Brrr it’s cold! Yeah, even here in Arizona it’s been cold. But sometimes it’s hard to grasp the wrath of the Antarctic weather that has wreaked havoc on more than 100 million Americans, sending them shivering and running 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 at the age of 10 I knew I was going to move to a warmer place. Maybe it was because I had to walk to school in freezing, windy, and lung-piercing weather. Or maybe because my brother got frostbite (on the way to school) in both ears and they looked like cauliflower heads. Ouch!
Cold weather brings challenges and rituals that we usually don’t care about (OK, sometimes at higher elevations). Cover the pipes, turn on the snow blower, scrape the windshield, start the car periodically or wrap the battery, throw the salt, shovel the driveway, turn up the heat, keep a drop of water in the pipes – oh my God, it’s a lot of work for people who live in a cold country. Not to mention knocking over a polystyrene cooler and cutting a hole in the side for stray animals or tossing bird seed and suet for feathered friends. Put some boots and a coat on Fido and “brace” the storm.
A writer from South Dakota pointed out that “winter brings out character.” Maybe true. But I’m sure winter brings layers of clothing, goose down jackets, face masks that only criminals should wear, thermal underwear, earmuffs, hats, woolen socks and sturdy boots. Personage? Maybe shoveling snow could feel like something “only the tough can endure” and provide some pride. And since record breaking cold snaps don’t happen all the time, accepting the “bad” with the good is one way to cope. Otherwise, how could so many people experience a summer in Phoenix unless it was “balanced” with a wonderful winter?
How about those poor souls who were trapped in their cars on I-95 in Virginia for 15 hours overnight? Hundreds of cars were stuck in traffic, freezing temperatures, people stuck in their vehicles, running out of gas, without food, water or amenities. Jackknifed trucks and people desperately crying out for help as Armageddon unfolded. Oh, Arizona, how we love you. Even I-17 in the worst traffic mess should make us feel blessed.
So when a friend of mine in Ohio wrote on Facebook that “weather isn’t everything” and that 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’s golf in January, wearing shorts under clear blue skies, taking walks on chilly winter mornings, playing pickle ball in the afternoon, or riding a horse on a sunny day in February. !
Face masks? Forget that. Sun glasses? Obligatory. Salt? Not on the streets, just on margarita glasses. The cold has arrived, and we are ready!
Judy Bluhm is a local realtor and writer. Have a story or comment? Email Judy at [email protected]