During this typical miserable August (not due to climate change, because, ya know, it’s hot in Alabama in the summer) a friend asked me, “Why do we endure this heat every year?”
My answer is the only one a Yankee can give: “Anything beats shoveling snow.”
I look at summer in the Deep South the way a bear looks at hibernation. I hardly go anywhere. The beach is too hot. If I venture out to take a walk, it’s done at six in the morning. Basically I stay inside for a few months. Yes, I sometimes had to work outdoors when I was a television reporter, but I was smart enough to plan ahead with stories that were indoors on most days.
But being stuck inside because of the heat is better than being stuck inside because of the cold. My reward is a wonderful winter. Sure, sometimes it gets cold here, but other times you can wear shorts on Christmas Day.
I don’t need snow boots, snow shovels, downcoats, ice scrapers, or salt for the driveway. I don’t worry about slipping on the ice, stepping into melted slush and getting ice water in my shoes, not being able to open my car door because of freezing rain, or driving in snow and ice. I don’t have a hundred pounds of kitty litter in the trunk to improve traction. I don’t have to get up an hour or two early to shovel the driveway so I can get to work. And I don’t have to dig my way back into the driveway after the plow has come through. I don’t have to wait till April or May to enjoy a day outside.
One winter in upstate New York we got bombed with 107 inches of snow. As God is my witness, I never want to see snow again. During that time when it was 15 below zero for several days, my travel agent was suggesting summer vacations and asked if I was interested in an Alaska cruise. I told him we already had a glacier in our backyard that we could look at.
As a child, the charm of snowball fights quickly wore off. I never went skiing, ice skating, sledding, or any of those cold-weather activities. And yeah, it gets hot up north, but nothing like the soupy humidity of the south. Summer is nice, but not worth the tradeoff.
There’s a reason “snowbirds” have been flocking to Florida in the winter for years: People don’t want to deal with the cold and all that comes with it.
Do I miss anything? Well, the autumn-changing leaves of the Northeast are spectacular. And while I’ve traded that for falling pine needles, we do have several trees here that do change color. Our pear tree turns a gorgeous red.
So as summer comes to an end I’ll keep doing what I can to keep cool. Staying inside. Eating ice cream. Cool showers. Watching cold weather films like “Die Hard 2,” “Ice Station Zebra,” “Where Eagles Dare,” “Cliffhanger” and that James Bond movie with the ice hotel, laughing that I no longer have to deal with that.
And if someone gives me a new pair of shorts for Christmas, I won’t have to wait six months to wear them.
Randy Tatano is the author of more than 20 novels, writing political thrillers under the pen name Nick Harlow and romantic comedies as Nic Tatano. He spent 30 years working in television news as a local affiliate reporter and network field producer.
The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to Commentary@1819News.com.
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