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Opinion

Dodged the Bullet Again


  • By The Newnan Times-Herald
  • |
  • Jan. 07, 2022 - 2:23 PM

Dodged the Bullet Again

The Newnan Times-Herald

It was tough, but I’m happy to report that I survived the Winter of 2022. This year, it lasted a week. That was plenty.

We’ll have a few unexpected icy days before Spring sets in, but according to my personal calendar, the official freezin’ season is over.

Except for a few 20-minute walks to keep my heart from getting too lazy, I watched it all from inside my house.

A day or so ago, my distaste for winter was reinforced when I opened Facebook and saw that a pilot buddy was reporting a temp of minus ten degrees as he flew out of Omaha.

I hope he sang “I’ll Fly Away” on takeoff. And I’m betting that “I’ll Fly Away” was not written by someone raised in a snowy climate. Otherwise, the term “de-icer” would have been in the lyrics.

In my opinion, winter is only great when it’s gone.

I think cold is on my mind because I’m about to schedule an interview with a man who lives in Alaska. He chose to move there decades ago after finding a remote piece of Alabama acreage too crowded for his taste.

He’s tougher than yours truly. Years ago I spent an hour in Anchorage, Alaska, on the way back from Hong Kong. I had to go outside to catch a bus from the international to the domestic terminal. I almost froze. It was September

But while I dislike cold and snow, I know lots of born and bred Southerners who claim to love it.

I don’t get it. After a hard outdoor workout, I’d rather towel off than defrost. I’m such a weather wimp I hate to pull a fish out of really cold water.

Part of the problem is how—and where—I was raised. Until I graduated from high school I had never lived north of Montgomery, Alabama. Vacations meant a trip to Panama City. I went there once with my high school church youth choir.

By the time my kids were teenagers they were going on weekend snow-skiing trips with church groups. I never volunteered to chaperone.

My son has done some snow-skiing since. My daughter—at least to my knowledge—has not.

She gets all the cold weather she wants by just living in Green Bay, Wisconsin. When she got married and moved to Wisco I feared for her tender Southern soul. She got so used to it she now uses terms like “Everything’s fine as long as they keep the streets plowed.”

During an ugly mental lapse three years ago I decided that if my daughter could handle some serious cold weather, I could, too. My wife, Angela, and I went to Wisconsin in February.

We “trained” for the trip by watching the Winter Olympics. I decided to embrace the Wisconsin winter by taking a stab at ice fishing. Even talked to a guy who had done it. I was ready.

On the approach to Green Bay, I went online and caught the fishing report. I was stunned to see that commercial ice fishing had been shut down because the weather was too warm.

It was twenty degrees.

No more of that for me. I may go back to Wisco in the winter but ice fishing won’t be on the agenda.

That doesn’t mean my winter worries are over.

I’ve lived in the South since the day I was born. The two biggest snowfalls in my lifetime occurred in March and April.

The sweaters stay on standby until May.

Alex McRae is a writer and ghostwriter. His debut novel, Rough Draft, is coming soon. He can be reached at: alexmmcrae@gmail.com