It’s a matter of degrees…

As I write this it is -3.5 outside which to many of you seems cold…to me also. However, it is 31 in Washington, DC and 21 in Burlington, VT.

When I talked with the girls in the DC area tonight and asked about their weather, they stated that it was cold. This made me think of the days when I lived in Wilmington, NC and at that time I thought 35 was cold and later in Annapolis, MD I thought anything in the 20s was cold. Last week as I arrived at work one morning it was -8 and I found myself saying “only -8…not to bad today”.

In NC on the rare times that we had snow an inch or so seemed like the end of the world and in MD when we would occasionally get a foot or more it really did seem like the end of the world. I remember one time while working in Baltimore we had about two feet of snow and just as I arrived at work an employee contacted me to say she could not make it to work because of the snow. I knew she only lived three blocks from the hospital so I explained that if I could drive 32 miles to work she certainly could and would make it to work with in the next 30 minutes or…she took my advice and showed up.

I admit that moving to Lead, SD from Maryland required me to rethink my idea of cold and how much snow is really snow. I have gone to work in temps of -35 and with four to five feet of new snow. We have had as much as ten feet of snow in a five-day period in the past and yet the kids here only missed one day of school. This is one of those winters when we have not had much snow. We have only had about six feet so far. In 2009 we had 31 feet and in 2010 we had about 22 feet. On May 3, 2008 we had a late spring snow that dropped 5 feet of heavy wet snow on us and of course on June 2, 2003 we had 4 inches of snow. We had moved to Lead on May 29 and my first thought as I got up expecting summer was “what have we done”.

Summer here in SD has also required an attitude adjustment. We get up in the morning and put on jeans and a fleece, then we change to shorts mid-morning and at sundown we change back to our morning outfit. We have watched 4th of July fireworks when it has been 40 degrees and yet we had one summer with a week of 100 degree plus weather and in the summer of 2009 we only had two days over 90. We also feel like we are wilting away on summer days when the humidity gets over 35%. We rarely need AC unlike NC and MD when a night-time low of 80 felt good.

So I guess what we think and feel depends mainly on where we live and what we are used to or can get used to.

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