The Long Cold Winter

In two months, we won't remember this winter.

The long, cold winter of our discontent.

The opening line from Shakespeare's Richard III wasn't written about the midwest winter of 2013-14, but it could have been.

Temperatures reaching 15 above zero are causing impromptu beach parties in the streets of Madison.

And, anything approaching 32 is a full-on tanning party along the lakes.

Have we gotten soft?

A childhood spent walking up hill (both ways) to and from school; forced to play outside with a basketball on a snow-covered court as the ball's air froze away; and school in session no matter the footage of fallen snow or mercury that abandoned thermometers for warmer climes... I have to say yes.

We are soft.

Sure, we do the quick walk from the parking lot to the office without a hat covering our ears.  We discard the gloves a bit too often when it's cold.

But, there's just a few among us who are ready to take on the bone-chilling, teeth-rattling cold.  Utility workers fixing a cable or water main.  Fire fighters.  Farmers and ranchers.  Tow truck drivers.

Living in Indiana for a while, I laughed when the locals talked about how cold it was.  "Cold?  This isn't cold.  It's not even bordering on cold!  You don't know what cold is."

Time spent in northern Wisconsin and the high plains of South Dakota demonstrated cold conditions.

It may have been up north where I heard it said that there is no bad weather, just bad clothes.  I have to agree with that.

I was admonished earlier this week by a woman working the desk in our building for not wearing a hat.  I pointed to it in my pocket and would use it when I needed it or if the car stalled.

I just don't own the right clothes anymore.  The winter wonderland is beautiful and I do appreciate it for what it does for us.

It makes us Midwest folks love the coming of spring.