We’re well into winter in New Jersey and it is pretty cold. 18 degrees F, to be exact. A month ago, I’d have said it was very, very cold; now, I just say it’s pretty cold. That’s because last week the temperatures dipped to 9 degrees F. In comparison 18F is not bad. It’s all relative. I look forward to next week when the temperatures will be in the thirties. Almost balmy (LOL).
Really, winter is not too bad. Inside the house, the central heating keeps the temperature in the mid to high sixties and we can always set it higher if we choose to. Now that I don’t have to go to work, the roads and the weather don’t bother me. As for going food shopping, I can pick my spots and venture out when the wind is not blowing. Both cars are in the garage and I don’t have to think about scraping ice off the windshield. Properly clad for the weather, living in a well heated house, travelling in a warm car to enclosed stores and snuggling at night under a down comforter one is pretty much insulated from the cold weather. And with the snow removal taken care off, there is even less to worry about. Occasionally, when the wind is blowing and the sun is hiding behind the clouds, I may think of warmer climes but it doesn’t happen often. Overall, the change of seasons and the beautiful winter sights (mounds of snow, icicles hanging from tree branches, a light in the window of the house across from me) more than compensate for such moments.
There is one thing though that I do not like about winter and it is this: in this active adult community (55+), half of the residents are snowbirds who winter in Florida or Puerto Rico or abroad. This means we do not see some of our friends for months on end. Still there enough of them who stay in NJ and, to look on the bright side, the facilities are less crowded. I cannot see myself dividing my time between two places as these snowbirds do. It would seem like there would always be a part of me yearning for the other place and the friends I had there. No, I don’t think Florida( or California or India ) is for me but who knows. I hear that as one gets older, the cold begins to weigh more and more on one’s mind. Two of our friends who just turned 75 are wintering in Florida for the first time this year.
Have you noticed how temperatures in Celsius always seem colder than their Farenheit equivalents? My sister-in-law called from Ottawa and mentioned that it was really really cold, that the temperature was fifteen below zero. Wow! I said, before realizing that in Canada the temperatures are reckoned in degrees Celsius. Fifteen below zero Celsius translates to Five degrees(above zero) Farenheit. Five above is very cold but it doesn’t sound as cold as fifteen below, does it?
Speaking of which, I wonder when, or if, we will ever switch to the metric system. Everyone agrees that by sticking to the British ( or FPS) system, we are out of step with the rest of the world. Twenty years ago, only three countries still used British units… Liberia, Myanmar( Burma) and the U.S. Even the British have long since embraced the metric system. We were supposed to have switched over by 1995 but the resistance to the new , unfamiliar units has been such that the plans appear to have been shelved or , at least, that the deadline has been pushed back indefinitely. I do notice that the schools are stressing the metric system but I think we adults, those of us who are in a non-technical profession, cling to measurements in feet, miles, pounds and gallons. Too bad, because this change is going to have to happen sooner or later and the longer we delay the more difficult the transition and the more it is going to cost.