I often wonder why it is that people settle in such cold climates.  I mean really…if it gets cold enough to make it a mortal mistake to be without shelter, you would think that there is something basically wrong with humans living there year round.  Oh, sure, it’s a wonderful place to live for two thirds or three quarters of the year…but if from the calends of December through to March we’re talking about sub-freezing temperatures, or worse, then I just don’t see the pay-off.  There is a reason human beings were nomadic in places like the Plains/Steppes etc.  Snow? Ice?  Blizzard Winds?? Frak that!  We’re outta here!  See ya in the Spring! 

Oh, sure…I’m just a big pussy.  I have thin skin.  I don’t have enough meat on my bones (or used to).  I’m just not used to the cold.  Blah-blah-blah.  I’ve heard it all.  I’ve also lived in quite a few different climates, thanks to a Sagittarius mom that seems to think that moving every few years was a good thing…call it a “fresh start” or “running from your demons” or “giving your kids a different perspective” or whatever else thing you want.  The down-side is we kids got to make new friends every few years…making my brother slightly more introverted, but me more social.  The “up”-side is we got to experience all sorts of different weather climes. 

Already familiar with the So Cal Coastal-Mediterranean climate, we packed up the VW and a friend’s car and trailer…off to the Willamette Valley in Oregon, we were.   To experience drenching rains for five or six months a year and to learn what frost was first hand (I’d never seen it before!).  After a few years, it was down to Cali again, but this time a northern inland hell misleadingly called The Sacramento Valley.  “Valley” sounds nice, right, pretty valley?  Nope…brown and dry and hot, hot, hot all summer and not a beach in sight (that’s just not right!).  I thought it could get no worse, but oh, no…I was wrong.   Let’s load up the kids and the dog and…It’s a Road Trip!!  To the South…Alabama, to be exact…complete with 90% humidity (whether it’s 98°F in summer or 35°F in winter), cockroaches the size of small mice in even the nicest homes, incessant buzzing outside from some scary-looking bug called a cicada, and let’s not forget the tornadoes (and the Klan marches…for real!).  That didn’t last long, only a year and a half.  Even my mother new that was a mistake…and so we were soon on our way back out west…California here we come!  So happy!  Wait…for some reason my mother got it in her head as we passed through Northern Arizona that the pines were so pretty and wouldn’t it be nice to live here and it’s only a day’s drive to the coast so we could visit Gram in California all the time…*sigh*  Bye-bye California, hello a different kind of hell. 

Now, Flagstaff, Arizona, is at an elevation of 7000 feet above sea level.  That’s higher than Denver.  That’s just ridiculous.  What that means is Flagstaff gets SNOW.  Yep.  Snow…in Arizona.  It gets mutha-fraking FREEZING cold.  I remember it being 12°F!  That’s just way wrong…almost as wrong as being below zero at night!  And we still have to go to school, we still have to learn to drive, we still have to function. 

So you see…I have some experience with different kinds of weather and have been in and out of cold for a long time.  But how people live in places like Fargo or Sheboygan or Fairbanks or [insert your town/city here]…I just don’t get it.  I would die.

Back to the here-and-now, my self-chosen hometown of Seattle is set this week to get the coldest weather we’ve had since 1990.  Yep, and I remember that winter…it was hella cold, and we got snow by the foot in the downtown core even.  It screwed with Joe Metro bad.  This week, Monday looks to be the coldest with a daytime high of 25°F.  Yeah, go ahead and laugh…we’re wussies here…but it’s still frakin’ COLD.  And Tuesday, the first day at my new job, is not going to be much better at 29°F.

Whoa…wait a minute, you say.  Job?  Did you say new job?? 

That’s RIGHT, Suckas!  I am unemployed no more!  I get to get up everyday while it’s barely light, just like a normal person, stumble through making coffee and making sure my clothes are on right-side out, ride Joe Metro downtown while putting on my makeup and not come home until it’s dark again (that can be anytime after 4:00 pm this time of year around here).  Whoo-hoo!  After six months, I’m ready for this again.

So, that’s it today, Kids.  I am thankful for my new job.  Thankful that my spouse doesn’t have to pull out his slightly thinning mop worrying that he isn’t writing enough music to cover the bills.  Thankful that I will once again have my own money and not have to ask him for funds for everything from drugstore staples to a beer and a burger.

And it’s about time.

© 2008 D. Kessler

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