Sunday, January 15, 2012
Oh Snow You Did-n’t
A couple days ago I may have assumed that the ripe old age of 39 ¾ was too young for one to become a snowbird, but alas, having received my first solicitation from AARP yesterday, I realize that 39 ¾ might not be too young at all. As soon as I sign off this blog, I intend to start checking out Elder Living Villages in Boca Raton. I certainly hope I can find a least one with a good day care on premises. Why the sudden urge to flee to a warmer latitude? Well, as we all know the geriatric set are not fond of cool temperatures and since I am nearing that age range, I may as well get prepared. But the main motivation comes from the surly attitude recently displayed by Mother Nature.
Over the past month or so, Mother Nature has been toying with me – tossing out 40’s and the odd 50 degree day to lull me into the belief that a winter in Iowa really wasn’t going suck profoundly after all. Having actually grown up in this tundra, I knew better but like all things traumatic – childbirth, Sister Nora, 3rd grade- I had blocked it out of my mind. Of course I’d have the occasional flashback when the cleaning out the freezer or watching the Winter Olympics, but overall, I’d deemed Iowa winters to be like braces and corrective shoes, something I had to survive as a child and would never need to revisit again. Clearly, as I sit bundled up in the middle of a cornfield freezing my ass off, I see that I was once again mistaken.
Winter set in last week and she was as angry as a fat-kid refused seconds on dessert. My Mediterranean-blooded Turk is taking it harder than myself. He saw the temperature reading yesterday and was certain something was wrong- “What is dis? There is only one number? Something is wrong. Is dis possible? What is dis?” I seconded that emotion. Back in the spring of 1994 I cast aside my longjohns and thermal socks and headed to my new home in Philadelphia. Yes, they had snow but unlike in Iowa, their snow actually melted before April. Yes, it was cold there but a single digit was an oddity not a daily reality and even if it was unseasonably cold, there were things like buildings and trees and ground formations to stop the arctic blasts. Philadelphia had winter but it was like Diet Winter, or Winter Zero- all the taste, none of the pain.
My withholding of information on the true nature of Iowa winters was the first and only time I have ever ‘lied’ to The Turk. I knew if I shared too much – came clean about the time it was so cold the dashboard of my first car split in half when I hit a tiny bump, he would never agree to the move. The late onset of winter was working to my benefit but now it’s over. And as winter begins to fully unleash her menopausal rage upon Iowa, I’m realizing that The Turk is not the only one incapable of handling winter. I might even hate it more.
Every night we listened to the Iowa newscasters complain about the unseasonable temperatures and lack of snow –certain that after years of frozen brain cells they were no longer able to acknowledge the stellar value in the current weather situation. Now that winter has arrived and 5 of the 7 days on the 7-Day forecast contain little snowflakes, everyone here seems to be far happier. If this is the reality of our new population, how can we live with such insanity? It’s time to look towards Boca.
But until we amass the funds for a second home or find our dream timeshare in Boca, I will do my best attempt to be a ‘glass half-full’ kind of gal. So here are the things I have identified as up sides to this arctic tundra existence that has been thrust upon us – 1. In a few months when I finally shed the multiple layers and rid myself of longjohns for the next season, I’m going to look like I shed at least 15 pounds. 2. The sheer number of calories burned by shivering should make-up for all lost outdoor walks. 3. I finally have a regular occasion to wear my adorable white fur hat – the one that my husband said makes me look like a Russian prostitute. I stand firm in my argument that one cannot look like a hooker if one is wearing wool from chin to toe and a head full of white fur, but just in case he’s right – call me Natasha ‘cause I look fabulous in that hat and I plan to wear it until somewhere in the middle of April.