Jan. 23—Driving to The Daily Item's Sunbury office along Route 15 from Lewisburg on Thursday morning, what began as a barely-noticeable flurry of very fine snow turned abruptly into something of a snow squall.
All of a sudden I had to put my wipers on high. The cars and trucks ahead — thankfully — slowed down to about half normal-speed. What on many mornings is a fairly relaxing drive spent contemplating the workday ahead suddenly required my full attention.
It also reinforced an already strongly held opinion I'm not sure I've stated in this space before.
I don't recall when I came to this conclusion, but I can state it without hesitation.
I really don't like winter.
With the exception of Christmas — winter's only redeeming value as far as I am concerned — it's a season I could and hope to one day fully live without.
I don't like cold temperatures. I dislike ice and snow and the scraping and shoveling of ice and snow.
I don't like driving to work in the dark and driving home from work in the dark on the same day.
I don't ski. I haven't ice skated in years, and when I did as a young man, it was always in an indoor ice rink. I can't imagine why anyone goes ice fishing or winter camping.
Funny thing is, despite all that, I've never lived anywhere that didn't have an appreciable amount of ice and snow every winter.
I grew up in New York City, and subsequently have lived in northern New York State (twice), New Jersey (twice), Pennsylvania (twice) and Indiana.
Last weekend, our twin grandsons, just 3 years old, saw snow for the first time in their young lives, when 3 inches or so fell in Charlotte, North Carolina.
Snow once in three years? Sounds good to me.
I used to wonder about the so-called "snowbirds," who each year headed south for a month or more. It seemed like something that only older people did.
I no longer wonder about that. I now officially envy them.
We have good friends with whom we share a common goal of "not letting old in." We try to stay active and do fun things and keep our spirits as young as possible.
Guess where they are right now.
I don't think this is a getting older thing. I can't ever really remember enjoying the cold.
In a way, I'm my own worst enemy. Even though I'm still working full-time, there's no reason I couldn't be better at escaping the cold each winter.
If the pandemic has taught me anything, it's that I am fortunate to have a job that can most often be done remotely.
If I can work from Lewisburg, why couldn't I do it from someplace in Florida or the Carolinas or Georgia — all places where we have family and friends.
There really is no reason. I've just got a bad habit of not taking the warm weather initiative.
Actually, my wife Mary and I have tentative plans to head to Port St. Lucie, Florida in March for a while. That's where the New York Mets hold spring training each year. It's the perfect trip for us. Mary gets to be around the beach that she loves and I get to be around my favorite baseball team sitting in the sun watching games that don't count.
But the Major League Baseball owners have locked out the players and there's no sign of any — um — thaw in that relationship.
It might not matter. A few more days of snow or single-degree temperatures and I might head south without them.
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