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It's Ohio weather — deal with it

By Debbie Leffler • Jan 19, 2019 at 2:00 PM

It was Dec. 31, 2018, late at night but not quite midnight — maybe around 9:30 or 10:00 p.m.

It had been raining for much of the day and into the evening, but the rain had finally stopped. Perhaps you noticed.

My husband stepped outside.

“It’s warm out.” he reported. I found that hard to believe, but he was right — temperature in the upper 50s, maybe even lower 60s.

So out we went, on New Year’s Eve, for a walk in the balmy night air.

We walked across Benedict Avenue to see the beautifully lit-up house on Edgewood Drive.

That walk was a pleasure, a treat, a surprise — a warm, lovely late evening at the end of December.

It’s hard to think of that now. How different the weather has become. Last weekend we got to shovel snow and this week has been cold with snow on the ground lingering. The white stuff will be there for a while longer with more snow predicted. There is ice on some of the sidewalks, making walking treacherous.

Leisurely nighttime strolls? No way now.

But should I complain? Should I wish for that nice spurt of warm-ish (warm for winter, anyway) weather to return?

Yes, it was nice. Ooops — my fingers typed “ice” instead of nice. That is what we have now.

Now I just typed the word “not” instead of “now” — are my fingers trying to tell me that I don’t want this cold, icy, frigid weather?

Hey, this is Ohio. We have all kinds of weather, even in the winter. Accept it as it comes.

Temperature is partly a matter of expectation, anyway. How can 40 degrees feel warm in the winter and yet cold in the summer? How can 60 degrees feel cold when waking up in the house in the morning, and yet feel perfectly fine when walking outside in the spring?

Temperature is also a matter of wind. Thirty degrees can feel pleasant when the sun is shining in the early afternoon and the wind isn’t blowing. It can also feel intolerably cold when the wind is blowing in your face and the sky is dark with no sun in sight.

Temperature also depends on what you’re wearing. Thirty degrees can be very unpleasant when you have forgotten your gloves and your hat doesn’t cover your ears. But it’s not so bad with a warm coat, hat, furry gloves that reach to your coat sleeves, and maybe even boots.

It’s always nice to come home to a warm house after being out in the cold. That same house can start feeling cold after you’ve been inside for a while, but nothing can beat that warm feeling when you first come in. The contrast between 20 degrees outside and 60 degrees inside is amazing.

Having a fireplace to feel warm by in the winter is wonderful, but if you don’t have one, you can try sitting near a heat vent. I have even resorted to turning on the kitchen stove and standing next to it, oven door open, for a while. This is similar to opening the refrigerator or freezer door in the summer when you don’t have air conditioning.

What I am trying to say is that we are affected by the temperature. Even our moods are often described with temperature metaphors — a person can act warm or cold toward another. You can give someone an “icy” stare or a “warm” greeting.

We can’t change the weather, though, and we still have another few months of winter. We will get through it.

Debbie Leffler is a freelance writer who lives in Norwalk. She can be reached at [email protected]

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