…Is How I Really Feel About Winter
By Jeff Salter
Okay, I’ll try to make this short and sweet: I don’t like being cold.
Though I was raised mostly in the South (Louisiana, Mississippi, & Georgia) and spent the better part of my adult life in LA, I still had enough exposure to winter to know I didn’t care for it much.
As a toddler, I spent a couple of years in Chicago; one of my few actual memories from that time was walking on the sidewalk and seeing snow drifts higher than my head. One or two photos of me, wearing full outdoor winter clothing in Chicago, make me look like Ralphie’s younger brother in The Christmas Story.
As a kid, I lived for ten years in a seven-room house which was drafty, poorly-insulated, and with no heat besides one quirky, inefficient floor furnace … and (at meal times) the kitchen oven was sometimes on. During winter the warmest room in that entire house was our single bathroom, with its tiny gas heater in the wall, but you couldn’t spent much time in there because four other people were constantly vying for its facilities. The ancient, low-capacity water heater (which was old when we moved in), only held enough hot water for one bath and part of a second. If you didn’t bathe first, you either did the cold water dip or you waited for an hour.
Spent my sophomore year in Iowa, where it got down to -20 degrees (F). Ran track team practice outdoors — in nothing more than a sweat suit (over a jock strap) — in some of the coldest weather I had ever experienced.
Fast-forward to my year in the Arctic Circle, when I was stationed at ThuleAB in N.W. Greenland. Yep … it was COLD there, too. Fortunately, the buildings were VERY well insulated and we had very warm clothing. If anything, those buildings were TOO hot (especially considering the weather we had to exit to) … and I don’t recall even seeing a thermostat for the whole 12 months.
The winter seasons in Louisiana are pretty much like Danica described them on Wednesday — so I don’t have much to add except to reiterate how much I HATED scraping thick, stubborn frost off my windshield at 6 a.m. every weekday morning.
In Possum Trot, the winter is more severe than in LA, but somehow it doesn’t hit me as hard. Less humidity, for one reason (I think). The city & county crews here do a great job with most of the roads.
The house we built on my wife’s family farm is well-insulated and we have a powerful heat pump with a responsive thermostat. Plus, I rarely have to go anywhere at 6 a.m. anymore.
But the first winter we were here (in KY) we lived in the poorly-insulated 75-year-old family farm house and I froze … off … my … bippy. That house had the old, inefficient (but quite costly to operate) baseboard heaters. They could all run full-blast for the entire day and it would still be only 64 degrees inside by mid-afternoon. Quite literally, I looked at the calendar every morning and counted the number of weeks remaining until April.
See? Like I said: I don’t do cold.
How do YOU feel about cold weather?