Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Hot, Cold, Hot, Cold, Sweaty

If this January has taught us anything, it’s that snow beats mud, anyday.

This month we've seen both ridiculously cold and unseasonably hot weather.  With the cold, hot, cold, hot cycle, I finally know what my wife feels like in the car.  It’s not fun.  She’s right – it is uncomfortable.

Cool snow fort with tunnel entrance
that even Dad could squeeze through.
Status: Melted.
We’ve made the most of things, from a family leisure perspective, not sure when the next deep freeze or spring thaw will hit.  We’ve gone sledding, of course, and built giant snowmen, and gone ice skating – once at the downtown rink and once on a natural pond. We made a radically cool snow fort, with tunnel entrance.  And next to that, we put in the first few rows of an Igloo.   Of course, that construction took place two days before a heat wave, so all we have are the memories.

Among other lessons, I learned that building an igloo is really hard. If I needed to build one for survival, I’d be dead.  

More importantly, I’ve learned that my kids really love winter, and all the fun stuff we get to do around here for just a few months each year.  Between December and February, we expect it to be cold and to snow.  We want it to happen.

We just can’t take this warm winter weather.
And yes, to those shaking their heads in disbelief, it has been warm here in Syracuse.  Despite the reputation, Syracuse isn’t the coldest place on earth.  Just the snowiest.   And when it warms up for a few days, like it has done everywhere in the Northeast repeatedly this January, all our beautiful snow melts and becomes – mud.  And that makes us all realize even more how much we prefer a cold winter to a mild one.  Because mud sucks.

Think about it:  You can’t make a mud man, you can’t have a mud ball fight and you can’t go mud sledding, not without ruining your clothes.  The only time mud performs better than snow is when it comes to building shelter.  I’m certain a mud thatch hut would be easier to build than an igloo.  But we are not about to take the kids out in the yard to build a mud hut.  For one thing, while even a partial igloo can make one the envy of the neighborhood, a mud house would likely mean a visit from the code enforcement officer.

So this warm weather has us stuck inside, waiting for an Arctic blast to set us free.

We wait.  And we wait.  Today it’s January 29th, and it’s 40 degrees out.  Tomorrow, the high might break 60.  Ugh.

Nobody is happy about it here.   The only good news: Snow in the forecast.

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