#434: Chilly or Cold?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

I was out in the back yard a short time ago raking up the "fertilizer" the dogs emoticon emoticon so generously deposit every day. It's chilly for Central FL, but not cold. Sweater or jacket kind of chilly. The kind when a cup of hot coffee or tea tastes extra good.

Some people here are complaining about this weather and how it is "too cold." But, to me, after growing up in Virginia, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Georgia, Indiana and 18 years in the Chicago area (Dad was in the Navy and we moved a lot), there are major differences between chilly and cold. Cold is when you try to breathe through your nose and your nostrils stick together or when you have to warm your car key with a lighter in order to get it into a frozen door lock.

In 1972, a year after Dad retired from service and he and Mom and my younger brother moved to Orlando, I sat in an apartment in the northwestern suburbs of Chicago, the heat on full blast, and with full body thermal underwear on beneath sweat pants and a sweat shirt as I tried to stay warm while wind chills dipped far below zero.

The phone rang. It was Mom and Dad. "We saw on TV about the cold temperatures in Chicago," Mom said, "and we wanted you to know it got cold here last night, too. It got down into the 60s and we had to turn the air conditioning off."

Oh, if only I could have reached through the telephone lines right then! emoticon

So I simply call this weather we're having, chilly.

Then, about 1979 or so we were hit with unbelievable wind chills of 20-40 degrees below zero. I was in the Army Reserves at the time and went out one Saturday morning at 5:30 to leave for drill duty. It was so cold (here Ed McMahon, Johhny Carson's sidekick would ask, "HOW cold was it?") that when I sat down in the car, the leather seat cracked emoticon. That was from cold, not chilly weather.

And I can't count the number of times I was pushed or pushed another car out of a snowbank or slipped on snow covered icy sidewalks or spent an hour shoveling snow from around my car so I could get to it, or putting a blanket over the engine at night to trap some heat so it wouldn't freeze.

Oh, yeah, I know a lot of tricks to deal with the cold.

But cold can have unexpected benefits, too emoticon. Like when I was perhaps 10 years old and Dad was stationed in Athens, GA. We lived in a house down the street from several college sororities. As I walked past one of their houses one day I was taken by surprise as I stared at the first and only snow woman emoticon I had seen, in explicit detail using red hot candies for certain upper body parts emoticon. There I stood like the uninformed dolt I was, staring at that wonderful creation emoticon. It took cold weather to allow that experience.

I will sit here enjoying a cup of hot coffee emoticon and be thankful for the chilly weather. While I do not wish to have to contend with heavy snow again and dislike FL's high summer temperatures emoticon and humidity emoticon and miss seeing colored leaves on trees, I do not foresee an opportunity to move.

So I will appreciate the chilly, not cold, temperatures and be grateful I don't have to warm up the car for half an hour while I scrape ice off of the windshield. And I will not call any friends up north and gloat about turning off the A/C. But I will always wonder if those sorority houses are still there in Athens and if a snow woman continues to grace their front lawns when the cold and snow hits.

Hmm, now that I think about it, that's not too far a drive emoticon from Orlando. I guess I can find thermal underwear somewhere along the way, don't you? emoticon
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Member Comments About This Blog Post
  • no profile photo YW84FRIDAY
    emoticon Having lived in Minnesota most of my life, I always have to laugh at what some people consider cold. I can totally relate to your nostrils freezing shut. I remember hearing about men's mustaches breaking off after getting moist and then frozen! LOL!

    Loved the description of the snow woman and your reaction to it. You are too funny!

    3746 days ago
  • no profile photo CD5178852
    Great blog! I was outside washing the car today and raking leaves. That's the west coast for you. I could never do that sort of thing back in my old home town in Ontario, Canada. (Go, Leafs!)

    I know the difference between cold and chilly also. I've tried winter camping and THAT was cold. I won't do that again.

    3777 days ago
    emoticon Cute blog! I know you moved around a lot growing up , but I am wondering where you have lived the longest? Florida? You are always talking about wishing you could move , but I think you are content with where you are because
    opportunities don't happen -you must make them! When a person really don't want to do something they find excuses. You make me smile sometimes even when your not trying to be funny.

