Tag Archives: Polar Vortex

Finter, Winter, Sprinter, and Summer, oh my!

Boo Boo knows how to keep warm.
Boo Boo knows how to keep warm.

I can remember sitting on the patio of a restaurant in Cape Coral, Florida, saying goodbye to local friends and colleagues before my husband, son, and I moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana. I felt pretty good about the move. South Florida had gotten gritty, crowded, and nothing like it was when I was growing up there. I knew it would be cold up north, but I also knew there would not be tourists or as much traffic. I knew prices would be lower. After all, we were buying a house that was twice as big as our Florida home for LESS money.

One of my Florida friends, a bridesmaid in my wedding and fellow teacher, warned me about the cold. She was originally from New York and told me that my nose would constantly run and bleed all winter. She also told me I would never feel warm, no matter how many layers I put on. I rolled my eyes. I worked from home. I would just crank up the heat. No big deal. HA! You were right, M.

As I mentioned in Bite Me Polar Vortex, winter was cute when we first moved to Fort Wayne. There were deer in our backyard since our house was near the woods. The snow was like glitter. It was almost like Santa himself would appear on our lawn, which was buried under glitter, at any moment.

My new neighbors told me how wonderful it was to have four seasons, and how they could not imagine living in Florida. I looked forward to these four seasons I had always learned about in school: winter, spring, summer, and fall. I soon learned, that the seasons have different names when you are a Floridian.

Summer

This is truly my favorite time of the year because it is very Florida-like. A couple of years ago, temperatures in the Midwest got up to 100. I LOVED IT. Even though I hate reptiles, I must be one. There is nothing better than hot rock weather. So, from about mid-May until the beginning of September, I am OK with going outside.

Finter

Most people call this season “fall” or “autumn.” Really, for a southern person, it’s just winter light, or finter. It’s cold, windy and dreary. It even tends to snow in late October. UCK! The leaves are pretty, but finter still sucks.

Winter

This is by far my least favorite time of the year. I now understand why Pagans started having winter festivals and celebrations hundreds of years ago. It was to keep people from committing suicide. Winter is dark and cold and just all around miserable.

Sprinter

People like to think that spring begins at the end of March. It does not. Up here in Yankee land, the leaves do not grow back and flowers do not bloom until at least May. Early spring is still winter-like. It’s the time of year when you can get pinged in the head with freezing rain, hail, or sleet.  I still don’t know the difference. I just know that it’s hard and cold and miserable.

So, what are the seasons like where you live? Are you lucky enough to live in Florida, Southern California or Hawaii? Feel free to tell me all about how warm it is. I promise not to hate you. : )

Great Dane Lab
Sophie is the only one who is dumb enough to like winter.

Eye-burning Fickle Fireball

Does February, the Polar Vortex’s BFF, suck your brain out, too? This is what happened to me this month.  I was on a roll, doing that whole day job thing, posting blogs two or three times a week, keeping the house super clean, baking, cooking, and then February came and took my brain from me. 

IMG_0979Way back in the day, when I was going to elementary school in South Florida, I learned all of those cute seasonal rhymes like the rest of you.  March was in like a lion and out like a lamb.  Everyone knew that April showers brought May flowers, but not pilgrims.  The Mayflowers brought those.  I repeated these sayings, just like I repeated my times tables, without really understanding them.  In South Florida, March and April are identical.  The summer is rainy season, and flowers are a year round thing.  I didn’t see leafless trees or snow until I was 35.  I had no idea what these little rhymes meant.

Then, we moved to Fort Wayne, IN (AKA the armpit of America).  We stayed there for 5 LONG years, and now we are next door in Ohio.  For a year or two, seasons were cool. The colored leaves were SOOOOOOO pretty, and snow was like magical fairy glitter.  I LOVED seasons.  See that past tense.  Now, my eternal, inner Floridian has had enough. 

 

More Frigging snow!
More Frigging snow!

This winter has been incredibly long.  It snowed on Halloween, and it is going to snow again on Sunday, March 2.  There’s that lion.  Here in Ohio, it is cloudy 99.967543% of the time.  When the sun comes out, for like 49 seconds at a time, my eyes actually hurt.  There is not enough coffee in the world since the clouds somehow sneak into my brain and take over.  And the thing that is really annoying, other than shoveling snow, is that people around here think that FIFTY degrees is warm.  Yes! The locals will actually put on shorts and pronounce it “nice outside” when I am still in layer upon layer of wool goodness. 

 The only thing that gets me through the 5 or 6 months of cold every year is my Hawaiian fantasy land.  I daydream about endless summers, wearing sandals every day, and living on pineapples.  I may need to retire there.  I am looking forward to old age.

Bite Me, Polar Vortex!

I have had Life in a Northern Town, the original version not the countrified remake, stuck in my head for a few weeks.  The same two lines, over and over:

He said in winter 1963

It felt like the world would freeze

Only I change it to:

In two thousand and fourteen

It felt like the world would freeze

Because this winter has sucked.  Well, every winter has sucked since 2008.  I willingly moved away from South Florida, where I spent the first 35 years of my life, and moved to Fort Wayne, Indiana in January of 2007.  It was magical.  The snow looked like glitter.  Since our house backed up to the woods, deer would walk through our yard.  I felt like I lived in the North Pole.  I loved it.

That crap got old in 2008.  I was done with shoveling the driveway so I could leave the house, driving with sweaty palms at speeds of barely 25, and waking up early to make breakfast for my son only to find out there was a two hour delay or cancellation.  Sometimes the school board makes a decision the night before, but most of the time it is at the last possible minute.

EVERY winter, I kick myself for leaving Florida.  I miss the weather and I miss my family and friends.  In order to maintain my sanity living here in the freezer, I must constantly list the things I do NOT miss about Florida:

  •  Tourist Season – We don’t have one in Columbus, OH.  I can get a table at my favorite restaurants ALL YEAR LONG.  So, there, Hollywood people!
  •  Seeing homeless people use the restroom on the sidewalk or in the middle of the street –  Let’s face it; it’s too cold to drop your pants in public here.  When I lived in Hollywood, FL, I saw a woman defecate on the sidewalk, and a man pee in the middle of the street.  I don’t miss that.
  •  Having newspaper vendors and other people come up to my car at red lights to sell me crap –  This does not happen here.  It is too cold and I think there are actually laws against it.  You can sit in your car, drink your latte, and play with your satellite radio in peace at the red lights in this northern town.
  •  Having a huge house for less money –  I live in a five level split house and it costs less than anything I could get down in hurricane land.
  •  Hurricanes – Yes we have snow.  No, I do not live in Tornado Alley (That is up the center of the country), but we get them here occasionally. The thing is, hurricanes used to stress me out because the weather people talk about them for DAYS.  “Buy canned goods! Get water! Put on your shutters!”  That is all you hear down there.  Then, usually, the hurricane veers off course and you prepared for nothing.  That is a lot of stress.

So, for the time being, I will stay here in Ohio. I will continue to loathe going out the door from October through April.  I will keep complaining and hating snow.   And I will keep listing the five reasons I don’t miss Florida, over and over and over and over….

Polar Vortex
It’s either snowing, super cold or both.