*Disclaimer: Here I am complaining about snow when Hurricane Matthew was wreaking havoc and destruction in the eastern Caribbean and the southeastern United States at the time that I was writing this post. Apologies for my insensitivity brought on by my usual lack of brain activity. My sincere thoughts go out to any of you affected by this natural disaster.
It’s apparent in Kelto’s hand gestures. It is also apparent in my voice as I look up at the sky after the fairly hefty snowfall we had a couple of days ago. I’m not quite sure if I’m talking to the Snow God. I’m quite sure that some cultures believe in a Rain God. But a Snow God? Honestly, I would have to look that one up. Where I live, snow does not usually come until the very last day of October. Sometimes, we get treated and the snow does not come until [gasp] the end of November!
And then you have those people whining and crying about how they want a White Christmas. Do you think that 5 men on ladders are going to be gently dropping snowflakes from galvanized buckets on and around your house the day before, during, and after Christmas? Somebody, please slap these people upside the head with a dead herring, for the love of God!
Snow often heralds below freezing temperatures. To Canadians, that means below zero degrees Celcius. To Americans, that translates to 32 degrees Fahrenheit. By Christmas, temperatures where I live drop to approximately 25 degrees below zero (-13F).
To people with chronic illness, pain, and depression, snow marks the beginning of an upward battle of extra energy expenditure. Cars and trucks here are equipped with block heaters so they can be plugged in to make them easier to start. And then there’s getting “stuck”:
Of course, I’ve never seen a police chase like this, but I’ve lost count of the times I’ve been stuck like this. And just sat in the driver’s seat, crying like a baby, wailing “I can’t dooooo thiiiisss…”, and would snort my snot back up into my nose before it got a chance to turn into an icicle. I never had the strength to push my pickup truck out of a jam all by myself, especially at 6PM when everybody was heading home after work. This was, of course, before cell phones were something everyone had. My eyelashes would start to freeze shut like the proverbial Sam McGee’s (seriously), as I tried to remove the ice that was accumulating on my windshield like a smooth, impenetrable, second slightly bumpy windshield with my useless credit card because I’d forgotten to bring an axe-like instrument. Or just an axe. Actually, the no axe was good because I’d have destroyed my windshield and possibly other cars in the process. After being out in the cold for awhile, my vehicle would no longer start. That is when I would have to take a long walk to a phone booth and call someone to rescue me.
By this time, whoever was on the other end of the line must have felt like a 911 operator. I’d blubber into the phone “I just wanna ugh ugh…sniff…snifff…get home…please.” The roadside assistance operator would tell me to calm down, get me to tell her where I was, and what the problem was. I would tearfully respond, saying “They locked me out of the building. I can’t get back into work. I’m freezing. I don’t know what to do.”
Eventually, I climbed into a tow truck that smelled like Pennzoil and cigarettes. If it had also smelled like cat piss, I wouldn’t have given a damn. It was WARM. My vehicle was towed out of its rut to my home and given a new battery. Those events may have occurred in the opposite order, I don’t remember. I gladly paid, went inside and collapsed. Said I had a migraine and didn’t go to work the next day. Because “I’m too tired” is an unacceptable excuse for not showing up at work.
I have had far too many winter experiences like this that just sucked the soul right out of me and left me sitting on my bed wondering who I was for several hours.
To you people in California – winter is pretty in pictures and in the movies. I wonder if the guy who wrote “I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas” had a lovely green Christmas with palm trees and a swimming pool. And hired people with buckets full of fake snow to plant their asses on his rooftop just so they could dump it past his windows, down his driveway, and a bit into his backyard.
So now you understand why I don’t go running outside at the first snowfall with a red scarf hastily affixed around my neck, trailing in the breeze behind me, with the swelling of orchestral music in the background, just to open my arms and stick out my tongue to catch the first of winter’s flakes.
God, I was never any good at fiction.
This article was published in “The Mighty” on 10/12/2016.
With no people on the rooftops and an explanation of how “plugging in” my truck every morning robbed me of 1/2 of my available daily energy, leaving me crying even before work, brain fog, and a migraine headache. Thank goodness for editors!!
I don’t think the folks down south will hold your anti snow and cold post against you. Most people know that every region has it’s problem weather that can cause health problems, destruction and fatalities.
Sorry, Marlies, we part company on this one.
I do realize that cold is very hard on people who have aches and pains. And people with respiratory issues and others. I’m deeply sorry for all the problems it causes. And the dangers of getting stuck on the roads are many.
I know -13F (-25C) temps well. We used to live in Alexandria, MN and would often have temps in the -20s (-28.9C or below)for weeks. Oh, yes, I agree – those are all very COLD temps. (We won’t even go into the wind chills.)
But I don’t do well in the heat. When it gets into the high 70’sF (say 25C and higher) with high humidity all of my energy is drained out of me like a poorly wrung out washcloth hanging on a nail. And, it’s often even a bit hard to breath. Higher temps like we often get in Illinois – 80’s, 90’s, 100’s (26.7+ into the 37.8+range) with high humidity and I’m not even doing that well in our air conditioned house.
I’ll admit, the really cold weather has started to get harder on me as I’m getting older (I’m 62), and we do get some below freezing and below zeroF days even in Illinois, but I still do better in the winter cold than with the summer heat.
Ideally, I’m a spring and autumn gal. I come alive in mild, even chilly, temps with low humidity. You know, sweater (do Canadians use sweater or jumper?) and light jacket weather.
Sorry you have to hurt all though the winter. 😦
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Well, actually people with autoimmune disorders CFS/Fibro etc. do poorly with extremes of heat and cold. If it could only be just perfectly in the middle with no wind chill or humidex in the summer wouldn’t that be perfect! The heat does a number on me too! 🙂