Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Northern Girl

I'm a Northerner born and bred and spent most of my life kicking around the Midwest.  I have lived for significant chunks of time in Michigan, Indiana and Ohio.  What these three states have in common is long, snowy, cold winters.  Now I'm not saying my favorite season is winter because it's not.  My seasonal preferences are: spring, fall, winter, summer.  Although I love the blazing color of sugar maples on a crisp autumn day, spring wins by a nose because the days are getting longer and light cheers people up.

Last year was my first winter in South Carolina.  There was a week of winter weather with about an inch or two of snow on the ground.  People made snowmen, angels in the snow and sledded down golf course greens on blow-up mattresses.  Fun!

Normal life came to a screeching halt.  Nobody in our neighborhood was foolish enough to try to go to work except Jerry.  (When he got there, he found the place was closed.)  There was no bread or milk to be found in any area grocery stores; UPS delivery and the Post Office both took three-day vacations.  People frolicked in the winter wonderland, just like all the kids and kids-at-heart do on the first snowfall of each and every year up north.  People in the know told me that this was "an unusually cold winter."  It seemed perfect to me. 

This winter it's been unseasonably warm throughout lots of the country, including here.  Last weekend was our first cold snap.  It was 42 degrees out when my friend texted me, "Is it cold enough for you now?"  How do I respond to that?  "Yes" if you mean "Is it cold enough to wear a jacket."  If you want to see me dig out my winter coat though, it is going to have to get considerably colder -- say zero and windy.  Even then I probably won't keep it buttoned.  If it gets to ten below, I will skip my morning walk, unless it's sunny out.  Sunshine always makes the day seem warmer.

The northern girl key to comfort in the cold is layering.  Leggings under jeans, undershirts under shirts under sweaters.  Cotton socks under wool ones in  lined boots.  Scarf under coat with mittens and hat.  (If it's frigid -- or you're going ice skating, snowmobiling or ice fishing -- you can add insulated underwear, a fleece vest, gloves under your mittens and a ski mask.)  Now I've revealed my cold coping strategies, could some southern woman kindly return the favor and explain to me how you seem so comfortable in the high heat and humidity of summer?

Formal, but he likes to party
The difference between the north and the south is easy. Their high is our low all winter long. In the summer, our low is their high.  In between these seasons in either direction (both geographically and time-wise) is when it's going to be the most fun living anywhere.

**Jerry wears shorts and tee shirts year round, so the opinions in this blog post are not necessarily those espoused by this entire household.** 

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I love palm trees, warm beaches and tropical heat. I live with winter because I love my husband. I am trying to convince him it would be a great idea to open a margarita bar in Costa Rica...or Key West...at least that is what I am dreaming about this last cold month of Michigan winter.