A few weeks ago I had a chance to tag along with Travel Man to the icy cold weather in Indiana, while he was on assignment. I grew up in northern Illinois and moved to California when I was 16. Travel Man is a Southern California native, but has travelled all over the world. Needless to say I had forgotten how much work it can be to live, and go and do and be in the harsh, cold winter weather. It made me realize how lucky I am to be living in the Southwest. And it also reminded me of a few things that I don’t have to worry about living in a warmer climate. So, here’s my list of the top ten things that I recognize are so different for me not living in the winter sphere.
1) I must wear socks. Your feet can get blooming cold here in the snow and land of winter. This is not a daily event for me at home in So Cal. I love to go barefoot.
2) The cars are so salty and dirty from the snow. It’s so strange to see all of the layers of dirt and salt on the cars. Why get your car washed when you’ll just be left with icicles hanging off of the bumpers!!
3) And then there’s the hugeness of the icicles themselves. They’re hanging off of the eaves on the houses everywhere. And then we saw so many long, huge icicles on the sides of the buildings. Aren’t those a safety hazard. They look like huge daggers!
4) Finessing the scarf, hat and gloves. Every time you go out in this subzero cold it’s hat gloves, scarf, hat, gloves, scarf. I forgot how much static can build up in your hair from the hats constantly going on and off of your head!! Coats on, coats off; hats on, hats off; gloves on, gloves off; boots on, boots off.
5) The sound of the snow crunching under your shoes when your walking to and from the car or store. Oh and watch out for patches of ice and black ice that is barely visible.
6) The enormous pothole population. Wow! We were on Cicero Street near Midway Airport and the potholes looked like freckles on the roadway. Quite a bumpy ride. The potholes were not to be avoided. This is not a sight we see in springtime here in California.
7) When you’re in the cold and snowy weather it’s a soulful comfort to wrap your chilly hands around a warm cup of coffee or tea. And of course drinking it warms you right down to your toes.
8) Isn’t is a wonder how much of a comfort soup can be in the cold weather? Don’t get me wrong I love to make a good pot of homemade broccoli cheddar soup . But nothing’s quite as satisfying as a warm bowl of soup on a cold winters night!
9) How do you see around the piles and piles of snow? Don’t you feel like a mouse in a maze? The closest we come to this feeling in California might be looking for a parking spot at your favorite beach along the coast.
10) You forget how the snow is not always pristine and pretty and just white and sparkling. Especially when explaining the sight of a new fallen snow to your California kids who have not experienced a Midwestern winter. After the snow has been plowed and all of the cars have been driving by the snow gets a little gray and down right slushy and ugly. This is the contrast that you forget about:
Most of all after spending just a week in the throes of the cold and snow I am endlessly amazed at the hardiness of the Midwestners’ spirit. Everyone we talked to while travelling said they are ready for winter to be over with. In my opinion if you can make it through a tough cold, snowy winter and coming out smiling at the beginning of March you can live anywhere. Hat’s off to all of you surviving the long, harsh winter. Sending you all some sunshine and warmth from Southern California.