I remember many days in my life in Texas, both in childhood, and post-childhood, how residents sit back and eagerly wait until a more comfortable degree-reading is achieved.
Texans tend to think about the low temperatures in the winter, though they are not anything like those experienced in the northern U.S.
I remember how my mother’s family, always in Ohio, believed that when at zero degrees, it was getting “just a tad cold.” Their lack of concern of colder temperatures than we are used to getting comes from experiencing extreme cold every year of their lives without one year passing when they didn’t drive their vehicles through snow and ice to get to work, pick up their children from school, or just go to the store for bread and milk. And that’s done in vehicles, if in deed they don’t decide to walk in the small town of Coshocton, Ohio to do these things in life that we all do.
Days that they view as “just another day in life,” we view as torturously cold.
Texans in our area of the state are in a comparatively comfortable state of mind and body during the winter months. If we get just one dusting of snow, or a thin layer of ice in just a few places, we believe it is an awful day to remember.
Frankly, I’d rather see that one day more than just once, rather than endure temperatures of 100 degrees or more, as the summer which seems so slow to pass, eases through our lives.
This summer, we have been extremely fortunate. According to a recent story written in the Athens Daily Review about local weather by Rich Flowers about East Texas weather for 2014, it was stated that not a single 100-degree day occurred in Henderson County.
Not only that, but “numerous days were more than 10 degrees below normal for their respective dates.”
The story goes on to say that June, July and August average temperatures were all below normal.
Being from Texas, and more specifically from the Waco area during my childhood, I am very familiar with hot weather. I don’t remember any summer when there isn’t at least one day when the temperature is 100 degrees or higher.
I remember one summer in Waco back in the 1960s when there were about 20 summer days when the high temperature for the day was around 116 degrees. But, I was not at all surprised. This is Texas!
What are we about to experience, with the summer days this year being cooler in Henderson County?
I’m obviously not a meteorologist, but I am drawn to believe that maybe the winter is also going to be colder than usual.
There is no need to be concerned unnecessarily, but I am personally going to watch for ice. The snow really doesn’t concern me. It is simply the ice.
My memories of ice cause this concern. I remember in 1970 and 1971, I lived for a period in both Terrell and in Fort Worth. The freeways in Fort Worth were glazed with ice and snow. Many people, including myself, were wearing ice chains on their tires. I felt like I was in the far northern states.
So, it does happen, even in the warm state of Texas.
So what is our future following this year? Are our summers going to continue being cooler than normal? I sincerely doubt it.
But, whatever happens, let it be known that to me, summer is not as comfortable as winter, no matter how cold it gets in the winter months, and no matter how much antifreeze you have to put in your vehicles.
And, if you personally get cold, do what I do – put on a coat, watch for the ice, and just enjoy!
I believe you will be glad you did.
Jeff Riggs is Associate Editor of the Athens Daily Review.