    I was born in W.Va , but my family moved to Michigan when I was 5 years old. I have lived in Michigan most of my life except for 3 years I was married to a Navy Chief- I lived in Florida between 1993- 1996 . The only thing I miss about Florida , is the white sandy beaches. When I was living in Florida, I missed the snow- I love the snow! I still get all excited when I see the first snow flake!
    3781 days ago
  • BOVEY63
    Loved it - especially the snow woman. emoticon

    Today I can definitely relate to waiting a half hour for the car to warm up and defrost!
    3781 days ago
    I really enjoy reading your musings. I like "chilly" too. I have been cold a LOT lately but am thinking that it is more about the weight loss than the temperatures. Although it's in the 20's here tonight. I just put on extra coats. Love ya, Dawn emoticon
    3782 days ago
    It is 40 degrees in Connecticut right now at almost 4pm...not bad. Nice fresh air too!!

    Wendy emoticon
    3782 days ago
    emoticon I also use the term "nippy" so when it is chilly but not cold. On the west coast of Tasmania, Australia's most Southern state where the air from Antartica comes blowing though, I call cold! That is one of the many reasons I left! I lived in a village that is the 2nd wettest in Australia! Not pleasant at all. I wonder at people who go to the cold to ski? It has no desire in me! emoticon
    3783 days ago
  • no profile photo CD6400103
    well im not used to cold and even snow we dont get a lot of it over here.
    Its been 3 years in a row we have snow now and it was never this early, i just hate it LOL...

    Its about 20 F, i think that is COLD hahahaha

    Have a great day!
    3783 days ago
    Lou, you can call me and gloat about having to turn off the A/C anytime. And when you do that, you better be prepared to invite me to come for a visit! Cause you know I'm already complaining about the wind chill here!
    emoticon emoticon
    3783 days ago
    I'm so with you Lou! This is beautiful weather, especially after our brutally hot summers! Enjoy it while it's here! I'm loving it!!!!!!!!!!
    3783 days ago
  • LESLIES537
    What a wonderful trip down memory lane! I got a good chuckle from the snow women! emoticon Cold weather does have it's benefits I guess! LOL

    3783 days ago
    Your blog made me smile...I'm sure the sight of red hot candies bring back some memories for you...too funny

    p.s. I'll take chilly over cold anytime...Brrr, I am not fond of cold weather! emoticon
    3783 days ago
    Omg, lou I will never forget those days. I grew up in Florida but we originally came from vermont. That is where I moved back to and lived till about 15 years ago. Oh the memories. I hated the cold and still do. I'm sitting here right now in alabama with slippers, overshirt, and thermal pjs. I guess I need to move further south. lol.
    3783 days ago
    emoticon I had to laugh as I read your blog today, Lou. I've lived in the tropics, and New England, as well as Chicago......MY Dad was in the Navy, too. So I, too, know the difference between chilly and cold. I learned how to drive behind-the-wheel on packed snow and ice on back roads in Utah, and celebrated Christmas with my DH and our children one year in Puerto Rico.....after the A/C broke and we had to wait for parts to come from the States.

    We're to get below freezing tonight, and the next several days are not going to get very warm, but it IS December! I'll add a layer and enjoy being inside tonight.

    Oh yeah, the winter we moved to PA from Memphis, TN I remember one January morning when we awoke to a negative 22 degrees.....not wind chill, but actual temp. emoticon
    3783 days ago

    Comment edited on: 12/1/2010 8:39:09 PM
    Ha! emoticon What a fun blog! I've lived in the Chicago area, and I know what you say is the truth! Can't say I've been to Georgia in the winter, so you're on your own with THAT one! emoticon emoticon emoticon
    3783 days ago
    LOL!! I am very glad to say I don't know cold from beans. LOL My one snow experience, a couple years ago, when we got eight inches or so, was enough. We were without power for a couple days, and I kept praying for my poor roof! Snow is HEAVY! It sounded like someone dropped a body from three stories up when a clump of it fell on my van. Scared me to pieces! lol I'm too wimpy for cold. I'll keep chilly!!
    3783 days ago
    lol ~ it hasn't gotten too cold up here (Southern Ontario, Canada), YET... but your blog made me remember what we are in for!!! Brrrr!

    3783 days ago
    Where I live 45 is cold because most of the time it's in the 90s-Texas. And 35 sends us running for the long-handles. Your recollections made me laugh as I remembered my paternal grandfather. His long-handles went on under his starched khaki shirt and pants in September and didn't come off again until May.
    3783 days ago

    I have to say, I am LOVING ushering December with a blanket of snow!


    3783 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8301081
    Thanks for the smile. I hope you got my email last night. emoticon
    3783 days ago
  • no profile photo CD8301081
    Thanks for the smile. I hope you got my email last night. emoticon
    3783 days ago
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