…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?
Interesting theme this week.
I don’t like being cold either and thank god for my electric blanket in bed ;-). Winter here in the southern end of Australia aren’t snowy, but there’s something called a “chill factor” and that hits hard during Winter, especially with the breeze coming straight from Antarctica.
But I miss the snow !!!! And yes, even though complaining every year yearning for warmth, I like sitting in front of the heater, with a cuppa and a nice book.
Great post, Jeff, and it seems you’ve been around the US quite a bit!
Yes, I’ve traveled in or thru some 35 states, I believe. And lived in 8 or 9. I didn’t even mention our year in California or the year + in N. Mex.
I do like one or two seasonal snowfalls, especially if relatives from “the south” are visiting. But don’t really like slogging through it otherwise. Lots of people fall and break things. In winter mix, I walk around like George Burns.
Thanks for visiting, Future Fox.
Here in southwest Michigan it gets pretty cold. We get six-foot drifts of snow and ten below zero temps. Sometimes. And then we have mild winters. We never know until it gets here. Some Christmases we have to dig our way to holiday parties, and other years the kids went outside to ride their bikes, wearing spring coats. The variety is nice, but I don’t think I’d complain if I had to move to a place where winter didn’t happen.
Patty, I don’t think I have the constitution to handle Michigan winters … except possibly those rare “mild” ones you noted. I didn’t even realize Mich. ever had a mild winter.
thanks for visiting today.
I. Do. Not. Like. The. Cold.
I’m from Southeast Texas. We have two seasons: Summer and Hell. And that’s just the way I like it. Oh sure, we have days that fall below freezing. Those are my ‘bad’ days. I complain when it’s below 70. Wuss, I know. But I’m just not equipped for cold weather. It seeps into my bones. Someday, when this writing gig really pays off, I’m moving to the Caribbean.
LOL, Jenn. an author writing about pirates BELONGS in the Caribbean. When you get there, have a rum toddy for me.
Glad to see you back here at Hound Day.
Argh! Count on it, Jeff!
On second thought, I want one of those drinks with a small umbrella in it …
LOL! Boy, the skivvy talk has hit here and not just FB…you may be discussing the cold,Jeffrey, but you’re sending warm pictures,Hombre!
You’ll have to wait until tomorrow to hear my thoughts about winter. I am so glad that your bippy re-grew,(it did, didn’t it?)
Uh, did I mentin skivvies here?
Let me check.
Oh, the jock strap. Well, actually we also had gym shorts, but the amount of material in gym shorts in 1966 was not more than 6 ounces. Hardly protection from sub-freezing temperature and cold winds.
Can tolerate ‘dry’ cold better than damp/wet cold, but I don’t like the cold either.
Me, too, Sherry. And the cold weather here in KY is much drier than in Louisiana where I lived for some 40 yrs.
But, fact it: I’d still rather be warm than cold.
Love to visit the cold and go snow skiing. Don’t want to live there though! We have a few days around here where it gets cold enough to wear a “real” jacket. As long as it’s not warm enough for shorts at Christmas, I’m good. 🙂 Wishing you and your family a Wonderful Christmas, Jeff!!
Thanks, Melissa. Best wishes to you and yours also.
And congratulations on your recent good news, publishing-wise. [I forgot exactly what it was, but remembered something from about a week ago.]
I’d rather be cold. I can put on more clothes. In the heat, it can be unbearable and there’s not a darned thing you can do to fix it. It’s 75 and muggy here now. UGH!
Well, now that’s the way I feel about the temperature when I’m sleeping. I can always put on an extra blanket. But when it’s too hot, there’s nothing you can do but suffer.
hehehe. YEP! agreed
Pingback: What I LIKE About Winter | Four Foxes, One Hound