Monday, October 4, 2010

Why Retirees Move South

That frost advisory the meteorologists issued last night wasn't a joke.  I should have turned on the heater before I went to bed to get that stinky first-use funk out of the air, but that would have required foresight, which is clearly something I lack. 

I'm not all that great about thinking ahead sometimes.

The kids had a fun time in the van this morning watching the above-dash thermometer drop like a rock.  *INSIDE* the garage, it was 64 degrees.  By the time we got to the end of our street, about a mile away, the thermometer read 39.  It came up to 44 by the time we got to the school and dropped back down to 39 when we got home.


That sort of temperature change explained a lot to me in terms of why our daffodils always bloom and our blackberries always ripen a week or two later than everyone else's.  I'd never thought about the fact that I kind of live in a tiny little valley as having that much of a difference, but maybe I'm wrong. 

Wrong, you say? 

It's been known to happen!

I have never, ever been a big fan of cold weather, though, and as I'm getting older, I'm realizing why.

My hands cease to function.

Typing this now, while the house is being heated to 68 degrees (yes, I'm stingy like that, and the thermometer will remain at that temperature for the duration of winter, no matter how much Oz gripes... maybe), my right hand is stiff.  It's been that way since my high school days when we had to be outside, no matter what the temperature, at 7 a.m. for band rehearsal.  Thick gloves aren't an option when you're playing flute.  The rest of us used to hate the trombone section for getting to wear gloves that actually kept their hands warm while the rest of us suffered (at least until Friday nights, when they had to wear the uniform gloves like the rest of us... bwa ha haaaaa).  But I remember being completely unable to separate my fourth and fifth fingers on my right hand for a good 45 minutes every morning due to cold.  My greatest fear was that the director would call on me to play and I wouldn't be able to hold the E-flat key on the flute without also hitting the third-finger key. I certainly couldn't take notes in history afterward. 

I broke that right fourth finger sometime in elementary school (I think that one was due to a basketball hitting it right on the end during a pool party; it's either that or a basketball hitting it on the end in gym class, but I'm pretty sure that was my left pinkie), and it's never been quite the same since those two fingers were taped together.  There's still a little bit of a weird bend at the end where the break was.  Gotta love scar tissue.

At any rate, I hate the cold.  Despise it.  I also hate humidity, but I'll take that and 100+-degree heat over being cold any day.  People (Oz) tell me I can always add layers, but that's not true!  I can't make pie with gloves on, and pie is an essential part of fall.  I can't go pee with five layers of clothing on my bottom.  I can't shower clothed (though thankfully, the bathroom heater helps me not to turn instantly into an icicle after that particular daily episode).  I don't like having to bundle up to go out to the mailbox, and I'm really not looking forward to running out each evening in subfreezing weather to close up the chicken coop. 

And we don't have a fireplace.

Details, man.

I can now add "don't like having stiff hands" to my list of dislikes about cold weather.

I also don't like feeling old, but that's pretty much the same thing.  I fear arthritis.  I don't know for sure that that's what this is, but even if it's not, it's no bueno.

Maybe I'll make like the hummingbirds and butterflies and Canada geese and robins and all the other animals of superior intelligence and move south for the winter.  Someone text me when it's time to move back north.  Maybe my hands will be thawed by then.

1 comment:

Mom on the Verge said...

I'll take the cold. Honestly, I'm so sick of the heat and humidity after seven months of it, I'm ready for something, ANYTHING else...

Lots of hot tea for you!