a summer in Phoenix unless it is “balanced” by a wonderful winter?
So when a friend of mine in Ohio writes on Facebook that “weather is not everything” and there are far more important things in life than “a warm climate, sunny days and beautiful sunsets,” I have to agree. Of course, there are more essential things in life than good weather! There is golf in January, wearing shorts under clear, blue skies, taking walks on crisp winter mornings, playing tennis in the afternoon or riding a horse on a sunny day in February!
Face masks? Only unless we plan on engaging in a bank robbery! Sunglasses? Required. Salt? Not on streets, just on margarita glasses. Winter has arrived and we are ready!
Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local Realtor. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at firstname.lastname@example.org.