Monday, February 23, 2015

Cold? It's All Relative.

     As my home state of Michigan continues to post record low temperatures, I'm reminded that the cold is relative.  I remember many years ago being in the Florida keys during a particular cold stretch down there (for some reason cold weather seems to follow Michiganders EVERYWHERE) when some local commented, "I can take 50s, but when it gets in the forties, that's just way too cold for me."

     Really?!  Forties right now would seem like a heat wave when temperatures are dipping below zero.  Heck, even thirties would make us feel like we're in Florida right now.  Well not quite, but hopefully you get the picture.

     So my wife and I had it with this winter wonderland.  When you go outside, draw a breath of fresh air, then feel like it's not warming up at all inside your lungs, that's take-your-breath-away cold.  Too cold.  We decided to take a mid-winter's break, hoping that by the time we put in ten days worth of vacation down in Florida, Michigan would have warmed up.

     But as anybody who has been following weather reports knows, even the south has been enduring unseasonably cool temperatures.  We were at a pub down in sunny Florida.  Among the patrons were other snowbirds from up north, but the temperatures barely reached 50 degrees in central Florida.  The waitress apologized for the unseasonably cool temperatures as one group was leaving.   "Don't apologize," one guest said as she walked out the door.  "We're from Massachusetts."

    A collective "Ohhhhhhhh" response emanated from those still in the pub, myself included.  Anybody watching the news knows how terrible this winter has been on Boston and Massachusetts.  As bad as Michigan's been, it's worse in the northeast.  As I said, it's all relative.

     Wendy and I stopped at Ponce De Leon State Park during our trip down there.  The park, home to the fabled fountain of youth, was empty.  The waters of the natural spring there maintain a year-round  temperature of 68 degrees, not all that cold.

     Hmmmmmm, I could quickly change into a swim suit, take a dip and let the rejuvenating waters return me to my youth.  But the air temperature wasn't even 50 degrees.  Getting yet another cold shock to my body would be the price of turning back the ravages of 60 years of aging.  I decided to forgo the dip.  An eternity of youth could wait.

     We returned to Michigan, our winter wonderland.  As if to welcome us back, we had to drive through several snow squalls in Ohio.  These created white-out conditions but drivers here are used to that, slowing down immediately and putting their flashers on.  Once traffic came to a dead stop on I-75 but we were at an exit and just took side roads for the next ten miles north.  Driving was dicey at times, but again drivers here are used to that.

    So we returned to Michigan last week.  Did temperatures warm up just a bit?  Nawwww, it was the same as when we left.  I took the picture above just outside the city limits of our hometown as we returned home, a winter wonderland still.