Yes, it’s that time again, the day when Punxsutawney Phil tells us if we’re getting an early spring or six more weeks of winter. At the time this post is going up, I won’t know what his prediction for this year is. Last year he predicted an early spring and I recall repeatedly cursing him through the end of March, threatening to track the little bugger down and turn him into stew or make a hat from his hide. His prediction last year was completely off. But this year I’m not sure it really matters what he tells us. If it’s six more weeks of the winter we’ve had so far, would it really be all that bad? It’s barely been winter as it is. Sure there have been a few cold days and a few dustings of snow, but only a few. Temperatures have been higher than what we typically get, with the past couple of days being a real treat with temps in the 50’s!
I sometimes wonder, if we get that global warming they’ve been promising us for years and our winters continue to be this mild, would we still need all the warm wooly winter gear we make? Would we continue to knit ourselves heavy wool sweaters to keep us warm on the coldest of days of the coldest of days barely dip below freezing? Would those thick warm winter hats, gloves, mittens, and scarves be necessary?
I think so. Our perception of “REALLY cold” would change much like it has with my in-laws who live in Florida year round now. If you have lived there year round or have friends or relatives who do, you have probably seen evidence of this. Even if you’ve just been on vacation in Florida in the winter months, you’ve likely seen it too. The full time residents of the Sunshine State are wearing heavy coats when we are quite comfortable in just shorts and a tee shirt. Whether or not they really get “thin blood” from living in the warmer climate I don’t know. But they do perceive cold differently.
Last summer my mother-in-law came up here for a visit and often wore a heavy sweatshirt, commenting that she was chilly. Some time ago I knit her the Luna Moth shawl in an alpaca and silk blend and wondered if she really had that much use for it in Florida. She told me it was her favorite thing to wear to church when they hold mass on the beach. She said the breeze can sometimes be chilly. My brain stopped at the point where she said they hold mass on the beach. I’m not a church going person my any means, but I could probably force myself to if service were frequently held on the beach!
So, I’m content to let the groundhog have his say this year and to let winter be whatever it will be. Truth be told, I wouldn’t mind a whopper of a snowstorm or two. It would make it feel a little more like a real winter instead of a perpetual late autumn/early spring. If the “non-winter” we’ve been having so far continues, then it gives me more time to finish up the thick hooded sweatshirt I’ve been planning to wear on my regular 4 mile walks. I haven’t really needed it so far.