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Monday, January 11, 2010

Only One Sure Escape from the Cold

I have a college roommate who moved to North Carolina from Nova Scotia a couple of years ago. He was tired of cold winters and fighting snow and ice. He still abandons us in the summer for the cool breezes of the Canadian Maritimes. After this recent historic outbreak of cold, he told me that he was going to Florida to find some real warmth. That was last week. When I checked with him this weekend, it was 39F and raining in Florida. He went through a lot of driving to be only two degrees warmer than us. This winter's cold had penetrated 900 miles south to his location not far from Fort Meyers, Florida. Even this morning they were down to 33F. A cold trip to Florida is a lesson in how challenging it has been to escape winter this last week. We did find one place where no cold seemed to penetrate. That was our Bluewater Cove living room with the gas fireplace turned on high. It ended up being a great place to survive the 2009-10 "Winter to Remember" and watch a little football.
Since we had already placed ourselves in the deep freeze of the Virginia mountains during the Christmas holidays, this cold has not seemed too severe to us. What worries me is that all those years of experience in the cold are being revived.

What is going to happen when this returns to being a normal North Carolina winter? I might have to wear shorts in March. The cold weather has been serious business with some of our marine life bearing the brunt of the cold.

Every morning this week, the gut behind our home has frozen. Fortunately the White Oak River gets enough tidal action that it is hard for everything to freeze over solid. Since we got above freezing each day and the tide worked on the ice, there was always some ice free water along the edges of the gut. By the end of the week, i think we were all tired of that freshly frozen feeling, but fortunately we had enough warmth on Friday to get some significant open water.

As far as I can tell the White Oak itself stayed relatively ice free. The beaches were not only ice free but almost people free. We drove by Jordan's Seafood around 5 PM on this past Sunday night, and you could even park in front. That is a huge change from the fall when you might have ended up waiting an hour on the outside benches.

I think most people have made the decision to stay inside as much as possible while cooking their own comfort food. In the last couple of weeks, the cold weather has been responsible for bringing to our table Senate Navy Bean Soup, Meatloaf Muffins, Pot Roast, Crock Pot Oatmeal, and homemade Chicken Pastry. If the cold weather will hold another day or two, I just might get some Clam Chowder.

By then I am hoping that we are on the downhill side of the really cold weather. Those temperatures in the high fifties by the end of the week look like a nice respite from cold, and possibly the hint of much better days to come. With all the comfort food, I will need some warm weather for bike riding.

If the cold weather has you wanting to do some virtual touring, try my trip to Morehead City or the one to Emerald Isle. Click the right hand circle for a 3D aerial tour. You will have to install a Google Earth plug-in, but I can guarantee a warm trip while sitting in front of your computer.

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