I really am thankful for the weather
I've found that each year that I am "away at college" I become that much more thankful for my family and for my home. I had one of those thankful moments this past weekend as I drove across our great state: I'd like to thank my parents for raising me in Kansas. Where else can a week begin with a sweater and end with sandals? Where else can humidity and wind chill sabotage otherwise bearable seasons?
I'd like to thank my parents for raising me in Kansas. And now, independent and away from home, I'm still in Kansas. Why didn't I run for my life? Why didn't I hop the first Amtrak to Florida? I am here because I respect Kansas. I respect it like I respect a bullhorn wielding gym coach who demands that extra pushup or extra lap around the drought ridden football field.
Living in Kansas has taught me to be flexible. I've learned to layer my clothing and accept my allergies as normal. But every so often, that flexibility fails and I wonder what it would be like to live in a state where weather isn't a punishment. Somewhere down south maybe.
We all think about it. We all debate taking off. We dream of pleasant highs and moderate lows. We dream of living in a climate that revolves around continuity. A utopia, now that's a nice idea. We all think about our parents or grandparents who bolt down to Padre or Ft. Lauderdale like reinvigorated spring breakers, and we wish that we could bolt, once or twice a week. We dream and maybe even visit the travel agent, but then, how could we leave Kansas? There are just too many memories.
I remember back in the old days (1988 or so), folks were guaranteed a white Christmas and kids could really use the sleds that Santa Claus brought them. I remember even older days (1981) when the first day of fall meant exactly that. So why do we suffer? Why is it warm when it should be cold and vice versa? Is it the O-zone? Did we bring this five-month summer on ourselves? Maybe we shouldn't have thrown away all those Styrofoam peanuts. Did we really need to use that much hairspray? If I played a part in the snow that never sticks then by all means I will suffer the consequences quietly.
Whatever the extended forecast holds, whatever trials mother nature shall produce, I still thank you, mom and dad, for raising me in Kansas. And hopefully my children will thank me too. Because as much as I dream, I know I'll never leave. We all know that. For some reason our parents and grandparents return in March, and our kids move back after years in neighboring states, just to feel that wind chill again; just to tie their jackets around their waists. For some reason it feels better to sneeze your way through life.