One of the things that I’ve never liked about Georgia, where I’ve lived my entire life, is it’s marked lack of winter. Once the last leaves fall from the trees in late Autumn, we enter the brown season. Northerners use this term to refer to the period of time between the last leaves falling to the first snow. Because snow is so rare, and even when it does come is so fleeting, one could correctly use this term to refer to the months from November to March here in the south. Except for a few fleeting glimpses of snow or ice, winters here are pretty boring.
Last night as I went to bed, I was met with the prospect of one of those fleeting glimpses. When I checked the weather report, it said that there was a severe weather alert from 3 am to 3 pm today. Apparently, there was a very good chance of rain and freezing (or near freezing) temperatures. I always get excited at the prospect of snow and ice covering the ground. It’s probably a result of being conditioned as a child to associate winter weather advisories with an unscheduled day home from school. It may also be the complete change of scenery winter storms bring, a fresh new look without having to leave the house. A fresh blanket of snow makes the landscape seem so much more peaceful.
With a little more spring in my step I headed off to bed. I woke up a couple of times during the night, and the telltale signs of an ice storm passing through could be heard on my bedroom windows. Each time the soft crunch of sleet against the window panes lulled me back to sleep. Content to be curled up in a nice warm bed.
When I awoke this morning though, the storm was still moving through. The recent warm weather prevented any significant accumulation on the ground. Looking out the window I could see what appeared to be a little bit of snow collected on the corners of my roof, but other than that there was no evidence of anything other than a cold rain. Disappointed, I got ready for work, still pining for a glimpse of winter.
I think part of my longing is genetic. I am not suited to the hot, humid weather characteristic of the south. When the temperature gets above 75° just stepping out of my air conditioned house makes me break into a sweat. Conversely, while snowboarding in Vermont this Christmas*, I was able to stay comfortable in a relatively light jacket and sweatshirt, even though I was outside for hours, and the temperatures were below freezing.
I’m certain I would thrive in the Great White North, but unless I can convince my whole family to go with me, I’m rooted in the south. Thankfully, I have fans and air conditioning to help me get by.
*On artificial snow they didn’t have much in the way of winter weather either.