Ian J. Butler, Contributor
January 7, 2010
|So You Think I'm Nuts...
Moving back to upstate NY in May of 2009, after living in FL for almost 20 years, I've observed a few things. Yes you read that right, moved from sunny Naples, Florida where the average annual temperature is 76 back to Stillwater, NY where the average temperature is...ummmm...uhhhh....yaaaa 47. I know, I know, but let me explain this to you through my eyes.
People here have a greater appreciation for summer; all 4 weeks we had this year. The lakes are flooded with boats every weekend, people take weeks off, sometimes even months from work. But it's amazing how abruptly summer ends (in their minds) regardless of the weather. Labor Day is the last hoorah for most it seems, a three day weekend to BBQ, swim, enjoy family and etc. As soon as the holiday is over, WOW, everyone rolls up their spirit for life and stows it away next to their swimsuit. Boats are pulled out and shrink wrapped, dock removal parties are in full force, grills are put in storage and people begin to whine about the weather to come. "All is lost till Memorial Day.", "I HATE this weather!", "You moved here from where?", "Oh boy just wait till winter!" and lastly, a look I get that you have spent too much time in the sun and burned your brain. Every explicative is used to describe the cold, rainy, freezing, snowing, sleeting, how am I ever going to survive the next 7 months attitude; almost sounds like the Nyquil commercial. For example, the last day of waterskiing this summer, as we were loading the boat to ski, I overheard my friend say he's ready to put the boat away and start getting ready for winter (It was the middle of September!). Needless to say he did, and there were PLENTY of boating days left to come, even for this FL transplant.
Coming back to NY from FL, we looked forward to the changing seasons and eventually our first snowfall in decades, and it did not disappoint. Now I've been called crazy, ridiculous and down right clueless for having these thoughts. But I think the winter is a lost season, up here, that only the few appreciate and enjoy. Now, don't get me wrong, I am starting to see some inconveniences; morning rush hour after/during a snow storm (I need snow tires), starting your car 15 minutes before leaving the house (I need a remote starter) and brushing/scraping the windows to see (need a scraper) and shoveling the walkway before the plow comes and again after (yes I have a snow shovel).
Contrast this to Florida! Your 7 months of cold, blustery winter resembles the 7 months of HOT, STICKY, SWEATY and HUMID (100%+) summer weather that isn't much better. You have to start your car early so it cools off, try sitting on black leather seats with shorts on, THAT'S FUN! Black steering wheel, yup you need gloves! Better have tinted windows otherwise your car doubles as a convection oven. Commercial buildings (stores, offices, malls) have the A/C cranked down so low penguins are wearing jackets. As my fiancÃ©e says, women forget about doing your hair, humidity = the wet mop look. Anyway, that's the viewpoint of someone who has lived there for 20 years.
Build a snowman, throw a snowball, make a snow angel...be a kid again, life is too short to miss one single day.
Snowsports enthusiasts, they get it. They still complain every now and then, but that's because the weather kept them from their fun, yes I said fun. I guess my point is, get out of the house this winter and appreciate where you live. The Northeast is one of the most exciting, unpredictable and beautiful places in the country. And for some, take a ski or snowboard lesson, try snowshoeing; chances are you won't regret it. Build a snowman, throw a snowball, make a snow angel...be a kid again, life is too short to miss one single day.
Just an opinion from a former Yankee, turned Florida beachgoer, back to an older Yankee who has a new appreciation for where I'm from! (PS I'm only 37!).