Perspective is a funny thing.
I was talking to my brother recently, and he complained about how cold it was. “I was freezing today!” he said. “Our high temperature was only 63º!”
My reaction to that?
I had to stifle a laugh, because I glanced at the thermometer next to my chair during our call and it was 23º. I’m pretty sure if it were in the low 60s here, I’d be wearing shorts outside.
When I lived in Washington and got all worked up over treacherous roads after a 1” snowfall, people in other parts of the country scoffed. When I talked about stocking up on groceries and working from home because of these “storms,” they scoffed harder. I endured quite a bit of scoffing over the years! Tara even introduced a new word to my vocabulary in describing the paltry amount of snow I used to blog about, describing it as a “skiff.” Her skiff was a scoff! But again, she lived in places where snow was often measured in feet instead of inches.
(For what it’s worth, I scoff at old posts where I’m giddy over snowfall that doesn’t even reach the top of each blade of grass. Call it retroactive self-scoffing.)
Another great example occurred yesterday afternoon at work. We were gathered in the conference room, brainstorming over how best to “sell” Rapid City’s quality of life to outsiders. My boss asked me what factors motivated me to move here, and without hesitation, I replied, “Cheap housing!” One of my coworkers responded, “But housing in Rapid City is expensive.” Maybe compared to Aberdeen or Sioux Falls, but it’s dirt cheap by Portland standards.
I’ll leave you with my favorite all-time example:
When we bought our house in June, I had visions of extravagant, over-the-top holiday decorations ala Clark Griswold. I bought reams of fancy, multicolored, remote-controlled outdoor Christmas lights in anticipation, plus an extension ladder so I could reach the tallest eaves and hang them. But my plan was foiled by two acts of god (or rather, one act of mother nature and one act of bad plumbing): our sewer line repair, followed quickly by our blizzard. I should have hung those lights in mid-November, when the ground was bare and our toilets flushed without incident. There was even a sunny, mild weekend that would have been perfect, but I felt it was too early at the time. “I’ll do it the Saturday after Thanksgiving,” I said.
This is what the Saturday after Thanksgiving looked like:
Suffice it to say, that was a no-go.
Last Saturday, I finally got to hauling the ladder and lights outside, but the ground was still snow-covered and icy, and climbing a ladder in those conditions didn’t seem like the wisest idea. I reluctantly concluded that Casa Griswold would have to wait until next year and put everything back in the garage. As much as I’d love to spread Christmas cheer through the neighborhood, I love being alive and having unbroken limbs better.
Next year, guys. I promise.