Too Cold to Budge

January 8, 2014

I was talking to a client yesterday who told me that the schools in her city were going to be closed today because of the cold. I couldn’t help thinking that schools have central heating and air-conditioning today that they didn’t have when I was growing up and our schools were only closed when we had a blizzard. But, afterwards, I started thinking that when I was growing up we didn’t have the extreme frigid weather that is sweeping the nation today.

I remember walking to a friend’s house the day after a blizzard through 48 inches of snow. As a young girl, that was a lot of snow to walk through. But recently, I’ve heard of snowdrifts that are 48 feet high, not 48 inches high.

Someone was remarking that during the winters, sometimes she can’t leave the house because the snow is so high that the doors are frozen shut. I distinctly remember not wanting to leave the house because it was too cold and the ground was covered in a lot of snow and ice that made it dangerous to walk on, but I don’t ever remember being barricaded inside the house because the snow was too high to open the door.

Now, that isn’t to say that northern weather felt like a tropical breeze. It didn’t. During the winter, I used to think that I’d never warm up. I hated the snow and the frigid weather but then, I also hated the boiling days of summer. As I said, there was no such thing as air-conditioning or central heating in those days.

As if to make a point of this, I just read an article about a prisoner who escaped from a minimum security facility and turned himself in the very next day because the weather was too cold. They said he walked into a motel and asked the clerk to call the police so he could turn himself in and escape the arctic air.

So, people who say there is no such thing as climate change, don’t believe them. There is. Just ask the people who grew up in the north a zillion years ago if their winters were as cold then as they are now. My guess is that they would welcome the winters of yesteryear in exchange for the winters of today.

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