11 January, 2010


I lived in Nebraska for nearly two years to include two winters.  At the end of my first trimester of pregnancy, I packed my bags and boxes and loaded up my life to move to Nebraska.  The move was to be long term in that I never anticipated returning to Virginia; I was prepared to build a life for my child and me along the Missouri river.  

The first winter – the winter in which my daughter was born – was mild.  I remember taking long walks with her in January without a second thought.  It was gorgeous.  Hey, I could do this long term, no problem.  

The second winter… well; let’s just say that the second January I spent in Nebraska is not one that I will ever forget.  In my mind it has taken legendary proportions.  It is the kind of winter that I will happily tell people about.  I remember the inches of ice that covered everything and the month of not being able to leave the house for more than five minutes due to wind chills that made it feel like -40F outside.  For the native Nebraskan, this was not an issue’s life went on just like the inches of ice weren’t there and the wind was a gentle southern breeze.  For me, however, one winter in Nebraska was enough.  This desert rat was heading south with her corn husker kid in tow!

I promised that I would never live farther north than Virginia again.  It just won’t happen.  (I say this as I contemplate moving to Europe at some point… I might have to rethink this)

Virginia is currently experiencing cold weather.  I am not talking Nebraska cold or Canada cold, but it is cold.  We have wind chills and temperatures that send my hands in search of warm coverings as just the idea of being outside starts turning them to ice.  

A few days ago – as I carried a container of cupcakes in the frigid temperatures without gloves, I decided that enough is enough.  I will promise not to complain about the humidity or the heat of a Virginia summer this year – but please bring warmth to this winter.  Just a little.  I am not asking for much. You know, no wind would be a start.  Maybe the seasonal average?  Is that asking too much?

Now, let me just say that I didn’t complain in Nebraska (largely because we couldn’t be outside with exposed skin for more than 5 minutes so everything was done inside with roaring furnaces and crackling fires).  I have also wintered in Prague, Moscow and St Petersburg, Ireland, and Sweden.  The cold doesn’t faze me that much.  I have learned to work with the cold and to enjoy it just as I do the mild spring and fall days.  

But there is something about the cold this year that is not working for me.  

For my native Nebraskan daughter, having “enough” of the cold took a little longer.  Yesterday she finally informed me, “I can’t believe I am saying this…”  (nor could I)  “I am ready for spring!”

This morning, as I reveled in the lack of a wind blowing from Canada and shielded my eyes from the sun and its reflection from the snow, all the while considering that it was a beautiful day, the kid expanded on her thoughts of yesterday.  She explained that she would like winters that had a high of 55, summers that had a high of 75, and the spring and fall temperatures would be about 65.  Little humidity.

My thoughts went to San Diego and Hawaii – to sand and serf and green all year round.  

I don’t mind the cold winters.  To be honest, I actually enjoy having four seasons and embracing the changes that come with nature.  In Virginia, we have all four seasons, and each season differs in itself.  I love that.  I also realize that the cold helps different aspect of nature and the life cycles.  And yet, I find myself considering my daughter’s thoughts...*sigh*

 I may spend a few minutes or a bit more time on Google today looking for offices and houses and ballet schools in such a location with such mild temperatures!!


Mama Llama said...

Oh...the day has come that I actually read you COMPLAINING about the cold!

I can't believe it. Really. I mean, you are *usually* in shorts and a t-shirt while I am freezing my tushie off in three layers of clothes.

I'm sorry you're feeling it as badly as the rest of us this winter, TE. Take care of yourself, keep warm, and be well.

L said...

Oh, I hear you. In fact, I think I'm SO over the cold that I can no longer even lament about it. Grrr. And brrr.