Sunday, January 21, 2007

It's Official; I Now Hate Winter Weather

Well it finally snowed. You know it hasn’t been a very severe winter when there hasn’t been any measurable snow on the ground or no temperatures below zero until the third week in January.

We had about a week of cold weather in early December. And this week has been fairly winter-like. But most of the season has been rather balmy.

The big news about all this to people who have known me all my life is that I’m not complaining about the warm weather and lack of snow. It’s true that as a kid, I lived for wintertime and snow and was sorely disappointed when we had a mild winter.

And even into adulthood, I loved the snow. I spent several years living in northern Indiana, where it usually snows a lot more than here. I had some serious disappointments every time the weatherman forecast heavy snow and then it didn’t happen.

I can remember in the 1980s when we had a record-breaking cold snap in late December. The maximum temperature on Christmas Eve was about 10 below zero. I was thrilled. I was enjoying every minute of it, especially since there was snow on the ground.

We had a blizzard in 1979 while I was living in Indianapolis. School was closed for a week as the city and much of the state was buried under more than a foot of snow. There was snow on the ground continuously most of the winter and even into the spring. I remember it as a very good winter.

People change as they get older, but when it comes to weather preference, I don’t know of anyone who has changed as much as I. Nowadays, the only two days of the year that snow is ok by me is on Christmas Eve and Christmas Day. Instead of rooting for the snow to be bigger and heavier than forecast I now root for it to do what it always seemed to do when I was younger, dissipate before it arrives.

This year, thanks to El Nino and possibly some help from global warming, I haven’t been disappointed, at least not until this week. Although I still think snow is very pretty, I hate being out in it. I hate the cold even more.

When I was younger, I used to imagine where I would like to live if not in Indiana. I always thought north. I like Canada, Minnesota, Michigan, and Wisconsin. I never thought about ever moving south. I couldn’t imagine myself living in a warm climate. I hated hot weather.

Well, I still do hate hot weather, but not as much as I hate the cold now. If I moved anywhere else, it would definitely be toward the south.

So what happened to make me do a 180-degree turn of opinion toward winter weather? The answer is, I haven’t a clue. I don’t really even remember when it happened exactly. I think it was sometime around 2000 or 2001. I remember still loving snow in the mid-1990s.

I seem to recall thinking one night when it was very cold and I was out checking a tire that had gone flat on my car that this is not at all very comfortable. It had been a cold, snowy winter, one that I would have really loved only a few years earlier. But I was over it. I no longer liked winter weather, but I didn’t really admit it to myself. At the time, I just didn’t like the situation.

Now I can admit it. I no longer like wintertime or snow, except at Christmas. I know that global warming is happening and it could lead to grave consequences in the near future. But for now, one good side effect might be milder winters with lower heating bills. And that’s fine by me.

1 comment:

Ye-ling Chang said...

February 23, 2007
Ye-ling Chang’s Responses to Mr. Wilson’s article of January 21, 2007,
“It's Official; I Now Hate Winter Weather”

Your strong disappointment with the mild winter in Indianapolis in this winter is a big surprise to me. For a reader from a subtropical island, Taiwan, I regard blizzard or wind-chill are abnormally natural phenomena in the U.S.A. just like tsunami in Thai or earthquakes in Taiwan. And I thought few people like them.
Being a foreign student in U. of Missouri-Columbia during 1981-1986, I remembered that I always had hard time walking on a one-feet-snowy sidewalk in Columbia, Missouri, especially in 1984 when most of oranges were frozen to death because of a big blizzard in Florida. The bill for the heating fee was also high then. Therefore, I always comforted myself with the slogan “After winter is gone, spring will come soon.” Sometimes, spring in the U.S.A. didn’t come until May. Therefore, many people there appreciate spring even more.
I agree with you that El Nino and global warming made the warm winter this year. The Chinese New Year’s Days has been celebrated during Feb. 17-26, 2007. We didn’t have a cold winter but a warm one during the holiday. So many families spent their holiday in family trips locally or abroad.
I also had a trip in Tokyo and Zao Mt., Japan, during Jan. 26-30, 2007. The winter in the two places are server (-10F ~ 9F), but I did have fun to learn to “survive” there. I was glad to be released after the five-day “cold” trip in Japan. After all, it is fun to experience server winter sometimes (but not always) to me.