After reading several postings on facebook about how cold it's been, I had to join in. I remember a couple stretches of winters that had us northerners all talking. The first was when I was a child in the 1960's. The snow banks were higher than my smaller self. I've seen black and white pictures of our house surrounded by snow and when the roads, sidewalks and driveways were shoveled there was enough snow on the snow banks to make awesome forts and some good sledding without going to a park.
Then there was another stretch of winters in the late 70's and early 80's that had us northerners talking about the weather once again. It made the snow banks of the 60's look more like March melted piles. One such storm left enough snow that covered the cars in the road left by their drivers because they couldn't see past their windshield to drive any further. I was one of those drivers. I spent the night with thirty other people in a stranger's house and in the morning I watched snow mobiles go down the road, over the tops of the cars that we left in the road because the riders were totally unaware the cars were underneath them. It took payloaders to yank our cars out.
As an upstate New Yorker, I have learned a valuable lesson about winter. If you can't beat it, join it. Some move south to warmer weather and no snow. I went sledding, and ice skating, and cross country and down hill skiing, and snow shoeing and even some snow mobiling. I did it all and I came to enjoy the winters (as much as you can enjoy them!)
Then came the last stretch of winters where we had green Christmases. As a northerner, I hated them. Outdoor Christmas lights just don't look the same without a fresh coating of the white fluff. And my skis and ice skates and snow shoes started to gather dust, not snow. For me, the winters became a little depressing. There was lots of talk amongst us northerners that maybe Global Warming was the cause for the warmer winters and lack of snow which in turn caused some pretty dry, hot summers (I won't even talk about how much I dislike the heat).
Boy were we wrong! This winter has brought a whole new meaning to cold. The talk has become who is colder. We;ve watched the temperatures dive to the single digits with wind chills forcing them even further into the depths of below zero. We've watched the southern states deal with the kind of winters we used to have. We talk to friends and co-workers and it becomes a contest as to whose town is colder. At one point, even Alaska was warmer than New York and my friends in the true upstate New York (you know those mountains) had forty below weather-without a wind chill. They won the contest!
Winter is back with a vengence and we worry that we'll have another stretch of winters where the freezing cold temperatures will be the issue. I'm tired of watching videos and newscasts where water turns immediately to ice as it comes out of a spray bottle when sprayed outside, or a hamburg left outside becomes frozen after minutes, or expressways turned into ice skating rinks for cars in states where we usually go during winter recess to get warm. But, I'm in New York to stay- I'll just have to join winter once again. So, I guess I'll get my snow shoes out and go snow shoeing, or down hill and cross country skiing, or ice skating or even some mild sledding (don't want to break any bones). Snow mobiling would be fun.
On the other hand, it's just too cold to go outside.