I was driving in Montezuma the other day and saw a fellow wearing short-legged pants crossing the street by the Presbyterian Family Center.
I happened to know him and I was going to the family center, so I asked him about wearing short-legged pants in the middle of winter.
“I wasn’t going too far,” he said with a laugh.
It was a fairly nice evening for almost mid-January.
The one thing I’ve learned about living in the Midwest – there are some tough cookies here when it comes to the winter weather.
People get out and drive around in a winter snowstorm. Others wear short-legged pants in freezing cold and some go without a coat or even a pair of gloves or hat.
They’re just running up to the grocery store for a loaf of bread, a bag of chips, a case of cold ones and some hamburger meat. They’re planning to push some snow off the patio and grill out later in the day. A few buddies are coming over in their four-wheel drives to eat and watch the game.
I wear more clothes in the summer months than some Midwestern’s do in the winter.
I’m not one for wearing a big heavy coat. It kind of weighs me down and I don’t like that. My typical winter wear is two shirts (one being a long sleeve), long johns when the weather gets too cold, a mid-heavy jacket (a cotton jacket with a liner), stocking hat and gloves. It’s warm, but not too heavy.
I’ve heard it said in Oklahoma, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute and it will change.”
I’ve witnessed my share of ice and snow storms in my native state, but here in Iowa, the weather can change faster than the score of a Iowa basketball game.
When it starts snowing, I’m headed home. Even though the Iowa DOT does a good job keeping the roads clear, when the snow starts blowing, it’s time for J.O. to start rolling. My comfy chair is a lot better than a road ditch.
Some years ago, I had traveled to see a friend near Princeton, Ill. I left his house on Sunday afternoon headed home and stopped and fueled up in Davenport. I bought a Pepsi and a Sunday paper and headed out the door.
The fellow behind the counter told me to be careful. I never gave it any thought nor had I checked the weather forecast. I wasn’t too far west of Davenport when I ran headlong into a winter blizzard - snow, sleet, wind and icy cold!
Cars and trucks were in the ditches on I-80 and I was in my S-10 pickup with no extra weight in the back. It was by the grace of God that I didn’t get hit or slide into the ditch. I stopped in West Branch at McDonalds to take restroom break and I was shaking like a tree in a windstorm. I could see the imprint of my steering wheel in my hands. Not a wonder I didn’t yank the steering wheel out of the dash.
Some years ago, Debbie and I were headed to Oklahoma for Thanksgiving with my folks.
It was Thanksgiving eve and a storm brewed up along I-35 in southern Iowa. So, I came up with the brilliant idea to take Highway 63 south. Debbie was not in favor of leaving that evening. Her Iowa wisdom told her to stay home and leave on Thursday.
We left on Wednesday. It was not one of my brightest decisions in our marriage.
South of Ottumwa, we drove into a snow blizzard and I couldn’t see a thing. We made to Macon, Mo. for the evening and ended up having Thanksgiving on Friday instead of Thursday.
Another time, Debbie and I were in Oklahoma and where getting ready to head home. We noticed a winter storm had brewed up in Southwest Missouri. I didn’t think it was too bad, so we headed out of Tulsa toward Joplin. It got worse the closer we got to Missouri. Debbie knew what was coming and she tried to warn me and I wasn’t listening.
I wanted to make it to Kansas City and Debbie wanted to stop in Joplin. We ended up staying in Nevada, Mo. after watching a truck zoom past us and fly off the road into a farm field. It spun around a half dozen times. That had to be a scary ride.
If I’ve learned anything about winter in Iowa, the best advice is listening to my wife.
Have a great week and always remember that “Good Things are Happening,” every day and always.