The Family Weather Differential

It’s cold in Columbus this morning.  It’s not really cold by absolute standards — at 32 degrees, it’s just at freezing, and a mere chilly precursor of the truly icy days that inevitably are coming this winter — but it’s an arctic blast by relative measurements, since only a few days ago the temperature was pleasantly in the 60s.

ios_weather_icons_1xWhen I checked my weather app to see exactly what the temperature was, I noticed that it’s a heck of a lot warmer in San Antonio, where Richard and Julianne and their dog Pretty make their home.  Down there in south central Texas it’s a fine 66 degrees right now, and I can imagine walking out into the San Antonio surroundings, clad in t-shirt and shorts, and thinking that 66 degrees is a nice cool start to the day — good for a stroll on the Riverwalk or, in Richard’s case, a jog.  Up in Detroit, Russell’s waking up to 36 degrees and a forecast of snow flurries.  And if you add in siblings and uncles and aunts, we’ve got Heidi out in Huntington Beach, California where it’s 54 degrees and the forecast is for partly cloudy skies and a high of 67, and Aunt Corinne and Uncle Mack down in Savannah, Georgia, where its 50 degrees and the week ahead on the weather app features temperatures around 70 and lots of those bright, unclouded sun icons that you always like to see.

So, right now, Columbus is the coldest place in the family, a solid 34 degrees more frigid than San Antonio.  That’s why the weather app offers both the bitter and the sweet.  It’s not great to be here at the coldest location, but one advantage of having a trusty weather app and a a family that is spread out from coast to coast and from north to south is we can live vicariously through whoever is getting the best weather right now.  Later today, I think I’ll take an imaginary walk on Huntington Beach.

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Hot Cereal On A Cold Morning

As I was on this morning’s walk, inwardly grumbling about the 10 degree temperature with face stiff from the brutal chill, I heard my mother’s voice.  “On a cold morning, nothing is better for you than hot cereal,” she said.

It’s true.  Mom was right up there with the Quaker Oats guy in advocating for hot cereal as a crucial part of the cold weather diet.  Every year, at some point around Halloween and responding to some innate motherly weather instinct that was beyond the ken of little kids, she would declare that the hot cereal season had begun.  In explaining why, she would use phrases like “fortified against the cold” and “stick to your ribs” — but in any case her declaration had the force of law.  From then on the Webner kids ate nothing but oatmeal, Cream of Wheat, Maypo, Malt o’ Meal, and Coco Wheats until, months later, the winter weather finally broke and Frosted Flakes would once again appear on the kitchen countertop.

They say a boy should always listen to his Mom, and I’d hate to be a disobedient son, so today I’m making some oatmeal with blueberries, brown sugar, and pecans for breakfast.  And because I’m now a grown up, a cup of steaming hot coffee and some orange juice sound good, too.

Spring Tease

IMG_0775C’mon, spring!  I’ve had enough of the all-too-brief glimpses of warm, get-my-hopes-up weather, only to be followed by snow and thermometer dips.  Today I walked out of the office after work was over to find plunging temperatures — and my spirits plunged, too, when I saw that it’s supposed to be cold and crappy this weekend.

Could spring finally be sprung, already?

Toes In The Sand

IMG_2279Every few years, I want to take a warm weather vacation after the weather turns cold in Ohio.  I want to put toes in the sand, hear the crash and thrum of waves on sand, feel the radiating sunshine pulsing on my bleached white brow, and drink a cold beer while the condensation beads up on the bottle.

I want to see turquoise water against yellow brown sand, sit under a brightly colored beach umbrella or covering made of palm fronds, and read a book in bright sunshine.  I want to walk on the gritty sand, look for an interesting sea shell or two, and watch a sailboat scudding across the waves and framed against the far horizon.

In short, I want to get as far away from my normal day-to-day existence as I possibly can.  This year, the destination is a few stops in the Windward Islands.  We’re on our way.

The Penny Chronicles

My name is Penny.

I’ve always gone au naturel.  I figure the rest of the pack is entitled to see me in all my glory as I stretch out on the carpet, and I don’t want to be hindered by any dumb clothing when I go outside to do my business, either.

IMG_3685Kasey is different.  She is just a little, shivery dog.  When the weather is cold she hates to go outside.  The cold doesn’t bother me, but Kasey starts trembling in the cold air like a dog in an earthquake.

The Leader noticed this.  The Leader always does.  So the Leader went and got Kasey a coat, just like the ones the Leader and the old boring guy wear when they go outside during the winter.  Kasey likes it, and it seems to keep her warm.  At least, she doesn’t shiver as much as she used to.

I’m happy for Kasey, but that doesn’t mean I want to start wearing clothes.  I look good just the way I am, and when I go outside in the buff it stimulates my appetite.  Which reminds me — I am hungry!

Comma In The Snow

IMG_5817We had several days of heavy snow, then strong winds that created some interesting snow formations, then frigid conditions that froze those formations in place. And, because only those foolhardy souls with cabin fever — like yours truly — are venturing outside into the subzero world, the formations have been left largely undisturbed and pristine.

They are beautiful, gleaming and ghostly in the early morning hours, with the frozen snow crystals shimmering and glowing in the light of a street lamp. This one reminded me of a comma writ large.