Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Cold Enuff Fer Ya!

When I was a kid, I would hear my relatives ask each other, “Well, cold enuff fer ya?” It was later while living in Oklahoma that I realized there were different degrees of cold, and what is “cold enuff” for one may not be too cold for another.

Where I grew up in North Florida, when the winter temperature plummets to forty-five degrees we all complain about how cold it is and that we are freezing. We pile an extra log in the fireplace (if we are lucky enough to have one) and push the thermostat up higher than we have it for cooling in the summer. (Some of us still wear shorts and tee shirts inside, this is Florida after all.)

Sweaters and coats come out of closets just so we can at least get one or two wearings out of our Christmas gifts. Every now and then we see a few flakes of snow and all hell breaks loose. Every child in the area is rushed outside to see real snow and hospitals are flooded with kids with stiff necks whose tongues won’t recoil inside their lips.

Even more rarely, like every fifteen or twenty years or so, we waken to a white wonderland of accumulated snow. Sometimes it even lasts until sundown. We all but declare a holiday snow day and the electric company issues pleas to conserve power to prevent rolling blackouts. The reason for the high energy consumption is that we have all run outside (some in shorts and tee shirts), leaving doors wide open, to frolic in the phenomenon. Even adults flop backwards trying to make snow angels and kids scrape up the snow for pitiful snowmen. If there is not enough snow or it begins to melt in the sun, refrigerators are raided for frost and shady places are harvested.

The first winter I lived in Oklahoma, I discovered that not only was the weather cold enough, but too damn cold for me. It snowed and snowed and snow piled up – and up – and up. The wind blew drifts against the houses and cars and I saw exactly what purpose those “snow” fences served. I also discovered that cords on electric blankets do not reach all the way around the kitchen and extension cords are required. I also discovered that it is not wise to fry bacon while wearing an electric blanket turned to “high.” I measured my misery in how many pairs of socks I had on. A three-sock snow day turned me into a homesick lunatic.

My next door neighbors, however, thought this mild winter weather was just wonderful and no where near what they had back home in upstate New York. Ah ha! It was not cold enough for them. My native Oklahoman friends waltzed outside to get the mail and newspapers without layering on sweaters and coats. I decided there was nothing in the mail box I really want to see until spring and canceled my paper subscription.

Finally back home in Florida, I now welcome each “cold snap” with open arms. When the Weather Channel predicts blizzard conditions sweeping across the Plains or dropping great volumes of snow on the Northeast, I run outside (in shorts and tee shirt) and kiss my unfrozen ground.

Nope, not too cold fer me. Hit be juss fine, juss fine.

© Copyright 2006 Suzzwords

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous3:15 PM

    It was warmer in OKC than Fla. just a few days ago, so I was happy. Now we are reversing the situation and wish I were there!!