In my youth (or my yoot, to all the Cousin Vinney fans) I loved extreme weather. I have tracked hurricanes with Harvey Leonard on my own chart. I have ensured that the house had enough candles, batteries, and water. I followed storms from days in advance. I’m the one the family calls when any big storm / hurricane / Nor’easter / tornado / renegade Easter Bunny heads our way. I’m the one out there in my car, shooting video of lightning. I’m the one taking pictures of the snow, video of the hurricanes. I even made an, “I survived the Blizzard of 1978” certificate all those years ago.
I am family weather guy.
“You love this stuff,” Mom always says as we batten down the hatches for an impending weather wipeout. I can hear the amusement in her voice as she asks if I’m prepared for the storm. She wants to know if I have a dozen flashlights and a generator in the bomb shelter.
I called Mom last week (because Mom’s worry, she tells me) – after my two hour drive home through the latest wintry fantasyland. I told her I’d arrived safely but was resigning as family weather guy.
It’s true. Add me to the list of people who hate this time of year.
When did I come to this revelation? I mean, this time of year has so many benefits — short gray days, an absence of daylight, bitter cold, frozen pipes, dead batteries, biting wind, wind chill factors that rival temperatures in the Oort Cloud, ice storms that chill the soul, a feeling that the end of the world is close, a sun that flashes with the intensity of a 7 watt bulb … What’s not to love?
What caused the big change in heart for me, you ask? Maybe it’s the 24-hour news coverage whenever flakes threaten to fall (gee, do you think there will be delays at the Airport?)
Maybe it’s because most people don’t know that the Oort cloud is the far-distant ring of comets that surround our solar system (so it’s dark and cold). I’m family astronomy guy, too. But I digress.
And then it hit me like the ton of icicles hanging off my roof: I hate winter. I don’t want to be the family weather guy anymore. I despise this wintry, snowy time of year. I hate cold, ice and snow.
This has been an unusual, virtually snowless winter. With the exception of the ice storm a few weeks back, winter 2007 has been virtually snowless. What we lacked in snowy precipitation we made up for in deadly cold.
Then, last Friday happened. And the skies, they did open, and the snow, it did fall, and fall. And fall. As if making up for the lack of that fluffy white stuff all winter, Mother Nature gave us our first Nor’easter quite late in the season. She couldn’t let it go, could she? She couldn’t just let ONE winter go by without at least one snowstorm, one day of traffic delays, airport delays, closings, accidents and treacherous road conditions.
Nice to know my snow blower works, anyway.
Oh, in years past I might sing of the glory of the crisp beauty of this winter wonderland, the fresh snow, the sleeping trees in wintry slumber, the hints of spring, the Christmas-card perfection of the blue jays and cardinals as they sing happy little winter bird songs, ice fishing near Chippewa Falls, skiing in the crisp mountain air, sun glistening off the icy … icy … icy … .
So … . Very … Cold … .
Enough. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of it. I’m sick of the ice (not to mention falling on the ice). One lousy snowstorm and I’m sick of that, too. I’m sick of wind-chill factors that require drinking liquid nitrogen to warm up and making temperature comparisons to a phenomenon in the solar system most people don’t know exists. I’m tired of chipping and scraping my car out of its icy prison only to learn it doesn’t want to play today.
I’m fed up with the glee in the meteorologist’s faces as they scribble, “12”-26″ on their maps and add lots of little ” * ” (which means lots of * * * snow * * *) and then it doesn’t happen, and you can see the profound disappointment in their eyes. Boy, I’ll bet they were thrilled last Friday when some snow finally fell!
It’s true! All winter, regardless of the REAL news of war, death, famine, murder, whatever, the first words on the newscast are SNOW.
“Good evening! In tonight’s news, Osama Bin Laden has been captured, there’s been a major development toward peace in Iraq, and the space station Mir made contact with a real flying saucer, but first our top story is the SNOW is heading for Boston!”
And I’m tired of these “not the heat it’s the humidity” idiots who keep saying things like, “Well, we were due for a snowstorm since we’ve had no snow all winter!” Does that mean if Godzilla wipes out Montana, someone will say, “Well, we were due, after all those years when no giant monsters whacked any US farm states.”
Did I mention I’m tired of being cold. One storm and I’m sick of the snow. Enough!
I want to go somewhere warmer, like Aruba. Or maybe Grand Cayman. Or the planet Mercury. Sure, Mercury has no atmosphere (another astronomy snippet!) but it NEVER snows there!
Am I rambling? Yeah, I suppose. Maybe my brain is frozen — my wife sure think so. But I’m not alone on this.
Well, I have to go. I’m going outside to retrieve the recycle bin that the trash guys hurled into my icy pond, and I have to hurry because it’s almost three, which means I have maybe 12 more minutes of light left.
Winter wonderland, indeed.