As we usher in October in mid-July heat, my mind wanders to the many wonderful things I didn’t realize I loved about living in the Ohio Valley. One of the greatest virtues of all is the fact that the seasons change. Not always when the calendar says they should, but close.
For years I was, and am, the first to stand in line complaining about how grey and cold the dull, drab days of winter can be around here. I also am generally among the complainers dragging my nearly expired carcass to the air-conditioned door of any structure with my tongue hanging out in the heat of summer (sort of like right this moment) praising the promise of the cooler temperatures sure to come a little deeper into October.
The problem I have always had with the seasons seeming to last longer than they should is that the one to follow usually gets skipped over. While we wait for the beauty of fall and relief from the temperatures we endured in late September and early October, I fear that we may be heading directly into an overly generous helping of winter with all it’s splendor. You know, the deep, frigid temperatures, the rain-filled grey, cloudy days that would make a statue depressed. Did I just channel Schlep-rock from “The Flintstones” with my wowsy-wowsy-woo-woo? I think I did.
I have friends and family living in Florida who never have such complaints. They never await the changes in season with great anticipation. Oh, they may have the hurricane season, or the increased humidity with on-schedule afternoon showers of the summer, but I never hear complaints about how cold it is.
I have friends in San Jose, Calif. who never complain about the weather because, well, it’s beautiful all the time.
Now, let’s be clear, no matter where you choose to live, there will always be weather conditions unique to the region that could be worthy of complaints. Consider for example the wildfires that often accompany those nearly perfect conditions of California and other regions in the south and southwest.
We hear so much about climate change, but as best as I can tell, when you look back over the past in which records were kept, it’s been hot before, it’s been wet before, its been cold before, and there was even at least one year when weather was so bad there was no crop production at all.
After taking a deep breath and giving it some thought, we humans are simply insatiable. It doesn’t matter what the subject is either. If we get too much of a bad thing we complain. If we get too much of a good thing we complain. If we have nothing to complain about, we complain. And I’m not just talking about me, I’m talking about you too (you didn’t see that coming, did you)!
When I think about it, this is a good place to be. No matter where you live, you will always go somewhere else to vacation. And if you move there, you will always go somewhere else to vacation. It just works out that way.
I like the changing of the leaves. The brilliant yellows, orange and gold hues that blanket the rolling hills of Appalachia, the frost-covered grass in the meadows, the first gentle snowfall of the new winter season and the blooming flowers and the budding trees of spring that are found in the Midwest. It’s a pretty OK place to live. In fact, it’s a pretty great place to live.
So, the next time it gets too hot, too grey or too cold, I’ll probably still be among the first to complain about it, because after all, not only is the Midwest a pretty cool place to live, but we must remember we live in the United States which ensures we can complain about anything we want to. And, the United States is a pretty cool place to live as well.
Herb Day is a longtime local radio personality and singer-musician. You can email him at [email protected] and follow his work at http://www.HerbDayVoices.com and http://www.HerbDayRadio.com.