Maybe my friends "up-there" would consider me a wimp, they may even surmise that since moving South my blood has gotten thin, that's what happens to us transplants, No? But seriously folks, 19 degrees is cold, no matter where you are, especially in the Lowcountry. During our first Autumn as Lowcountry Transplants my wife coined a phrase that was not only clever and appropriate at the time but has been the source of some degree of comic relief to us occasionally when the outside air carries a chill. Not long after moving to Charleston during the hottest and most humid summer on record, our son began his high-school football season at Summerville High School playing football for the legendary John McKissic. It was August, and it was steamy. The opening game of the regular season was scheduled for Saturday afternoon, August 29th and would be televised nationwide on ESPN. The high temperature that day would hover in the upper 90's. At one point during the game, I was genuinely concerned that my wife was about to have a heat stroke. Less than two months later, in early November we sat huddled together in the bleachers on a clear and crisp full moon Friday night, shivering. The temperature by the end of the game had fallen into the mid-fifties and we were cold. Now, you are probably saying to yourself, "cmon, fifty degrees isn't cold." I don't know how to explain it, some say that it is due to the moisture laden air being so close to the ocean, but fifty degrees here doesn't feel like fifty degrees "up-there". At any rate, as we hurried to the warmth of the heated leather seats in the car, my wife says, "how can any place with all of this sand and palm trees be this
I know that most of my northern friends really have lost their patience with us when it comes to boasting about our weather. I also know that I spent the better part of forty-five years of my life living in a place where winter comes early and stays late, and we are talking about dark winter, no green trees, over-cast and dreary days, can you say UGGGH? As much as I love my family and friends, as proud as I am to be a West Virginian, as much as I enjoyed the changing of seasons and the excitement of a winter storm warning, I just can't imagine myself ever enduring one of those winters again. It is somewhat humorous to watch the progression of attitudes towards the bleek cold winter weather as it develops. Facebook in addition to being a great tool to keep connected to friends all over the world, through it's status update feature provides a strikingly accurate glimpse into the effects of the seemingly constant battering by Mother Nature. The early part of winter arrives with the excitement and anticipation of "snow days," a rare phenomenon here in the Lowcountry (rare but not entirely unheard of). Gleeful cries of bliss quickly transition though into various pleas for mercy. "I hate winter!" "Really, another winter storm." "I miss Summer."I need a vacation!" "Will the sun ever shine again?" I think you get the picture. Fortunately, for us that is no longer a part of our daily toil. After spending forty-five years of my life where Winter was like that, I guess you might say, I have seen the light. And because of that, I just can't understand why people continue to endure those types of winters, especially those who are already looking forward to the end, when it is really just beginning. Except of course, I was one of those people until one cold January day in 2007 when I decided, enough is enough. So, I will continue to bundle up when the temps drop below fifty, knowing all the while that before long my coat and scarf will return to the back of the closet. No matter where you are today, or what kind of weather you are experiencing I hope you have a great day, and to my West Virginia University Mountaineer Football Team, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE beat Clemson tonite in the Orange Bowl. Let's Go Mountaineers, From The Land of Palm Trees.