Record-setting cold has plagued much of the nation this winter.
I don’t recall the exact year, but the last time I recall snow on the Mississippi Gulf Coast was in the early 1990s. A group of us, we called ourselves “TTLB,” The Thursday Lunch Bunch, had been to Edgewater Mall in Biloxi. We met every Thursday at O’Charley’s Restaurant. Not only was this before Katrina, it was before casinos, and I could drive to Biloxi from Long Beach, have a leisurely lunch and still be back at work for 2:00 PM. Today, it’s an ordeal to drive to the mall, and it takes forever.
Californians and New Yorkers are not sympathizing.
This particular day we got through with lunch and were shocked to walk outside to a winter wonderland. The snow was fresh and powdery and several inches thick. Everything was silent. Driving down Highway 90 was magical. The beach was, well, snow white. There were hardly any cars on the road and the medians and yards were pristine.
This year, we had not one but two snows, about a week apart, although both of them together wouldn’t have been a good covering.
Still, it has been cold here. We had many days in the 20s, pipes that were protected but froze anyway and weeks of thermal underwear.
New Yorkers are not sympathizing.
Still, that’s rare for us. We normally enjoy balmy weather. In fact, I don’t have any permanent heat in my shop, although I’m not above taking one or both bathroom heaters downstairs to warm things up.
“Two bathroom heaters” you say? Yes, have I mentioned that I’m the world’s most cold-natured person?
If I’m going to the shop on a cold day, I might have innumerable layers on, and I might not come out of many of them in the course of the day.
On the coldest day I’ve worked in 22 years in this house, I’ve never run the electric heater more than an hour. I’m inclined to being cold, but the process of stirring around in the garage warms me up pretty rapidly. If it’s really cold, I’ll leave the shutters closed for a bit of window insulation, even though I miss the beautiful view.
I’m just glad I don’t have to deal with that.
Jim Randolph is a veterinarian in Long Beach, Mississippi. His earlier careers as lawn mower, dairy farmer, automobile mechanic, microwave communications electronics instructor and journeyman carpenter all influence his approach to woodworking. His favorite projects are furniture built for his wife, Brenda, and for their children and grandchildren. His and Brenda’s home, nicknamed Sticks-In-The-Mud, is built on pilings (sticks) near the wetlands (mud) on a bayou off Jourdan River. His shop is in the lower level of their home.Questions and comments on woodworking may be written below in the comments section. Questions about pet care should be directed to his blog on pet care, www.MyPetsDoctor.com. We regret that, because of high volume, not all inquiries can be answered personally.