Tuesday, January 5

I Kinda Love This Weather

If there is one thing that has been on my last nerve lately, it's this whole thing where people have been whining endlessly about it being cold and snowy. In Pittsburgh. In January.

Let's all take a second and wrap our brains around that. Can you believe it's cold and snowy? In Pittsburgh? In January?

Anyway, I want to whine endlessly about the endless whining about that which should be expected, but I think whining about whining is almost as bad as just whining. So.

North Dakota.

I grew up there.

I think that means I know a thing or two about cold and snow and ice. Despite the fact that it's about 246346798 bajillion times worse there in January than it is in Pittsburgh, I still have a lot of fantastically fun memories about winter growing up. For example:

-- Our back yard had a low spot right smack in the middle of it. Each fall, that low spot would fill with water and by December it was frozen solid. Since it rarely gets above 20 degrees in winter in North Dakota, it would stay frozen for a solid three months or so, leaving lots of opportunities to ice skate in our back yard. My friends and I had a great time doing waltz jumps and sow cows on our own personal ice rink.

-- School doesn't get canceled in North Dakota. Ever. Well, I take that back. I actually remember twice that school was canceled because of weather. The first time was when I was in second grade and it snowed twelve feet in less than 24 hours. The second time was in high school when the governor declared a state of emergency because the temperature was around -40 degrees and the windchill was something even more obscene. I spent that -40 degree time hanging out at the mall with my friends. Somewhere along the line, I managed to lock my keys in my car with it running. That may not sound like much fun, but at the time, it was absolutely hysterical trying to figure out how to break into the car when it was too cold to stand outside for more than a second or two at a time.

-- The Great Pizza Experiment always made for a good time. A friend of mine happened to be part of a family that owned a pizza shop. Anytime a pizza was a waste pizza and we were around, we would throw it out into the parking lot and watch how long it took to go from piping hot to so frozen you could shatter it by throwing it at the ground.

And this is probably where you were thinking I had a totally lame childhood. True fact. But, what else are you supposed to do when it's below zero and the snow is up to your chin?

34 comments:

  1. Shhhh . . . don't tell, but I secretly love this weather as well! We have had snow on the ground for almost a solid 3 weeks, and Thursday's high is supposed to be 12 - that's what winter is all about! I went to college in Wyoming - I can honestly say I know what it feels like to freeze my eyeballs (67 below with wind chill my freshman year.)

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  2. Pizza story - awesome.
    I love how pretty the snow is. I just hate the commuting in it. Then again, perhaps that's unfair to the snow. A lot of that trouble has to do with how many ordinary people turn into idiots upon entering their cars....
    But what I really must know is two things: 1) Where did you get that adorable umbrella? My daughter got an umbrella for Christmas (Tinkerbell), and she was way excited about it. But it's lame - and partially broke almost immediately. 2) Did you get the spork necklace??

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  3. Great Story! I lived on top of Mt. Hood in Parkdale, Oregon for a good portion of my youth. WHile it didn't get as cold like it did in your neck ofthe woods we had a lot of snow. Hello, Chains, and automatically throwing a shovel in the back of the pick up, because you never know when you were gonna be stuck. Kids would be on inner tubes tied to the back of 4 Wheel Drives and sliding on the towns main street. We even had a road (1 mile) called "urp" hill that was cordoned off in the winter and burning barrels set up strategically on the sides and we would have sledding races on a REAL sled with runners, with our families. IT was a blast.
    Thanks for the memory. :)

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  4. I think some people are cold people and some people are not.

    I'm not.

    I'm also not a hot person either.

    I'm a medium.

    And in this country, there seems to be no more mediums anymore, thanks to Global Warming.

    So, I just shut my whine-hole and make the best of what I can.

    Unless I'm too cold.

    Or too hot.

    ;)

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  5. @Melissa--Bad weather doesn't cause accidents, people do. True story. Also: 1)Wal-Mart, but it was two years ago. 2)No, ma'am.

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  6. I think Pittsburghers just like to complain. I admit I complain about this weather, but no where near as much as others!

    And it doesn't matter if it's flurries or a blizzard - drives get stupid this time of year!

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  7. Who is whining? Not this chick! I love snow. Bring it on!

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  8. I've always liked the snow, especially when it sticks around for a bit, like it is doing this year. I have fond memories of regular snow from my childhood (in Pittsburgh, no less!, so nothing like your experience, but still fun.)

    As an adult that has to shovel and clean cars on a daily basis, I can understand SOME complaining about the snow, but I haven't really had any problems with it this year. The thing that bothers me is when it snows, you shovel & clear, then it all melts the next day, and then it snows again a day or two after that, and the entire season is just wet, soggy, and a pain. This consistent cold, with constant snow? I'm OK with that. I haven't slipped or slid in my car yet, due to lack of slushy conditions, and I'm a happy camper so far.

    And I love that umbrella.

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  9. I know! I think this is why a lot of folks from my generation moved from Pittsburgh to Charlotte...

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  10. I live in the Desert where right now at 8:00 is 44, it's supposed to be 71 today. However, I grew up in the snow and while I do not miss driving in it, I miss playing in it.

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  11. I have to agree with you. I mean, the snow gets annoying after a while, but people are acting SURPRISED that it's here. I'm like, have you JUST MOVED HERE? No, you've lived here for 20 years, it snows in January. DER.

    I will say though, I miss the sun. Snow plus sun is my favorite. This gray stuff is depressing me.

