Yes, it is another one of ‘those’ posts…a post from Florida talking about “winter”. But in my lifetime, I have had to deal with cold weather before…and no mater how cold it gets today here in Florida, I will wear short pants. But I do remember the days…
Spent a winter in Iowa back in the ‘70’s. Walking to and from class at times was not fun…but I managed…although I must admit, there was more than once that I brushed off my first class of the day. Passed all my classes though, but I was not ready to take college serious and headed back to Sacramento to a Restaurant career for the next 10+ years. To me, at the time, it all came down to this: Pay for college to learn, or get paid in the restaurant business to learn. I left that profession, if you want to call it that…at times it felt like ‘trapped in hell’, and other restaurant managers who worked 50-60 hours each week can attest to. Anyway, I left that profession to go back to college…this time in Utah…where it was even colder. However, I don’t recall blowing off classes, and I certainly took my college serious, especially when two of three children arrive while in school…and the last arriving two months after graduating with my Masters.
Moved to Arkansas where I stayed for nearly 23 years. As a Public Library Director, I had to make the call as to if we opened or remained closed during inclement weather. Having braved the snows of Iowa, of Utah, and many trips up to the Sierra’s during the winter, it was hard to come to the realization that WINTER has its own definition depending upon where one lives. In Utah for the 5 1/2 winters I was there, I think the school closed down twice due to bad weather. Sometimes one would get on campus, just to find that a particular teacher was unable to make it and that class was canceled for the day. Well, if I was there, I was going to get something done…so off to the library to study I would go. It was not uncommon to brush a foot or more of snow off the hood of the pickup truck, scrape the windows, and drive on to school. Of course, Utah snow is generally very light and fluffy, so it typically was not that hard. And I learned that you don’t go to a car wash and wash it all off…because when you get to school, go to class, come out to your truck, both your doors are frozen shut! Lessons learned…some lessons you learn a couple of times. I can also remember firing up some charcoal, and putting the hot ambers under my oil pan so that the truck would start in the morning because temps were falling to below minus 20 that night. Put them out there around 11:30, in the morning the truck started…was it needed, I will never know.
So this is a picture from the Pine Bluff Commercial online today…City, County, Schools all shut down due to the snow. “Nearly” two inches! WOW!!! The hardest thing for me to wrap my head around was closing for a day or two due to two inches of snow. NEVER was there too much snow or ice to keep me off the roads in Arkansas. However, to be fair, the street above is a major street near the entrance to the RV Park I lived in for the final six years I was there. It is one of the few streets that gets attention from the highway department during snow. Most of the side streets, outside of a handful of non-highway streets and major streets, get NO HELP during snow and ice storms. Most people stay off the streets until they thaw, which takes a day or two. Hence, without any snow removing equipment, people can’t safely get to places, including work, so everything shuts down except for a few stores, gas stations, and essentials. Sometimes, around 2 or 3 in the afternoon, places like McDonalds and Taco Bell will open…but if it is cold enough, the streets will freeze by 7 pm, if not earlier.
I like my weather app for my Firefox browser…I can easily and quickly see what the weather is for a variety of places…and with a click, a new window will come up with the weather for that location. So as I type this out, 10:30 ET, it is 18 degrees in Pine Bluff (and yes, the library will be closed still), it is 11 degrees in Kansas City where my youngest son lives, and minus 2 in Salt Lake City, and snowing, where my daughter lives. My oldest son, my parents…they are all well above freezing, as are we. For what it is worth, it is minus 15 degrees in Soldotna Alaska! When we awoke at 7:30, it was 72 degrees in the condo, it was 68 degrees outside. Now, just three hours later it is a balmy 57 degrees…dropping to 37 degrees tonight! WHAT! It is colder now than it was three hours ago!!!! Better hurry to the store before everything is sold out!!!! Now where are my long pants at anyway…just in case.