Thursday, January 15, 2009

Sometimes it just looks cold


Some days you don't need to step outside to know the weather is brutal cold...but you have to anyway, to get things done. This morning is one of those. Zero this morning, with the winds picking up. Chill factors are on target to reach -25 degrees below by tonight. All schools and games have been cancelled.

Now I've gotta tell you, I've seen a lot worse, this is cold, but really in the faux Global Warming environment it's small potatoes....here are some of my all time "bad" winters.
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1962-63
Celina, Ohio
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Our family had moved from balmy Venice, Florida, in early October of 62....we saw our first snowfall in mid October...it only got worse from there. We lived 4 miles from town, and dad owned the local Marathon in Celina....I remember walking from East Elementary/Junior High to the station after school and my ears cracking from the cold....to stubborn to wear ear muffs or a pull over cap. That winter seemed to last for ever, the fact that I had spent the previous decade in south Florida I am sure made it seem worse.

1970-71
Griffiss AFB, Rome, NY
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Once again, I had spent the past year in Vietnam so in reality when winter hit in November of 70 I had not seen cold weather since about February of 69 at Dover AFB, Delaware, and Delaware had pretty mild winters in general....The Griff was to see 318 inches of snow that winter, and I spent much of it working security on the flight lines guarding B-52s and KC-135s....it was a long winter, which saw the snow piles finally melt in early July....I remember it snowed June 5th as I was guarding a Cargo Bomber uploading in the deepest recesses of the base. The good news was, I did learn how to snow ski that winter....spending my off time at Snow Ridge Ski Hills near Turin, New York.

1976-77
Celina, Ohio
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Spent much of the winter going to classes at Wright State-Lake Campus, and working part-time in Van Wert.....I remember driving US 127 from Celina to Van Wert, and the road looked like a tunnel...the snow was piled several feet high on both sides of the highway...it lasted most of the winter. High winds were prevalent throughout the season, and most of the winter seemed to be like a blizzard, whether snowing or not, because the ground snow stuck around until late March.

1977-78/1978-79
Wausau, Wisconsin
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Our first 2 and only winters living in northern Wisconsin...the first saw a sting of almost 2 months where it never got above freezing...we lived in an old rental farm house half way between Wausau and Merrill on the Lincoln-Marathon County Line Road....just us, 4 dogs and the cat, until Anissa came along in February 1979....our landlady lived near by and raised horses....it was so could one morning(at 40 below without the wind chill) that even with engine warmers(which froze up) our batteries completely froze and the terminal posts broke off....we ended up taking the landlady's old pick-up, the only thing that would start, into Merrill to get new batteries for both the Jeep Cherokee and the AMC Hornet...it was a brutal winter.

The next year, while not as cold, saw much more snow....one night shortly after Anissa was born, Patricia brought Anissa to the radio station(WJMT) where I was working....she wanted to stay with me, we cold sleep on the couch, but I sent her on her way with Anissa in the Cherokee....they made it home, I was stuck with the Hornet....and after finishing my shift, I made my way the 7 miles of rural roads towards home...despite hitting a ditch and gunning the engine to get out, I made it to the farm....the Hornet stuck in the driveway, as can be seen by the photo.....I think we ended up with 20 inches by the time the storm ended.

I was not sad to leave the Northwoods in June of 1979.

1981-82
Celina, Ohio
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Living on the farm on Coldwater Creek Road, south of Celina. It was the winter Sam was born and the Bengals made it to their first Super Bowl. Our water froze up on the farm, so with Sam about 4 weeks old we moved into Celina with mom(not fun for anybody, especially mom) for several weeks until the pipes were redone and a new furnace was installed on the farm house. If I recall, not only cold but every weekend for at least 6 weeks we saw large amounts of snow....I think WOWO Radio in Fort Wayne, called for a blizzard a weekend contest....

1983-84
Celina, Ohio
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Another brutal windy, snowy, cold winter on Coldwater Creek.....the cold, much like the winter of 77-78 in Wisconsin, was the worst...the pipes didn't freeze...but even the outdoor dogs, Jenny and Dixie, had to be moved inside for much of the season....chill factors in the 40 to 65 below range were not uncommon, and it was a constant war to keep the vehicles running and batteries charged.

That last one was 25 years ago...since that time we have moved into town, but even during my working years I had a 25 mile commute one way to Van Wert....we have had some storms and some cold...but nothing compared to that last winter of 83-84....so maybe the weather hacks have it right, maybe we do have a bit of Global Warming(I don't believe it for a freaking second though)...and if we do, I say GOOD! With the winters I have lived through, another 3 or 4 degrees higher is fine by me.
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This morning I did one more path on the sidewalks and driveway with the snow blower...I then turned my attention to the back yard....clearing the sidewalk along the perimeter, then a path to bird feeders...my mistake there was forgetting about a buried metal dog dish...which I sucked up into the blades and sheered a pin from one side....lucky I was done for the day....so I can go buy another pin and replace that one....but I my wait until it warms up.
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back later>>>>>>>
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Photos-Top, a sepia look down frozen Livingston Street this morning....and a couple of photos from the Wisconsin farm after the 20 inch snowfall of March 1979....the top you can see the family Hornet buried(while the Jeep was safe inside the barn) where I left it after barley making it home from work....the next day the township snow plow helps dig the Hornet and the driveway out......click to enlarge and get the full effect of the snow amount.


7 comments:

Buck said...

I remember the winter of '77 - '78 all too well myself. I spent that winter up on the intersection of the Montana - NoDak - Saskatchewan borders and it was frickin' COLD.

I drove from Florida (where I attended the ADCOM NCO Academy) up to South Bend (where I spent a few days with TSMP, my intended at the time) and then on to NoDak... hard on the heels of the blizzard that swept through the Mid-West in December of that year. The interstate west of Fargo was down to one lane for the whole flippin' trip... and the two-lane roads between Bismark, ND and home were danged near impassable. But I made it... arriving "home" a couple of days before Christmas Eve.

I awoke the next day only to find myself in the same situation as you described, Pat: My battery was frozen solid. Bad Day, that was. I had to walk about a half mile into town to get a new battery. Doesn't sound like a Big Deal, until ya realize it was about 20 below... absolute, NOT wind chill. And the wind was howling...

I don't miss the cold AT ALL... thank ya! Stay warm...

Pat Houseworth said...

Good story Buck...funny(or not) that we can remember the damn coldest times we ever had.....here it is mid January, and I'm already sick of winter. That usually doesn't set in until February.

Brigid said...

Minus 8 ambient as I drove to work.

Even Barkley didn't want to stay out long.

Pat Houseworth said...

Says -3 on the spot at 6:49PM...heading down to -10 and the winds are pickup up Brigid. A couple more days of this, then the "warmup" begins on Sunday, high of 22!

Sarge Charlie said...

No you know that the global warming is causing all of this cold weather....

Pat Houseworth said...

Well we hit the big -16 below this morning, with 35 below chill factor. The good news? 3 of the 4 vehicles started...working on Sam's now....but I think it's new battery time for him!

Blizzard77 said...

January 28th 1977 etc left us buried in our homes and cars and killed a lot of people here in S Ontario and Western New York. The Blizzard of '77 had 60 below windchills and gave us a taste of a unique winter hurricane with winds between 70 and 80 miles per hour. See my pics at www,whitedeath.com and listen to emergency radio broadcasting at that time.