I hate cold weather. Let me say officially I like it hot and I am not looking forward to winter. Well, hate is a strong word reserved in my life to fried liver. So I guess I should say I don't love cold weather.
OK, what we are having now is all right I guess. If you can put a sweater on and not feel uncomfortable then things are OK. You have to find a way to use those 50 sweaters we Southerners have from aunts and cousins and those sales at Macy's in which $80 sweaters at the end of the season are selling for $9.99.
To me, sweaters fall in the category with ties and baseball hats. I own a zillion of them and hardly ever wear them. I don't know why I buy them, addiction I guess.
People who come from up north love cold weather. They have fond memories of it and they will tell you so. All of life is about what you grow up knowing and what is the norm and what is not.
So they wrapped up well and went down to the frozen pond and ice-skated and the chill of cold air brings back fond memories.
Well, here are the memories I have. I was raised in one of those rambling two-story Southern homes with 12 foot ceilings, a fireplace in one room and an oil burning heater in the living room. The living room had those giant pocket doors on each side of the room.
Upstairs where all our bedrooms were there was no sign of heat. There wasn't even a pretense of heat, like little heaters. There was just no heat.
My grandfather and grandmother owned this big house and when they move to the suburbs with my uncle, my family moved in. So I have remembrances of visiting at Christmas time and then living in the house with my family after they moved out. We kids loved to run around this big house while we were visiting. I remember my grandfather constantly gripping: “Close those doors. You're letting the heat out.” Well, when you are three or four feet tall, it's hard to get those pocket doors to close just right and so yes we probably let a draft in.
I have to admit growing up in that house I never remember being very warm in the winter. We hover around the stoves, but like I said, you faced that time at night when you had to leave the comfort of the coal burning fireplace and trudge up their cold stairs to the dogtrack hall way (you know what that is, don't you? Long and narrow with bedrooms running off both sides of it). And then we faced a cold bed. The sheets were so cold as you shucked off your clothes and jumped in only wearing your briefs (My family never heard of pajamas). And that cold ran up and down you like a knife. I piled all the blankets and coats and anything else heavy on it, but you got in a fetal position and your body heat warmed up a spot eventually. Then in the middle of the night you turned over in your sleep and hit that cold part and yikes.
I was about 12 or maybe 14, I can't remember, my parents bought us all electric blankets for Christmas (of course along with toys and clothes). Then the whole world sort of changed. About 45 minutes before it was time to leave the comfort of the fireplace, one of us would volunteer and would run up the cold staircase, through the cold hallway and into each bedroom where that person would flip on the electric blanket and head to the next one.
Then in the 45 minutes around the fire, the electric blanket would be making it nice and toasty warm and so as you threw off your clothes and jump in you met warm sheets and what a blessing.
This was a time before insulation was big and double paned glass and so you could some nights hear the wind rattling the glass in the windows and you could poke your head out from the covers and breath in the very cold air in the room.
And then half the time the heater in the car didn't work and so you shivered on the way to school and when we got to high school we were close enough we walked and so you arrived appropriately chilled.
Yes, I have found memories of hot chocolate and sitting in front of roaring fires and that chill at Christmas time. But mostly I just remember frozen feet, red hands, runny noses and that cold that wouldn't go away.
Give me a good 100 degree summer day any time. Now I have a truck with wonderful heat, a smart apartment that is toasty warm and enough sweaters and coats to open my own department store. So I will get through this first chilly and then downright cold weather. But enduring it and loving it are two different things.
Bob Paslay is editor of the News Daily and Daily Herald. He can be reached at (770) 578-5753 Ext. 257 or at firstname.lastname@example.org .