I wrote (really complained) about the cold in an earlier blog on December 6th, but maybe I was a little premature with my moaning and groaning. Now it is really cold!
Throughout the entire United States, it seems as though the mercury in all the thermometers in the land has plunged into the balls at the very bottom of their glass tubes. Who could ever believe it would get so cold?
As we woke this morning, we turned on the television and began watching the news. Cameras in the Midwest captured scenes of sliding semis, stalled traffic, and lots of snow. One man told the news reporter he and his wife driven for more than an hour in the snow only making eight miles. They decided turn around and go home in order to get out of the cold.
Another trucker made the comment that if it got any worse, he was going to park his rig and wait it out. “It’s just not worth my life or someone else’s,” he said.
He’s right, if there is a chance of dying in a collision or freezing to death while waiting for help, it really is not worth it. Now is not the time to be traveling in the northern areas of the country. Travel in these conditions truly is a risk, regardless of the mode of transportation.
There is a hard freeze warning in place throughout Florida. Temperatures in North and Central Florida have dipped into the twenties. This year, temperatures will be very close to the records set in 1926. During December that year, Orlando went down to 28 degrees while Daytona Beach and Melbourne both reached 26 degrees.
What does this mean, other than the locals and visitors from the north bundling up and complaining about the cold? The citrus crop may be devastated. The citrus farmers more than likely spent a nervous night tending to their orange and grapefruit trees. When it is cold like this, they have to fire off burners in an attempt to ward off the freeze. If the cold gets to the citrus crop, the farmers will lose millions of dollars and the price of orange juice in the stores will skyrocket.
Luckily, when it gets cold like this, we Floridians do not usually have to deal with ice and snow in the manner of the Midwest or North. There was the winter of 1977, however… I will never forget that time.
I got up to go to work. I looked out the front door and saw what I can only describe as an unbelievable scene. It was completely white. There was about two inches of snow all over the roads, the yards, backyard swimming pools, and the plastic pink flamingos which some Floridians commonly keep in their front yards.
I picked up the phone, called work, and said, “I’m not coming in.”
I was a smart one. Having grown up in Florida and countries south, I had no idea of how to drive on ice or snow and I was not equipped. I just crawled back into bed and tried to stay warm.
Later in the day, I discovered the Tampa Bay area experienced more than 175 fender-benders in a 45 minute period. It seems some Floridians who had no business being out driving on the ice suffered the consequences; the others involved in accidents should have known better. They were the people from up north who forgot how to drive on ice.
Today is looking fairly nice. However, I’m not going to take a chance; it is cold.
I think I will go back under the covers until it comes up to at least 40.
© 2010 J. Clark