Thursday, February 2, 2012

Enough already: Jan. 9, 2011

Snow can be fun for a while. But if you're accustomed to mild Southern winters, it gets old fast.

You can tell I'm desperate because I'm writing about the weather

    Look, I know there is no more banal topic than the weather. It's what people talk about in elevators with their workplace acquaintances; it's what they chat about to fill time while they wait for meetings to start; it's safe, it's dull, it's universal; it's the smallest of small talk. And I really kind of cringe my way through small talk. I struggle with inconsequential chatting. It makes me both sleepy and anxious. I just don't have the gift.

    But I am going to write about the weather. I am going to write about the weather because the weather is messing up my life and derailing my plans and giving me fits. I live in the South on purpose. I live in the South, in part, because of a concept known as 'mild winters.' And I feel truly ripped off by that concept right about now.

    I have to admit, I did not complain when the city was covered in snow on Christmas. That was pretty darn perfect -- all the more perfect for its rarity. 


    I did not even complain when we all got thoroughly snowed in on Monday because my husband built a sled out of plywood and old skis and our sons were elated and Monday was actually a lot of fun.

More yay.

    But Monday turned into Tuesday turned in Wednesday and we just kept getting snowed on and iced on and sleeted on and highs in the 30s and I am just not made of strong enough stuff for this, y'all. Historically, the average high temperature for January in Chattanooga is 49 degrees. And I'm not seeing it happening.

    One source of my anxiety is the media writing class I am teaching twice a week at UTC this semester. Class was scheduled to begin Monday. It was, of course, canceled. I figured we'd play catch-up on Wednesday. But I was wrong. Because class was canceled Wednesday, too.

    So we're starting the semester a whole week behind behind, before we really even begin, and wow that class covers a lot of ground, covers it fast and has no room built into the syllabus for heavy snow.

    Another plan of mine getting hammered by this Maine-comes-to-Tennessee weather is the running I'm supposed to be doing. I'm training for a half marathon, and that should not be a problem because the average high temperature in Chattanooga in January is 49 degrees. That's wonderful running weather. Perfect, in fact. And since I hate hate hate running indoors it's a good thing we have such mild winters, huh?

    Last Sunday I ran six miles on a day when the high was 34 degrees. That is not good running weather. I had ice in my eyelashes. But I had to get the run in on Sunday because Monday there was going to be all that snow. You remember all that snow, right? That snow that canceled everything, including my media writing class. And the training run I was supposed to do on Tuesday.

    Add to the mix my two medium-sized sons, and their extra-large supplies of energy, who were out of school for what seemed like 47 weeks in a row -- first for the holidays and then for the weather.

    And oh, yeah, there's my job -- which I can do from home in a pinch, thank goodness, but which is hard to do with my two medium-sized sons shooting Nerf guns at each other all over the house while I'm hunched over my laptop and calling my colleagues and apologizing for all the yelling and shooting they hear in the background.

    But I have hope. I have hope because the average high temperature in Chattanooga in February is 53 degrees. And this is the South. Where we have mild winters.


Who do I talk to about getting rid of this?

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