A Little (Frozen) Cheese with My Suthun’ Whine

When it comes to winter, there are three kinds of people.alexcornell-antarctica-3

1.) People who love winter; ergo, love the cold.

2.) People who’d prefer it be a little warmer, but they can deal.

3.) People who JUST. CAN’T. FUCKING. DEAL.

The third group are kind of like people who hate mornings. Or wasabi. Or democracy. Or super close-up pictures of things that trick you into thinking its a vagina when it’s really something totally unrelated. I think I got off-subject a little there.

Needless to say, I’m in the third group. I hate the cold so badly that I can’t even look at pictures of Alaska or icebergs or Greenland and see anything beautiful about them. It’s kind of like when people watch Obi-Wan and Anakin battling on Mustafar and think “What kind of hellish planet is this?!” That’s exactly what I see when I see pictures of cold places. And when I hear people talk about the beauty of the Alaskan wilderness or Norway or sailing through the North Atlantic, I feel exactly the same kind of confusion as if someone were to describe Mustafar as “the beauty of nature.”

My husband and I chose to live in South Carolina because we kind of have a strange comfort zone. We don’t really like the ambiance of the Deep South (K, we hate it), but we’d go on a killing spree if we had to live in a place that was perpetually cold for months on end.

Of course, cold is subjective. It really depends on where you were raised, your preference, what you’ve gotten used to over the years, all sorts of things. My definition of cold will no doubt elicit laughs from most. If I start seeing the weather forecast dropping below 60, shit starts getting real. If I have to put on socks to go check the mail, the mail will not get checked. Here, let me give you an example. Here is a screenshot of the 10-day forecast for the city I live in.


As you can see, today (being the 9th of January), is hell on Earth. That is completely fucking unacceptable. Unfortunately, Wunderground doesn’t let you go backward or I’d be able to show you that the weather has been this way for the past 3 days. What this means for people like me is something called “temporary soul death.” In fact, today is a little bit warmer than the past couple of days. During these times, we do not revel in the “beauty of nature.” We don’t go on brisk winter hikes and watch the squirrels do whatever they do. We don’t go down to the beach and get tore up and go polar-bearing.

No. We binge-watch Netflix, sit on the couch under 3 blankets with socks, and wonder why God has forsaken us.

My creative juices are frozen inside my brain like those little patches of morning dew that never really thaw out because they’re stuck in the shade.

The entire back of my house is windows, almost floor-to-ceiling windows, that open out into my backyard and a little lake with a pretty water fountain that lights up at night. I have two palm trees with hummingbird feeders on them. I have a covered porch with a $300 radiant heater and a huge stack of firewood for our fire pit.  I have cushioned Adirondack chairs. I have a nice little patio table with an umbrella in my yard.

That all sounds so nice and idyllic, no? A fire pit, a radiant heater…. everything I’d need to enjoy the outdoors in the winter. But THIRTY FUCKING DEGREES IS NOT A NORMAL WINTER! No, No, AND NO.

For those of us who truly believe that winter, not banishment, is Adam and Eve’s punishment from God, all of those wonderful outdoor accouterments are meant to be enjoyed should the weather dip a touch below the 60s and perhaps there’s a slight breeze.

And if you still don’t understand where I’m coming from, let me give you a few examples of how I came to this point:

-When I was growing up, I wore sandals and shorts to school in January.
-When my youngest son was born on January 2, I came home from the hospital and had to turn my air conditioner on. And that was just fine with me.
– As you can see in the forecast above, my air conditioner will probably be used sometime in the next 10 days. I see absolutely nothing wrong with that.
-I’ve canceled and rescheduled appointments because the temperature was in the 50s.
-I’ve never seen snow chains and have no idea what they look like.
-If I am forced to leave the house in 30 or 40-degree weather, my teeth start chattering so badly that I can’t talk. My husband finds it hilarious.
– I’ve been snow-skiing once, when I was a kid, in Tennessee (where they have to make fake snow), and I was so miserable that after the first 30 minutes or so, I went back inside and ate pizza for the rest of the day.
-It doesn’t matter what the thermostat inside the house says. Right now, I am sitting on my couch under two blankets wearing a sweatshirt and socks.
– When the weather forecast predicted snow last week (although it did not materialize), I did consider that it would be interesting to watch it snow on the beach, but my plan included simply driving there, not actually getting out of the car.

Clearly, as you can tell, cold weather- for me- is the most physically and mentally paralyzing of all natural phenomenon just short of natural disasters. In fact, when I see the temperature go down into the teens, I consider it a natural disaster….. probably because I grew up in the south where the states actually declare a state of emergency during those times. Temperatures in the single digits are completely foreign to me.

Thinking back upon my entire 40 years of life on this planet, I don’t think I have ever experienced single-digit temperatures.

Of course, having said all this, I will revisit the subject sometime in the middle of July when the heat index climbs up around the 120-degree mark and I have to start cancelling appointments because my poor ass will melt to the leather seats in the truck, and I have to make sure I stay on the grass when I check the mail because my driveway will cause third-degree burns on the bottom of my feet.

But I’d choose the third-degree burns over this 30-degree bullshit any day of the week.



2 thoughts on “A Little (Frozen) Cheese with My Suthun’ Whine

  1. No no no! I live in the South, we have all seasons in one day sometimes. I love cold weather. I have never seen or felt real snow. That’s like a goal of mine. Cold weather makes me happy. In the Summer, it’s so bad that I have been known to stick my head in the freezer to cool off. -True story.


    1. I’ve seen snow. Lots of snow. And ice storms (those can actually get pretty dangerous). Snow is a novelty. It’s cool the first couple of times you see it, especially if it’s a nice, big snow fall and not just dust. I’ll go outside, walk around, try to force myself to appreciate nature, and then run back inside and watch it from my big huge windows with my fireplace going full force. We got a pretty good snowfall when we lived in North Carolina back in ’05 I think. I took a yardstick out to the front yard and measured 22 inches. That was the only time I went outside LOL. We lived in South Korea twice and, depending on where you live, it’s either snow or slushy ice. Eeew. We had an ice storm in Alabama (believe it or not) when I was a kid that was so bad that it brought down electric poles (because of the weight of the ice). We were out of electricity for days. The older I get, the better I get at tolerating the cold (ya know, hot flashes and all), but I’ve been known to go and lay out in the middle of the yard in 110 degree weather for hours at a time. We’ll see how well I deal with summer this year. The hot flashes are really starting to kick in.


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