This is my front entryway. Well, maybe entryway is not the best word. Entryway connotes some sort of transition, or a path from the front door to the rest of the house. But in our case, the only thing separating the outside world from the living room is the front door, which happens to be surrounded by the discarded outerwear of six people.
I don’t think it would be so bad if we lived in the North. We’d have our boots, gloves and hat basket, and winter coats with snow pants. Here however, in the not-quite South or North, we need outerwear for every climate possible. And we need it at a moment’s notice.
I remember one day this winter. It was 60 degrees when I went to pick up the kids from school. Forty-five minutes later, as we were finishing our walk home, the temperature had dropped into the 30’s. The only warning had been a stiff breeze from the northwest. Last week, I went for a 40-minute run. In the span of my run, I experienced rain, followed by ice pellets, which turned to sleet, ending in a light, innocent snowfall.
When we first moved here, I naively referred to our new place as the South. Seeing how our “big move south” involved a mere 3.3 degree longitudinal change AND we moved to a state who professed “mixed feelings” during the Civil War, it’s safe to now say, “This ain’t the South.” Today’s temps? 60 degrees. Whereas Ozark, AL is at 70. Close, but no cigar.
But this is farther south than we have ever lived. Minnesota, Chicago, New England, and Michigan. They only cancel school if the buses can’t get up the hill or there is over three feet of snow. And good luck getting outta school if that snowfall happens before midnight. Because places like the city of Chicago have over 300 snow fighting trucks, and that’s not counting the suburbs or the independent companies. The city of Minneapolis’ annual snow removal budget? Over $9 million. They laugh at places like us.
This year, in the not-North-or-South, we had two snow days. School was canceled the first day because of predicted ice and snow. It was canceled the second day because the predicted ice and snow finally arrived. Sum total of accumulation? Three inches. People around here don’t even bother removing the snow from their sidewalks and driveways because they know it will have melted by the time the get home from work. That’s why, to a Northerner like myself, this feels like the South.
And now back to my entryway that’s not an entryway. All this to say, that our not-North-or-South locality this winter is my excuse for why my front door looks like a laundry mat intervention zone. We never know what we’re going to need for the outdoors. Be it flip-flops, high-tops, sneakers or Ugs, snow boots, rain boots, snow pants, or sweats, light jackets, warm jackets, rain jackets or fleece. We also need mittens and gloves, hats and scarves, and why not Toby’s cap from Belize. And just when we’re all bundled up and ready to go, the temperature shifts 20 degrees and the grounds crew has started to mow.