Monday, November 30, 2009

Snowbirds -- for dummies

God, if there be such a creature, has a wicked sense of humor.

Take the weather report: snow is finally in the forecast. Not in Minnesota but in Texas. I got all this winter gear, puffy coat and everything, and where does it snow? Texas. We got zero measurable snowfall this November, the second warmest on record.

They do winter differently up here on the tundra. First, I noticed everybody walking around with a knowing look, like everybody was in on the secret except me. Then, I began to see intriguing items advertised in the newspaper, like heated pet bowls and strap-on spikes for your boots. Apparently spurs have limited utility during Minnesota winters.

We may not be doing this snowbird gig right. I've misplaced the manual.

The days grow dark faster. Around noon you drive with high beams. As winter approaches, outdoor conversations get shorter. There’s a run on firewood and oatmeal and whiskey. I can't find Vienna sausage anywhere. At first I was puzzled to see neighbors putting up Christmas decoration before Thanksgiving but not turning on the lights until the day after. It’s tradition. Decorations go up while you can still move your fingers.

When talking with the Mystery Woman, people lower their voices an octave and ask in knowing tones: “How is George coping with winter?” Hey. I’m standing right here.

I’m coping just fine, thank you. And I can hardly wait until I catch my first ice fish. Ole said he would take me.


sph said...

I hear ice fish and snipe taste good together. I laughed so hard reading your post that my personal NY Yankee won't have to add another log to keep me warm here in Central Cold Texas.

No snow here on the Colorado River yet, but you and Ole will be the first to hear from your cold seeking family members.

Ken Martin said...

Milk the experience for all it's worth this season, George, then come to your senses and return to Central Texas for a more enjoyable winter (although today it's raining and chilly).

Paula said...

Just wait!!!
Yeah, it has been ridiculously warm so far. We're still not running much heat, then turn it off completely and open the window at night. But, it'll come. It always does. Just when you realize you've lost your favorite hat, or jammed the zipper on your winter jacket. Or, forgot to check your antifreeze level. Did anyone tell you the real reason they always have electric outlets in garages? It's not for light.

Anonymous said...

You ain't seen January yet! But nice that it's warm so far!

Diana Maria said...

I am still laughing as I write this note. And there is no snow here in the windy city - yet. I am glad ice fishing is not a popular wintertime activity in my neck of the woods. There's gotta be an easier way to get a fish (restaurant). I always say I hate the snow but I look forward to that first snowfall each year. Then it can melt. I enjoy your blog. Write on!

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