The cold rolls in

My goodness from Christmas to New Year’s Day I felt Mother Nature’s latest calling card—an arctic blast with regular temperatures that fell below zero degrees Fahrenheit and wind chills that provided a chill that was neither fit for man nor beast.

The cold air provides a good return on investment for those who sell natural gas and propane to heat our homes. (I cringe when I think about receiving my next gas bill.) In wheat country, farmers are rightfully concerned about damage but most indicate common wisdom, it is too early to tell. Ranchers go on high alert as calving season nears to check on stress.

There are pluses to these sub-zero days. It should make it harder on flies, mosquitoes and bugs when spring and summer and arrive. Watching NFL games—like Kansas City at Denver—made me realize how cold it was for the players and fans in the stands who smartly eschewed beer for coffee and hot chocolate.

When I was younger the holidays featured riding snow sleds and snowmobiles (many northern Kansas holidays used to have snow.). Other memories included pheasant and quail hunting and in later years there were occasional ski trips.

Today, we have been spoiled by generally warmer winters. I have not become a cheerleader or critic of climate change. I’m merely an unpaid follower. (My guess is that temperature cycles and above and below rainfall and snowfall totals are Mother Nature’s big puzzle, not necessarily designed for me to understand.)

Winter does not allow me to have an objective view as I’m bundled up in layers of clothes. Global warming makes little sense to discuss when the temperatures on the Plains make me think I’m living in northern Canada. As I say that the folks from Nebraska, Iowa, Dakotas and Minnesota laugh at my lack of winter toughness. How hard can it be to bolt from a vehicle and get inside home or the office?

I knew know Dec. 31 was going to be a tough day when the pastor announced before the start of the church service that there had been furnace issues several days earlier and while there was a temporary fix parishioners may face some uneven heat during the hour-long service. When it is really cold there just aren’t many sanctuaries other than home.

I always think of farmers having to go out in brutal weather to break ice on farm ponds and how stressful it was in the winter at a time of year when there daily routines are oriented toward fixing fences and getting ready for late February and March calving seasons.

Mother Nature has a soft spot for us as she has granted us a few days of relief. The National Weather Service on Jan. 4 posted this recent announcement “There are no watches, warnings or advisories at this time.”

The weather gives us much angst and the beauty of the roller-coaster ride is that it gives me time to appreciate those “Chamber of Commerce” days. I’ll look at the bright side, the first day of spring—March 20— is not too distant.

The weather gives us much angst and the beauty of it gives me time to appreciate those “Chamber of Commerce” days. The first day of spring —March 20— is not too distant.