Strolling Amok

Pops goes on tour.

How to Tell a Midwesterner

Originally posted 11/10/2012

The temperature reached a perfect 72 yesterday, and I decided I wanted a photo of the barbershop-in-a-trailer because photos make blog posts a lot easier to slog through. I was in my shorts and a T-shirt when I rode back with a camera for some snaps. A vendor parked next door was still there too, and the barber, Donna, looked at me and said, “You can always tell a visitor from the Midwest. It turns cold and they’re still wearing shorts!” Her neighbor cited his Midwestern heritage, “You know when it gets up to 38 in Michigan. Everybody’s out starting up their Harleys.”

Donna was wearing a jacket! Yet lest I accuse her of wimpishness, she also doesn’t leave Quartzsite until May or June, and returns no later than September. “It doesn’t get really hot until August,” she claimed. Cripes. I bet that by the end of March, I’ll be pitifully whining about baking in the heat. Seriously. Depends on how many years you spend where, as far as I can tell.

A cold front has moved in and will be here until Monday. When I woke up this morning, it was 44 degrees outside and 55 inside the trailer. Not bad! Since it’s only predicted to hit 66 today, I decided not to let nature heat up the trailer, and turned on the little propane-powered Mr. Heater. Twenty minutes and a cup of coffee later, I had to crank it down to low and will be shutting it off before long.

Last night, when I checked The Weather Channel prediction on the iPad, I was concerned to see that they had issued a Special Weather Alert for the Quartzsite area. Where I come from, that’s worth some concern. But it’s all relative, I guess. The statement warned of overnight lows possibly reaching the 30s over the weekend, and in a few areas, maybe crossing below freezing. I gather that this better represents a typical cold snap in December, a month from now. I’m not quite as paranoid about damage from freezing pipes here, because the time spent at risky temps is so brief, then climbs relatively high pretty quickly. There’s no time for cold air to really soak in.

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