Can We Send This Back Where It Came From?
IT MAY BE WEDNESDAY IN THE REAL WORLD, but in the blogosphere, where I live, it is Saturday morning and we are having our first snow of the season. That picture is the view out of our back door. I didn’t even open it to take the picture. I’m in denial.
If you have followed this blog for a while you have probably picked up that I am not a fan of cold weather, winter, snow, and all of the associated bullcrap that goes with it.
I lived in Cleveland, Ohio for about 13 years. Cleveland is a great town – except for the weather. Cleveland weather sucks. In the summer you bake your brains in hot, muggy, very muggy, high temperatures and in winter you can expect to spend most of your waking hours digging your car out of the snow.
The geography of the Cleveland area is such that you can be on the west side of the city and have 2” of snow on the ground, hop in your car and drive to the east side of town – 15 to 20 minutes away – and find yourself plowing through 12” or more, generally more. The farther east you go, the higher the elevation. Combine that with the ever popular words “Lake Effect” and Cleveland is just a smaller version of Chicago.
It was the winter of 1978 that had me packing my bags and heading to California for the next quarter century. That winter in Cleveland was one of record snows, record cold temperatures, record blizzard winds, and, I bet, record migrations to warmer parts of the country.
I sold my house and everything in it, packed my car with whatever I felt I might want/need, and in mid-December of 1978 I drove to California. I was being chased by snow all the way into Arkansas.
When I got to California on December 22, 1978, I didn’t know anyone there, I didn’t have an apartment or a job, but at least I was warm.
Three days after arriving I went to the beach – on Christmas Day. I just about froze my butt off, but it was the principle of the thing. I could go to the beach if I wanted to – without risking frostbite, hypothermia, or being held for psychiatric observation. It was a gesture, but an important one to me at the time. After that I waited until warmer weather to repeat that gesture.
Twenty-five years in California is a looooooong time. It was fun while it lasted and I lasted until it was no longer fun.
A century or more ago Mark twain said about California, and it is still true, that the entire country is built on a tilt, and everything that is loose rolls to California. That fit me perfectly – in 1978. Today I am not so loose anymore. The senses of urgency, desperation, driving ambition, and feeling that I was scrambling all the time, have passed. I’m comfortable with the person I have become and I love my wife more every day of the week.
I am home.
I’m not in Cleveland – their weather still sucks – and I’m not in California. I couldn’t afford to still be there anyway.
I am in Terre Haute, Indiana (That’s French for, “Biscuits and Gravy for everybody!”)
I like it here. Sure it snows here in winter, but not as much as Cleveland or Chicago. We are too far south for Lake Effect and north of the hills of Kentucky. It works. We get about 19” of snow in an average year, but I’m too old to do much about it. That’s why God invented teenagers and snowblowers. We’ll have a few really cold days, but I’ll bundle up, drink hot tea and watch DVDs of the Giants World Series victories. That alone warms my heart.
My wife, the lovely and warm, Dawn, and I are doing fine. I love her. She loves me. What more could a person ask for?
Well, maybe a winning lottery ticket wouldn’t hurt.