Archive for Wednesday, December 31, 2003

Kansas winters nothing to sneeze at

Season brings delights but stays too long

December 31, 2003

Our new advertising representative, Avi Elpern, has been making disparaging comments about the quality of our Kansas winters. He finds they aren't of the standard of those he experienced growing up in Canada, or more recently, in Alaska. It seems these lands are farther north than even Nebraska and designated on proper maps as vast white wastelands with the words "here be deranged ice monsters."
Slighting our next three months with comparisons to those experienced in locations that have 200 words for snow, another 25 for frostbite, and none for suntan is just wrong.
Yeah, yeah, I think, as Mr. It's-So-Warm-You-Don't-Even-Need-A-Coat rambles on about one of his unlikely misadventures in the frigid Alaskan bush, you'll get enough sometime this year. It has been unseasonably mild, but we longtime residents know days are coming that would challenge the survival skills of polar bear. We're long overdue for one of those blizzards that bring a halt to everything and a pervasive chill that invades even the tightest home.
Still, even as we enter the post-holiday blahs, most of us would thumb our noses at Sunbelt residents and swear our preference for four seasons.
I don't disagree. I truly enjoy a walk on a brisk day and can find beauty in landscapes starched of brilliancy for the season.
It's just that for all it has to offer, this one season is too long.
Yes a fresh snowfall is a welcome thing that can make the ordinary into a wonderland. But if it snows too much or lasts too long, the magic becomes misery. Furthermore, I'm one too many knee injuries from my youth to enjoy winter pastimes based on bad traction.
Basically, winter is a season of close quarters. It's a breeding ground for quarrels and illness that the nearly complete absence of insects, although welcome, doesn't justify.
So while I'm all for four seasons, I don't understand why they have to have equal time. Mindful of the debate over global warming, I suggest we attempt creative engineering. What is needed is a designer gasoline that will give another month of fall and spring.

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