The land of ice and snow (and rain and mud)


Cold this weekend.

Temperatures heading into the teens.

That’s Fahrenheit teens. And actual temperatures, not the feels-like stuff.

Going to be three or four days before we reach the hot and humid twenty-degree mark again. Plus, it’s likely weeks, if not two months or so away from seeing forty or fifty again.

Weird part is that for most of November and December, we were treated to fluctuating temperatures and a fair amount of rain. And that means even with the bitter chills hitting right now, the ground isn’t exactly frozen solid just yet. Soft in some spots. And for those that know, there really isn’t anything like shoveling snow in the mud. (And yes, that’s a thing.)

Got in the car today. Felt a bit warmer out than yesterday. Actually, it was a sweltering eighteen, but no wind and full sunshine tricked the senses. It was wonderful.

Where are the points in weather that it really doesn’t matter? In short…

It’s so cold… so warm… so windy… so rainy… that it just doesn’t matter at this point if it gets worse.

One of my pet peeves is the moisture in the air that forces you to turn on the windshield wipers, but only for one or two passes every 90-seconds or so. There is no need to keep them on. If you do leave them on, the only result is that annoying rubbing sound that usually nudges you to turn them off. There is no intermittent setting slow enough to allow you to leave them on without annoying you. But there is just enough mist flying around in the air—it’s mist, not even close to being classified as rain—that you’ll need to be aware of it and ready to flip the wipers back into action.

Rain or don’t rain. Make up your mind. Doesn’t matter to me. I just want to stop turning the wipers off and on.

Apply that idea to the hot and humid experience of a classic summer August day, or the biting and mind-numbing thrill of a winter day in February.

When is it so hot that it just really doesn’t matter if we get any hotter? I’m already in shorts, begging for air conditioning, given up on any and all outside activity, and cursing the decision not to build a pool in the yard. Does another degree or two really matter that much?

People joke about places where they say it’s a dry heat. Because, of course, cracking the century mark to a point where an egg would fry on the sidewalk while shrubs are spontaneously bursting into flames is more tolerable with a low humidity.

Incredibly, there might be something to the dry heat comment. Situations shifting that is.

Set the day around fifty degrees and sunny. If it had been well below freezing for weeks, such a day would be brilliant. Coming out of the summer, you might not be able to layer enough clothes to stay warm. Add in a breeze… make it first thing in the morning… adjust you from sitting in the shade to moving around doing work… and that same fifty and sunny jumps around from warm to cold to you not even noticing the weather because it’s more or less just fine.

That joke about shoveling mud? Ok… try to imagine this. Part of your driveway is dirt. Might be the edge, around where driveway meets lawn. Out you go with the snow blower, and it’s not quite freezing… so that heavy, wet snow. And the tires begin sinking along the edges because the ground is wet and no frozen solid. Plus, the real beauty is, after leaving tire tracks, maybe it does get colder so the tracks freeze into place. Then, it snows again, and you have an uneven surface to clear off. That’s wonderful.

It’s cold this weekend. I won’t be shoveling mud. It’s cold enough that it just doesn’t matter.


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