Thursday, December 23, 2010

It's Getting Hot in Here--Please don't Take off all Your Clothes!

    Temperature is greatly effected by were one lives.   While a Wyoming native is breaking out shorts, someone from Florida would be digging for a winter coat.  This is about 50 degrees.  I grew up in Wyoming, and used to be more than ready for hard winters.  After years away in much milder climates, including three years in Arizona, I about froze my butt off during the winter months after moving back to Wyoming.   Wich is even harder to do, when you really have no butt physically.   My brother kept calling me a wuss, but he never really left the west in the last ten years.  I might also call myself a wuss, I am pretty sure I chocked on a snowflake or two.  And wondered more than once if my fiance would still love me, with only one ear.  After I froze the other off.  

Largest iceicle ever!

    In Wyoming it is very cold.  But people are used to it.  The same way they are used to not seeing ice free streets until about June.  I have seen it snow on the Rockies in early July.   My last winter in the state, the warmest it got for two weeks straight was twenty below zero.  We went to school every day.  My car heater usually blew snow out the vents till about the time  I got to school.  It was like a huge snow globe, with a boring frozen scene inside.  With cold temperatures, huge snow drifts, and such the last time I recall them closing school, two of the local snow plows had flipped over on the highway.   I have pictures of snow drifts that were level with our house roof.   For fun we would use the e brake a lot and play on the ice.   In fact I first learned how not to drive on ice covered roads.  I have never owned a vehicle with snow tires.   But I have gotten at least half a dozen very very stuck in the  snow.   I had to move out of Wyoming, to realize it was enough in many places for Dairy Queen to be open all year long.  In Wyoming in the past,  they closed in the winter and one had to wait months for your Dilly bar.   They really are not that good, but Dilly bar is fun to say. 

Wyoming winter wear
     In Oregon I lived about an hour from the ocean.  Snow was very rare.  In fact my first boss told me to stay home the first time it "snowed" because someone would run into me.  We got a whopping three inches of snow.  And my roomie and I, both from Wyoming, spent the day off playing in the snow.     
  In Washington state snow was also very rare.   Usually the moisture comes down in a more rain drop form.   And their is a lot of it!  After eight years on and off in the great north west, I have my webbed feet for sure.  Three inches of snow is enough to close all of the local schools.   And put everyone in a panic.  Seattle has the most excuses to actually panic.  All of the streets in the town seem to go straight up or down.  And I have seen hours of fotage of the cars and city buses sliding down hills on sheets of ice.  The whole state has to share snow plows.   And Seattle got so much flax for their winter responses fails, that they were running plows in the summer as a strange dry run.   We did see a very rare big storm, with about nine inches of snow!  If you are from the west you laugh, because this is a mere dusting of snow.   And everyone panicked.  I drove to town and back, about 30 miles and saw 22 people in the ditch.  No lie.   My girlfriends sister would not leave the house because she could not find her cars snow chains.   This gave me huge amusement.  Especially because it was a Geo.   I told her if she did go off the road, to pick the light vehicle up and place it back on the road.

   In Arizona snow was something else completely.  In Flagstaff were I first started, it actually snowed quite a bit.  In fact they have a nice ski area.  But I soon ended up in the valley.  Were the snowbirds all flock because it is 90 outside in the winter time.  Actually in the dessert, it drops down kindda chilly in the winter time, and at night.  People their tend to panic when it drops below 70 outside, and start digging through their boxes for long pants.  We got a discount on one rental, because the manager didn't want to hook up the heaters.  Thinking it was the middle of Arizona, we figured we would never really need heat.   By the middle of winter, we were huddled up up for body warmth.   The last year in the valley we saw about ten flakes of snow.   It was the same year Las Vegas saw snow.  And I observed two things.  First that the kids were way to excited about seeing "snow" and B. that I was quite positive it was the start of the end of the world.  In the summer I learned to hate the phrase, it's only a dry heat.  If it wasn't it would really be hot out.  Everyone down that way says that.  After it's 120 degress, in the shade, it's just F-in hot out!   I was also suprised how many very large people live in Arizona.  I was a bean pole, weighing nothing and used to sweat in the shade.  So I am not sure how the bigger people handled it.  I mean when you are sitting on the curb, makin your own gravy, it's time to loose a pound or 200. 

Cold in Arizona

No heater in AZ
     After all of these moves, I ended up back in Wyoming again for awhile.  This fun started in winter time, and I was defiantly not used to cold anymore.  I had nothing more than a hoodie and had to buy a real coat.  I'd like to say a year later, I was more used to the frigged cold, but NO.   Last week I moved back to Washington state.   And was greeted with rain.   But the 50 degrees outside was about 50 warmer than what I had just left.  

   I would not call anyone a wuss, at least not for being cold.  As in a lot of things, the more you experience the more give you allow others. 

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