On Jan. 7, Pa and I headed out of Charleston, bound for Myrtle Beach to become snowbirds. Our cars were piled full of household items and clothes like something out of a 1960s episode of the sitcom "The Beverly Hillbillies."
The first hour was rough going — a winter storm was moving in and we all know the West Virginia Turnpike is no picnic in those conditions. By Winston-Salem, though, I donned my sunglasses and delighted in watching the thermometer climb.
Winter be gone! I had, after all, survived The Winter of 1978 — in the snow belt of northeast Ohio, no less, where conditions were so horrible that we missed something like 28 days of school.
My first winter in West Virginia, I laughed every time school was canceled or delayed by a dusting of snow. I couldn't help but say, "Geez, back where I came from . . ."
My smugness ended the first time I ventured out to drive in it, on a hill.
Weather is relative, isn't it?
Anyway, Pa and I were happy to head South to the balmy beach, where our research showed we'd likely enjoy winter temperatures routinely 20 degrees higher than Charleston.
"We'll take it!" we said.
Except for this stupid meteorological maelstrom that followed us here. I'm not whining — really, I'm not — because we've enjoyed plenty of sunny days with walks on the beach and bike rides along the coast. And Lord knows we haven't had to deal with the double whammy of bad weather and bad water.
But it's been chilly and we came ill-prepared for that. (I knitted myself a hat. I'm OK.) And Monday, the news came of a bad storm headed our way. By late afternoon, schools already were being canceled and we laughed, because it was perfectly dry.
Tuesday morning, we headed to the YMCA for a spin class, only to find the Y shuttered tight. It was 39 and dry. We laughed again. Silly Southerners.