Cold is relative

Published 10:32 am Wednesday, March 4, 2015

I have lived in Virginia since November, but February was the first month that I felt as if I were home. With freezing temperatures, blistering wind and drifting snow, I swore I was back in Ohio — and I loved every minute of it.

While most of Virginia was at a standstill, with schools closed and traffic accidents left and right, I spent my days off playing in the snow with my three-year-old Siberian Husky. As happy as I’ve been since I moved down here — for the sunshine and closeness of the beach — nothing beats the pure joy of having a snow day once again.

In the days leading up to each passing storm, I did find one thing odd, however. I just happened to need groceries one night before the storm was about to hit, and the parking lots were packed. People rushed into the store, hoping to buy the last gallon of milk or the last loaf of bread. The lines were 20 carts deep, packed to the brim with water and enough canned goods to live through the apocalypse. Meanwhile, I grabbed just enough for dinner that night and maybe lunch the next day.

If I needed anything else, I was confident that my nine years of experience driving in Ohio would get me through whatever was going to hit that evening. Nowhere else in the world can you experience the meteorological phenomenon that is all four seasons in one day, so I’d like to think I’ve been trained pretty well to handle a little bit of precipitation.

While I was in the checkout line, I heard one lady claim that she had never seen snow; another person mentioned that he took the rest of the week off to avoid traveling in the weather. It was probably for the best that they didn’t see the wry grin on my face.

On my drive home, though, I started thinking about what I overheard while I waited for the cashier to scan my items. I said to myself, “Well, she did say she was from Florida, so I guess I can see why she wouldn’t know what do to when it seems as if the skies are about to unleash on the ground below.”

Having been to the Sunshine State, I can confidently say that there isn’t a more humid place on earth. I’ve been that person wearing shorts on Christmas, sweating like crazy, while native Floridians are wearing their winter coats.

Suddenly, I began to realize that the cold is nothing more than a relative concept. Heat, too. So when it’s pushing 100 degrees every day and I’m the one complaining about how it’s too hot to do anything but sit by the air conditioner, I’m pretty sure that lady will have the same grin on her face as I had last week.

ANDREW LIND is a staff writer at The Tidewater News. He can be reached at 562-3187 or by emailing