For so many of my family and friends, they are sick and tired of winter. My mother has been house-bound for about 4 days recently, getting out in time to get milk and bread and to show up at work for a day, until the next storm hits and she’s unable to get out of her drive way. It is the worst winter she can remember in 30+ years.
We live in the “sunny South”. Winter is generally an abstraction for us. When snow blanketed 49 states recently, and there was snow over most of GA, we were the little corner that didn’t get it. Even Charleston, SC got snow! Not us… Winter is a mere shiver here. An opportunity to wear a jacket. A reason to have two sweaters. An excuse for hot chocolate when it hits 50 degrees.
Summer? Summer is another beast altogether. But for now, summer is months away and is but a warm memory.
We’re new here, and our instincts are based in more northerly climes. My husband bundles up in layers to go outside, just like he did in Boston. I reach for the velvet pants and the turtlenecks when it gets dark early. I have an ice scraper in my car. I sympathetize as I read on Facebook about friends skidding down hills. I check on my mother daily. I watch the Weather Channel and gasp along with the rest of the television viewing audience- “Oh how terrible”. And inside, I luxuriate. Their troubles are not my troubles this year.
But I have found that the “sunny South” carries its own set of adrenaline-causing issues. Winter here carries germs. My poor son is sick again- for the third time this month, the fifth time since Christmas. I was down for two weeks in January. My daughter and I had H1N1 earlier. My husband hasn’t had a solid week where he’s felt well since October. My students are in the middle of mid-term stress and we are regularly out 20% of the class.
“Oh, there’s a stomach bug going around… I hear everyone’s got that cold… it’s the strangest thing, you sleep for two days straight… Strep again”. Misery does have company when you’re sick.
I will be having my son sit in my office AGAIN while I teach a class. We’ll be going to the doctor AGAIN tomorrow. I can feel my own glands swelling in germy empathy AGAIN. James and I can play the “Well, I can stay with him for a few hours and then can you take him” game AGAIN. We’ll buy more Motrin AGAIN. And I’ll watch more “Suite Life on Deck” AGAIN.
In Santa Fe, snow storms are coming every three days. In Georgia, germ storms are coming every week. I can hardly wait for Springtime….