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  12. @Scrumpy Daddy--Absolutely agreed. I would much rather it be 25 degrees than 32 degrees because that slush stuff kicks my ass. I'm good with being cold, not so much with being cold and wet. I think it's a lot easier to drive in snow than slush, too.

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  13. I would never call anything like the Great Pizza Experiment lame! I think my childhood just got lamer because I never got to watch a pizza freeze in a parking lot. Maybe that's what I'll do Saturday night...

    West Virginia could get pretty bad snow sometimes, but we never complained about it. I mean, it's winter. That's what winter DOES, it's cold and it snows.

    And believe it or not, lots of people in WV had 4 wheelers and 4x4s. I know, it's shocking.

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  14. i''m also a cold weather person. love this weather! (although i do have to work hard to avoid complaining in the heat of the summer.)

    so, how long does it take that pizza to go from piping hot to frozen and shatterable? you can't just throw something like that out there and not expect me to be all inquisitive...

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  15. See, I grew up south of New Orleans, so my childhood memories all involve heat. Like sledding down a grassy levee on a piece of cardboard, or rolling down tucked into a truck inner tube. Making critters out of melted tar from the cracks in the street in midsummer.

    I love the snow. LOVE it. It's the ice storms we keep getting here in Tulsa that get old.

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  16. @hello hello narf--It depends on how cold it is. Behold the scale of pizza freeze:

    -50 degrees or colder: The pizza will freeze solid in under five minutes.

    -20 to -50: You're looking at ten minutes or more.

    Above -20: The pizza will freeze, but it won't ever hit that blissful point of breaking to pieces.

    At least that's how I remember it. I might be a little off.

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  17. It's not really the snow I hate. It's the cold, and the lack of color - the gray skies, etc. Also, Pittsburgh drivers in the snow. I REALLY hate that.

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  18. Anonymous12:44 PM

    Funny my son is in ND now and he is back in town for holidays. He says this is like spring here. He is not however looking forward to leaving on Fri to head back to Minot.

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  19. @Anonymous--I grew up in Minot, so I totally sympathize. 199%. It totally is like spring here!

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  20. I will trade my whiners for yours. People in TX are complaining about our "arctic blast." The high today is 49. The high tomorrow is in the 20's and will be that way for three days. The lowest low is only 19. They. are. whimps.

    Maybe we could sell all the whiners on Ebay and fund a comparative field trip this summer: throught a pizza in a parking lot in the middle of the summer and see how long before the blacktop bakes it to an absolute crisp. :)

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  21. My first winter in Pittsburgh was '92-'93 and we had the St. Patrick's Day Blizzard. I freakin' loved it. That was some snow. Anybody complaining about the few inches we've gotten recently has no clue.

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  22. @Andrew--I was stuck at the Pittsburgh airport during that storm. Good times!

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  23. Me too me too! Let it snow let it snow! I am so wishing for a good old fashioned blizzard with 3 feet of snow and a week of barely able to move. Its been so long since we've had one. And so long since I've experienced one, here or anywhere. If its going to cold, it should be snowing dammit. Otherwise bring on the sun and warm temperatures. Cold for the sake of cold I can live without.

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  24. @JenEngland--That's a bandwagon I'll happily jump on. If it's going to be cold, there needs to be snow. I'd rather look at pretty stuff than dead grass.

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  25. So so glad I don't live there, but I think it's awesomely cool that you had an icerink in your garden!

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  26. Thanks for sharing. I often wonder how people could survive the great white north. Now I know. A sense of humor.

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  27. I do not mind the cold IF it is snowing. Once it stops snowing I hate the cold. Always have-but the years I spent in FL sealed it for me.

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  28. I have always said I'd rather be cold than hot. Cold - you can put on more clothes. Hot - you can only take off so much, legally!! :) So I don't whine about the snow. I whine about the stupid drivers that don't know how to drive in it. It's like as soon as it snows (or rains) they go stupid! I also whine about the bottleneck of traffic going into the fort pitt tunnels. that's a phenomenon I will *never* understand

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  29. @RZ--The Fort Pitt bottleneck is one of the Seven Wonders of Pittsburgh. It's also my #1 cause of road rage.

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  30. I'll admit, I whine about the cold because I hate it. I rarely whine about the snow because I figure if it is going to be cold, we might as well have some fun, right? I hate nothing more than when it is cold and there is just bare frozen grass and nothing for the girls to play in. I grew up in Michigan and no exactly what you meant by a real winter. I think I had two snow days the entire time I was in school, and one of those was actually for ice, not snow. But at least we had snow to play in. Here in Indiana? we are lucky to get a good snow and when we finally do, it is -10 out and too cold to go outside.

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  31. i'd never make it in north dakota.

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  32. 12 feet? Day-um. I'm not woman enough. I seriously wouldn't make it through a winter - I don't skew toward depression but that would do it.
    My husband was just telling me about a co-worker who lived in ND for a couple of years. He apparently ignored a warning to not go out do to impending icy doom and got stranded. Some national guard truck found him just before he ran out of gas - they fined him $900. Served him right - you don't play around when the meteorologists in ND tell you to stay home.

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  33. Totally don't miss the gray - the cold I didn't love but the gray is what was soul sucking around the end of February. And that wind whipping off the rivers...I parked at the Wharf so I did whine about that wind when I was walking to my office.

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  34. Loved it! I grew up outside of Philadelphia, never getting any sympathy from my Midwestern parents who grew up in Minnesota and scoffed at the East Coast winters.

    That is until I moved to Pittsburgh! Now that I've returned to the midwest, every once in a while they'll feel sorry for me.

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