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Mike Redmond Column

Please refer to the Mike Redmond Column main page for columns published in other issues.
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 Complaining About Weather Worsens It

Maybe you saw the headline about the Farmer’s Almanac predicting another Ice Age descending on the Midwest this winter. It set off a weather panic the likes of which you usually don’t see from people who aren’t TV meteorologists.

Chat boards were full of anguish and worry about snow and cold, including plans to move to Florida or Nevada, and of course the usual comments about how this is all the fault of the Obama, Bush, or Clinton administrations.

And it was all for naught. You see, had people bothered to read beyond the headline they might have noticed the comments from the National Weather Service saying, in effect, "Um ... we disagree."

The Farmer’s Almanac is calling for a deep freeze this winter. The NWS says El Nino - that wacky Pacific Ocean warming event we all know and love - will cause just the opposite.

It’s a standoff. In other words, if you want to know what kind of winter we’re going to have, your guess is as good as anybody’s.

And no matter what form it takes, worrying about it doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Let’s say you know for certain that we’re going into the deep freeze in December and won’t come out of it until March. What, exactly, are you going to do about it? Moving to the desert isn’t an option for most of us. Besides, things die there. That’s why the call it the desert.

So is moving to Florida. Even though I recently read something indicating that Florida’s population growth is scaling back for the first time in decades, the fact remains that there are entirely too many people living there already.

That leaves complaining, which I try to avoid. I’ve always found that complaining about the weather just makes it feel worse. It’s like the wind chill factor. The temperature may say that it’s five degrees above zero, but once you start griping about it, it feels like 15 below.

Besides, it’s not like Indiana turns cold and stays that way all season. Our winter weather is nothing if not changeable. You can have chill blains on Thanksgiving and be running around outside in your shirtsleeves on Christmas. You can ride a motorcycle in January and find yourself on a snowmobile in February.

(Of course, this always compels people to say something like, "Welcome to Indiana. If you don’t like the weather, just wait five minutes." Which isn’t nearly as clever once you learn that people say this in every other state in the union, including Alaska and Hawaii.)

I think a lot of us take a sort of perverse pride in Indiana winters. They can be tough, but so what? Indiana winter isn’t a season - it’s a character-building experience. Why, we don’t even button up our overcoats unless it’s below zero, and the long johns don’t come out until the snow is over the roof.

So bring it on, Farmer’s Almanac. It’ll take more than a little snow and cold to stop us. We are Hoosiers, descended from hardy pioneer stock. Well, that, and we also own snowblowers, cars with heated seats and furnaces that will melt glass if you turn them all the way up. Take that, Farmer’s Almanac.

And if you want to blame someone, I am pretty sure this is all the fault of the McKinley administration. Maybe Coolidge.




© 2009 Mike Redmond. All Rights Reserved.