Many of you have been rather … well, smug … in recent days. Here in central Arkansas, temps plunged into single-digits last night, prompting those of us used to milder Southern winters — where snow remains very much a big deal — to complain about the frigid air and wintery precip.
I’ve read snarky comments on Facebook, Twitter and blog posts — comments in which those who hail from less moderate climes mock snow-stunned Southerners for their dismay over this unusual (for us) weather.
May I remind you northern folk that we here in the south have no basis for comparison? That to us, single-degree temps are not the norm? That we did not grow up playing in snow or learning to drive on ice? That our cities and counties don’t own the kind of equipment typically used to clear roads? That most of us don’t own the attire & accessories required for such weather?
Well, consider this your reminder.
And also? In the summer, while you moan and groan and carry on about how unbearably hot it is, we southerners will continue to sit on our porch swings, sipping cocktails and watching our neighbors walk their dogs. We’ll snicker when you gripe about a high of 90 and tell you that until you’ve lived through summers loaded with triple-digit days, you really have no reason to whine.
While you seek refuge in your air-conditioned homes, we’ll carry on as usual with our deck-sitting, porch-gathering, hiking, camping and boating. We’ll spend long days at pools and beaches. We’ll shop delightedly for sandals and sundresses, which really are much more flattering than those itchy, bulky sweaters that make you look 10 pounds heavier.
We’ll sweat, sure, but hey, we’re used to heat. It doesn’t make your arthritis flare up or your joints hurt. It doesn’t chap your hands and lips. It doesn’t shut down roads or schools. Just slap on some sunscreen, grab your sunglasses and plenty of water and you’re good to go.
So yeah, you can mock us now for our cold-weather complaining. But when you land in Florida after your retirement, I’ll be more than happy to remind you of how a little cold and snow is “nothing to whine about.”