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March 19, 2014 - Austin Porter
I grew up in New England. I am familiar with cold weather and snow. At one time, blizzards and the resulting snow were my friend. Winter camping, with its lack of black flies, horse flies and mosquitos, was a delight. I even spent a snowy weekend camped out on Mount Washington at the base of Tuckerman’s Ravine. Unlike city snow that soon turns muddy, country snow remains white until it melts. My dog Pippin enjoys playing in the drifts and I enjoy watching him more than probably makes sense, but why look a gift smile in the mouth? Pippin is good company.

Still, I've had my fill of the cold. Almost as much as the jokes we use to make light of what is, like many things, a mixed bag. Can you imagine working the counter at Sheetz or Rocs? “Cold enough for you?” … “Cold enough for you?” … “Cold enough for you?” How many times can a person hear this before the urge to put one’s head in the microwave and throw the switch becomes near overwhelming?

“What about that global warming?” is a joke that’s gets tiresome, especially when it’s not said as joke.

“It’s so cold I opened a window and influenza,” cracks me up no matter how often it’s told. I think that’s because I am usually the person who is telling it. People hearing it may have a different opinion.

The worse aspect of this winter is my purchasing a snow blower. This is a major turning point in my life, more than realizing I should wear my hearing aids even when my wife isn’t around. I’m no longer young. The machine is loaded: 4 stroke engine, 7 gears forward, 2 gears back, and an electric start option. When I have to plug it in to power it up, I will have turned another corner, maybe a corner and a half. I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it, provided I can walk.

When I got up one morning not so long ago, the weather forecast had me expecting the temperature would be 1%. Nothing I could do but grin and bear it. I made a cup of coffee and dropped a CD in the player. With Odette starting and Bobby Zimmerman’s Blonde on Blonde next in line, grinning was easy. I’ll wait until summer to bare anything except my nose.


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