Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Baby, it's cold outside

“Everyone complains about the weather, but nobody does anything about it.”

Thus spake Floyd the Barber.

Betsy and I are in the middle of building a house. It’s an endeavor that’s been in the works for nearly a decade, although the actual construction has been limited to the past seven months. We’ve been picking out everything from cabinets to paint colors to light fixtures to siding styles for weeks, while paying very close attention to the all-important bottom line. It’s been both fun and stressful, and I’m sure I’ve got a few less hairs on my head as a result of the experience. But, we’re nearing the home-stretch (pardon the pun) and should realize the fruits of our builder’s labors by the spring.

Speaking of spring, it's not here. Not by a long shot. We’ve already “enjoyed” four rounds of snow (way more than normal for middle Tennessee), with additional accumulation predicted for this week. Friends from the north probably don’t understand this, but I actually do love the snow. It’s wildly-entertaining, because in the south, even the prediction of snow makes everyone go completely insane. First, it’s the dramatic, foreboding forecasts from meteorologists, which track the impending doom with a fearful arsenal of increasingly-silly technology. This royally kicks things into gear, as droves of panicked people flock to the nearest Kroger or Publix for key foodstuffs to stave off probable starvation from being forced to stay in the house for a day-and-a-half. Well before the first flake drops from the sky, road crews blanket highways and intersections with several inches of rock-salt. Motorists, who previously rocketed through school zones while talking on cell phones, now death-grip the steering wheel in a fundamental 10-2 position, and crawl down well-brined streets at 30 mph BELOW the speed limit in order to avoid unexpected encounters with the dreaded black-ice. Lastly, if you're brave enough to turn on the TV, you'll notice that each program is permanently framed in blue, as a scrolling ticker lets us know that every school or day-care in Tennessee is closed due to the impending Ice Age.

I blame the Weather Channel for the insanity, but in the end, it’s all fun. Yes, it eventually makes a horrible mess, but a good dumping of snow brings out my inner-eight-year-old. It makes me want to build a snow-fort; to pummel passers-by with carefully-packed snowballs; to flop on top of a sled and rocket down the nearest hill or inclined-driveway; to stumble back home at the end of the day, cold and wet, with bright-red cheeks and a huge smile on my face. Southern winter-storms are frozen fountains of youth. Just make sure you wear your mittens. And, don’t eat the yellow snow.

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