Friday, January 21, 2011

The "Deep Freeze" is here for a short visit....

1 degree above zero, the Internet said the wind chill factor was -17, and even inside the garage, when out to scoop up the morning seed rations for the Birds and Squirrels the temperature was 16 above...cold indeed.  It will be about 10 for a high today, cold again tonight, and maybe in the low 20s for tomorrow...the forecast for the next week to 10 days doesn't see any major warm up...and snow, albeit light, will stick around.

As I mentioned yesterday, this is the apex of the Winter Season in the Northern Hemisphere...January 21st, by average, is the coldest day of the year....and this time around, it appears to be right on target.  However, with a week and more left in January and the entire month of February to go, 1 above is not likely to stay the coldest day of this long winter.

Spending a decade in south Florida winters, as a child, during my elementary and junior high schools days, seems long ago and many frost bitten fingers and ears past.  We lived in the now historic Edgewood Section of town:

Our idea of winter was a thin layer of ice on the front yard birdbath...which older brother Mike and me would blow up with our moderate collection of firecrackers that we would buy while traveling through Georgia on our summer vacations...then save for special events, one which was tossing them on the ice atop the bird bath.   28 degrees in the mornings were usually as cold as it got...and that may have happened 2 or 3 times a year, usually in January.  Even those days usually warmed into the 60s by mid afternoon.

Since those years during my childhood, most of my winters have been spent in cold northern climates, only Vietnam being the exception...Ohio, Upstate New York, and frigid Northern Wisconsin, among others.  The Mohawk Valley of NY being the snowiest, with the Northwoods of Wisconsin being the most brutal cold.  One day in February 1978 it reached -52 below, without a chill factor, at the water treatment plant in Merrill, Wisconsin...that morning was brutal by any standards.  So cold the battery terminals cracked and broke off in both of our vehicles, even with engine warmers plugged in.  I have never been a fan of winter, but usually have made the most of them...however that winter of 77-78 in Wisconsin was the worst.

Never one to sit around the house or barracks(in my Air Force days), I usually make it a point to get out and about, even in bad weather.  I guess that's why I've tried to have vehicles with 4 wheel drive most of my adult life.  From the Jeep Cherokee that Patricia and I purchased in 1976, which got us through the Wisconsin winters, and those brutal Ohio winters in the years before we moved north, and when we returned here in 1980.  That vehicle only got stuck once in the years I had it...the Jeep Wrangler, since I have purchased it in late 2002, has never been stuck(insert knock on wood).   Even going across the Appalachian Mountains during a major storm in West Virginia shortly after I purchased it to pull behind the RVs I delivered across the country.  I've been lucky, and those Jeeps have helped me with that luck.

Winter, despite my dislike for it, isn't all bad...I learned to snow ski while in upstate New York, honed that skill while working for the Parks Department in Marathon County, Wisconsin...employed during my Broadcast School days at the county owned ski area in Wausau.  Added ice skating to my roller skating skills when we moved from Florida to Ohio.  And even took a shot at ice fishing...that however, was never a favorite, too damn cold, and if the fish were not biting, it was pretty boring in my mind.  These days, basketball officiating keeps me busy during the cold weather months....regardless, for the things done during the cold season,  I dislike winter, and am ready for Spring, just 59 days away.

back later>>>>

Photos-top, this morning the neighborhood birds waiting for the morning rations in the below zero wind chill...and two photos from our house on the corner of School Street and Pineland Avenue in the Edgewood Section of Venice, with sister Marty's cat sitting on top of Dad's Dodge Station Wagon, or was it a Mercury? and brother Mike with our dog Brandy next to the Bird Bath which was the brunt of our firecrackers, every rare time a winter ice would form on it.

1 comment:

Debie Elliot said...

Wow! You can do almost anything. Heck, I can't swim or even stand up on skates, let alone ski. I can throw one heck of a snowball though!