Nothing Like A Displaced Southerner In Winter


When I first moved south from Wisconsin, a native Floridian commented to me one day, “It looks like we’re going to have some weather.”

I was perplexed. Didn’t Florida have weather every day, just like every other place on the planet?

I soon came to understand that Florida “weather” referred to anything that wasn’t hot and sunny or, in the winter months, warm and sunny. So, I guess you could say that last week Florida had some “weather.” People were wearing sweaters.

I, of course, am writing this from Missouri, where the high for the week was 54 and the low was 6. I’m here for 19 more months, not that I’m counting. Those months include one more winter, and then both my daughter’s children will be in preschool, and I will have done all that I can to get the next generation of my DNA off to a good start. Then, I can live wherever I want to.

Mark is in Missouri with me, long-suffering husband that he is. He can tell you that it is not really 19 more months, only 18 months and 28 days. Not that he’s counting, either.

Evidently, Mark does not have thick blood. In fact, he moved from Atlanta to South Florida because “Hot”lanta was too cold for him. So I am grateful to him for joining me here, but please, the updates! He is practically glued to the Weather Channel or his app.

“It’s going to be nine degrees tomorrow!” he’ll announce loudly, in the middle of my chapter.

I will put down my book and look at him. “At 4 in the morning when I’m asleep in my cozy bed or at noon?”

“Well, at 4 in the morning, but still.”

“That doesn’t count. If I’m not outside, what do I care what the thermometer says?”

“We had planned to go to the bank. Even if we go at high noon, it will still only be 17 degrees. Do you understand what I’m saying? The high is going to be 17 degrees!”

“But don’t we always drive through at the bank? And don’t you always have the car heater blasting? By the time we get there, it will be 96 degrees in that car. In fact, remind me to bring a cool drink.”

“When we first get in, it will be a 17-degree metal box.”

I sigh.

“Do you want me to go out early and heat up the car for you?”

Chivalry does not allow for this. Even a displaced southern gentleman is still a gentleman. “No,” he mumbles.

Yet I make a mental note to go out and start the car before I tell him that I’m ready to go to the bank.

I pick up my book again and read another two pages before he adds, “There’s a 50 percent chance of snow.”

“It probably won’t.”

“But what if it does? The streets will be icy; visibility will be down…”

“OK, let’s go to the bank the next day.”

I start another paragraph, but I know what’s coming.

“It will only be 33 the next day.”

“Look on the bright side. It won’t be snowing.”

“But we’ll have weather. There’s weather predicted for every day this week.”

This is when I snap. “There’s weather everywhere this week! Every city, state and town is going to experience weather! You know what else they’ll have? Sky!”

Mark doesn’t say anything else but he looks at me, pouting. And I know just what he’s thinking.

Eighteen months and 28 days to go.