Jan 302007

One Sunday morning in 1996, Lea and I first began talking about marriage on the swing in her backyard. Among other things, we discussed non-negotiables. One of them for me was that I intended to raise a family in northern Alabama, and that if she wanted to do something else I probably wasn’t The One.

As much as I enjoy visiting other places, it’s always a pleasure to come back home. I really love it here. To me, it’s the best of a whole lot of worlds, and part of what I love about it is the weather. Yes, it’s damned unpleasant for about six weeks in the summer (like 98° with 60% humidity), and there is the occasional flirtation with 0° in the winter. But it’s just heavenly eight or so months a year.

That said, I look at the weather forecast tonight, and they’re talking about maybe a little winter precipitation on Wednesday night. And I’m pulling for it. Probably won’t be aesthetically pleasing–“wintry mix” is what they’re saying, so lovely white powder probably isn’t in the cards–but I’m ready for the novelty of an incapacitating winter weather event. (And nearly anything beyond a flurry is incapacitating here; we don’t have the equipment to deal with it like they do in, say, Des Moines.)

I want it for the kids (in the event of a decent snow), but I like the occasional adventure of it, too (whether it snows, ices, or whatever). We’re well-prepared for an occasional extended power outage, and I think we’re overdue for hanging out listening to music, drinking hot buttered Jack, and playing games. It’s been seven years or so since we’ve been sacked in.

Mind, I don’t ever want it as a guaranteed part of daily life. I taught a class in Watertown, NY once, and it never quit snowing and never got above 24°. That sucked (and yes, I do know it’s hardly anything compared to some other parts of the country and world; such is the depth of my aversion).

But here, we used to be able to count on a 6″ snow or a decent ice storm every two or three years, which was just often enough to enjoy. Been a while.

This is hard to believe, but the last hard freeze of the winter had already occurred by this time last year. I’m encouraged to see them forecast all the way through the middle of next week. Maybe this is the year.

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