Midwest Winter

There is a reason why I live in Oregon.  Even though it rains quite a bit from October until July and right now its been foggy all day every day for nearly 2 weeks, overall it’s not too bad.  No matter where you live there are going to be trade offs.  Summers here are glorious.  There is no humidity, no bugs (I hate mosquitoes, biting flies, and gnats.), it’s sunny all day, every day and around the Solstice it stays light until 10 or later.

There was a comment on the last post about it being 60 degrees at night and needing a hat and not being able to make it through Midwest Winter.  I get so few of these I wanted to say something.  Winter in Eastern Iowa is rough.  It has it’s moments.  Sledding most of the day, coming home, making hot chocolate, sitting on the radiator, and having your Mom put your socks in the dryer so you can hurry up and put them on while they are still warm freaking rocks.  Snowball fights and building snowmen is a lot of fun.  Being inside and watching it snow so hard you can barely see the neighbour’s house across the street is an amazing sight to behold.  Building snow forts with your brother (one of the few times you are not fighting and beating the shit out of each other) is a nice memory to have.  Hanging out with your two best friends and playing Skip-Bo for hours is a fun way to spend a cold, snowy, Saturday afternoon.  I will never forget one of the most amazing snow storms I saw when I was 9.  It was snowing, thundering, and lightning at the same time.  I will never forget being in my parents bedroom watching the lightning light up the snow coming down in swirling drafts through the two pine trees in the front yard.  Never have I seen a storm like that since.  I looked for videos on youtube but couldnt find anything good to show.

That being said, Eastern Iowa winters are rough.  It’s not unusual to have a cold snap in January/February where it doesnt get above freezing for 2-3 weeks.  Just imagine listening to the weather and hearing that the high for the day is -10 and the low is -20 (not counting the wind chill)  It’s so cold it literally sucks your breath away when you walk outside.  Winter can be so dry your hair always has static electricity (imagine every time you touch a door knob you get shocked) and your lips and hands crack and bleed.  It’s not unusual to get at least one snowstorm a winter where it snows 18 inches over night.  I cant imagine what it was like for Native Americans or European pioneers 150 years ago because when it’s windy, no matter how many layers of clothes you are wearing, that ice cold wind finds it way through to your skin and bones.

Thank God for salt and gravel trucks.  No wonder we ate gravy and mashed potatoes more often in the winter.  We had to have extra fat to keep us warm.

Needless to say, I’ll take 35-40 and rain over -10 and sun any day.

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