photo by Sheri Dixon

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

I Did Not Move Far Enough South

I say that every year.

Well, every year since 1994, which is the year I moved from Wisconsin to Texas.

I'd been born in Wisconsin, and I hated every single wonderful white winter moment of it. Even as a child- sledding? No thanks. Ice skating? Ummm...only if I can sit in the warming house and drink cocoa. Skiing? You must be joking. Ice FISHING? (one eyebrow raised glare of complete disdain and dis-belief).

That as an adult in Wisconsin I also owned and ran a small family farm only made it worse. When the water tank heater managed to merely keep an inch of open water on the tank surface, the wheelbarrow had to be replaced with a sled to haul feed on, and I needed to carry a sledge hammer to knock the gate free with eyeballs aching from the frigid air and my nostrils shredded with every breath through the snotcicles, THAT decided me that I needed to move South.

Routinely finding tiny dead sparrows under the pine trees on picture-perfect magic ice castle mornings only sealed the deal.

I moved South in December, and marveled at the mild breeze wafting across the lake- the completely UNfrozen lake.

The area of Texas I moved to is the pretty part of Texas- trees, water, hills, flowers- an area that looks for all the world like the pine forests of central Wisconsin where I spent my summers. Only the cactus plants nestled up under the pine trees gives our actual location away.

So winters are mild, springs are a fantabulous riot of wildflowers, summers are...kind of toasty, and autumn is a wonderment of fall colors that can be enjoyed in bare feet.

And then it happens.

The first day each year the mercury drops below freezing, my body and mind go into survival mode and actually physically recoil from the assault of the icy blast. And I say it

"I did not move far enough south".

But here's the thing.

Any farther straight south and we'd be at the mercy of hurricanes- by the time they get up here they're mere shells, empty blusters of rain and wind with perhaps a little tornado thrown in for tantrum effect, but mostly spent.

Southeast is muggy (and east of the Mighty Miss- somewhere I no longer wish to be), and Southwest is...freakin' dessert.

So I'll look at the internet real estate listings in exotic places like Costa Rica, and Ecuador, and Hawaii, mug of cocoa in front of me, wrapped in a blanket, fuzzy slippers firmly on my socked feet.

But here is Home. And Family. And Friends.

And while in Wisconsin, once the mercury dips below freezing, it's a full 6 months before you need to dust off any numbers higher than "32" on your thermometer, here in Texas right now it's a chilly 37 and it won't be warm and 70 again till...


*Here is Better*


  1. I'm one of those weirdos who loves cold, blustery, horrid weather. I'd live in Iceland if I could. But my body doesn't agree. I have had a chest infection since the first of November. I've been through two courses of antibiotics, and no improvement. Tessa and I are both thinking maybe we need Texas weather. But the move wouldn't do her any good. Guess we'll just ride the winter out.

  2. well, ya'll come on down for a visit anytime :)

  3. That was cute Sheri! But I like the part of Texas I live in too..I am finding I get really claustrophobic with LOTS of Trees. So, it's the wide open prairie for me!