Saturday, December 05, 2009

Differences on Winter

My dear esteemed northern colleagues, churchmen Father William and Brother Latif, are both singing the praises of winter as most of the country is in a cold snap. Their enthusiasm reminds me of my time at Fort Wayne attending seminary. My brethren from Minnesota made a point to wear shorts year-round - even during blizzards. I would be bundled in a parka, fur hat, boots, and elbow-length mittens while they strolled around campus looking like half-naked savages. All that was missing was for them to be slurping on ice cream cones or orange push-ups. I like my brothers from Minnesota, but I could not help but view them as specimens from another species.

I grew up in Northern Ohio, not far from the swirling hiemal blasts off Lake Erie, and Mrs. H. grew up in the second coldest national capital on the planet (Ottawa, the capital of Canada). However, both of us have reached the same conclusion: we don't care if we ever see ice and snow again. By far, we prefer palm trees, lush tropical foliage, citrus fruits, banana trees, and bulbs popping up in mid-February over the necessity of scraping ice off of windshields and getting slush inside the boots (though Mrs. H. still retains a perverse pleasure in shoveling snow, though this is almost certainly the result of a childhood trauma or some such...).

Of course, chacun à son goût (to each his own) and all that. But as for me, today was more than enough winter than any warm blooded mammal should ever have to endure. I mean, I had to wear a leather coat, a scarf (originally purchased in Cleveland), and a fur police hat made in a country that no longer exists, as the mercury dipped scandalously below 40 degrees F (a meteorological phenomenon which my in-laws in the Great White North would consider "balmy").

There are a couple saving graces to this inhuman level of frigidity: the temperatures will be back in the 70s in a few days (God be praised!), and the oranges and lemons are pretty much ripe, serving to remind us that even though global warming is a hoax, the sun still has the ability to bring glorious fruits to maturity unimpeded by the kind of weather that folks in Illinois and Wisconsin find attractive.

But as for the cold, I've had enough. I'm ready to go back to shorts, sandals, and tee shirts any day now...

Postscript: Add Father Christopher to the list of "snow people." Brrr!


Rev. Eric J Brown said...

Winter is but a reminder of the disaster of the flood - that's when the seasons they came. There are times I think being in Northern Oklahoma too far north.

Deacon Latif Haki Gaba, SSP said...

I must say that even though my visit to New Orleans happened at a less than optimal time for a Milwaukean (midsummer), I thoroughly enjoyed it. So much so that New Orleans is now my second favorite city, a close second. They both share certain characteristics that I love in a city, eg., each has a rich and unique culture, there is a sense of community and tradition in each, and the people are generally very friendly. I look forward to my next trip to New Orleans, and of course Gretna, no matter how much it makes me sweat.

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Eric:

That blasted earth-tilt!

Father Hollywood said...

Dear Latif:

Milwaukee and New Orleans should be sister-cities. I was utterly amazed at how similar the "feel" of the cities are, the culture, and the mellowness and friendliness of the people.

We should encourage Milwaukeans to take winter vacations to New Orleans and New Orleanians to take summer vacations to Milwaukee.

Of course, the Hollywoods will roll out the red carpet any time the Gabas come to the Big Easy!

Bibliophile said...

Fr. Hollywood,
I am with your half-naked savages from Minnesota. I don't come from MN and would prefer W. Montana or Wyoming, somewhere like that if I had my choice; but I will take Minnestoa in winter every time over living in the Big Easy. My body cannot handle your weather (well, actually, my body can't take Minnesota summer weather either!). My favorite day, weather-wise, when I was a vicar in the New Orleans area was the couple of days it dipped into the 30s. I think I shocked or "wierded out" the members who saw me leaving the house those days in shorts and a t-shirt. It didn't help that I explained to some of them that it was the first time I had been comfortable since I arrived.
That being said, I am with Latif, New Orleans would have to be one of my favorite cities. Though, I will gladly scrape windows and shovel in trade for a break from humidity.
Your friendly neighborhood winter lover,
The Rev. Benjamin Pollock

Peter said...

Great picture!