I live in southern Virginia about 11 miles from the North Carolina border. One of the appeals of being south of the Mason Dixon line is the climate particularly since I do not like cold. I grew up in northwest Ohio and my first job was at the downtown public library. I still recall the cold wind that tore through me while waiting for the bus after leaving work in the winter months. Living along Lake Erie meant that we were routinely treated to “lake effect snow.” Until Lake Erie froze, the bitterly cold winds from the north would pass over the warmer waters of the lake; draw the moisture up and upon reaching the colder land, dump large quantities on the people who lived there. Being young and arrogant, I thought it was a double insult to not only have to live in Toledo but also to have deal with that kind of weather.
We used to joke about strapping a snow blower to the top of a car and driving south until someone pointed to it and asked what it was. We figured that would be an indication of relative safety from snow.
I like to think that I have some expertise when it comes to dealing with weather. After spending so much time in northern Ohio, I also spent just over a month in Antarctica. Antarctica is not known for snow – mainly cold since it is actually a frozen desert with less precipitation than the Sahara; it is so cold that snow that fell many years ago is still there. Here’s an example – you could get a cup of coffee directly from the coffee pot and pour it on the ground. When it hit the ground it would immediately freeze. When I reviewed my list of things to do in this lifetime, I believed that the desire to be very cold and see a lot of snow had been adequately met.
I have lived in other places that did winter with a vengeance. Wyoming would routinely get 5 inches of snow on Halloween so that the kids couldn’t go door to door. The Cheyenne high schools would set up booths with games and such for the kids to trick or treat indoors. It was also a routine to get an overnight snowstorm in June. Of course as soon as the sun came up it would slide off the roof in one dramatic avalanche and melt.
Why am I fixated with snow today? On the evening of Christmas it began to snow here in Virginia. Did I mention we’re in SOUTHERN Virginia? As in to the warm south practically in North Carolina? As of now we have nearly a foot of snow and it’s still coming down.
So having adequately complained about the weather, I am now going to do what any experienced cold weather survivor would do:
1. Stay inside
2. Putter around the house on a few of the more “fun” projects
3. Read a bit of Tom Clancy’s Dead or Alive (a Christmas gift from my wife)
4. Take a nap
“Weather forecast for tonight: dark.“
Copyright 2010 SF Nowak – All Rights Reserved