Monday, January 16, 2006

Strange weather patterns.

What a horrible start to the month of January!

I'm not one who happily suffers fools who complain about the weather, but typically the people who whine about it are lamenting the normal state of climatic affairs for their particular area. Moreover, the same people who gripe about winter's frigid fury also see fit to rage against the rains of spring and huff over summer's heat and humidity.

Living in Ohio I understand what each season brings. Spring and fall offer up and down temperatures and often contrasting extremes in precipitation. Summer is hot and humid. I know it gets hotter in the south, but we get more than our fair share of sizzling heat and quite often it comes with dense humidity that leaves a person feeling wilted. Conversely in winter it gets cold...or at least it should get cold.

Growing up with one television, no cable and a pestering mother, my childhood involved a lot of getting outside. We would wake up, grab a few bowls of cereal and head for the woods behind the house before mom could assign a list of humiliating tasks to occupy our time until dad got home to issue our daily spankings. Neither rain, nor snow nor dark of night could discourage us from retreating to the outdoors to seek salvation from our cranky mother. Since we grew up in Northeastern Ohio, that meant we had to endure a wide variety of weather.

To this day, I enjoy being outside in the cold. Since it tends to send most people scurrying for the thermostat I often have the outdoors to myself. This love of the frosted outdoors made me easy prey for the seductive siren song of those neatly groomed white lines of powder so many people lose their lives too. You see, the people who make the white stuff their livings don't take a season off and since the prospective customer list is so short during the winter months, they sink their claws into anybody they see out and about. I know I'm an addict and every year I tell myself I'll quit, but winter rolls around and I find myself itching to get a fix. At least I limit indulging this hunger to the three coldest months of the year. Some people get hooked and find themselves in a perpetual downhill state throughout the year.

When this winter began to settle in, it was promising. It was cold and the snow came early. I organized my old contacts and began that dance, checking in everyday to see what the relationship between quality and quantity was. Most of my contacts were slower than expected in refining their final offering, but I headed out early in the season to hook up with a local supplier to get my first hit of the year in.

It was great, everything I had hoped it would be. I ended up getting a little more than my fill and paid the price the next day, but I recovered quickly and made plans to find some better stuff right after Christmas. I wanted to run a few lines on Christmas day, but time got away from me and I just chilled.

I shouldn't have. Now it's warm and I feel like bugs are crawling under my skin. I just want a big mound of that white stuff dumped in my backyard so I can have it to myself the rest of the winter. The extended forecast is calling for temps in the 50's and rain through most of the rest of the month and the prospects of getting my hands on any of the quality powder are becoming nil.

I wish I never would have taken up skiing, it's turned me into one of those people who lives and dies with the latest cold front.

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