Kokomo Tribune; Kokomo, Indiana

Opinion

January 9, 2014

We used to call it 'winter'

Forecasts have become more scientific, scary.

Like most people, we like to talk about the weather, but it’s rare when we actually get up off the couch to do something about it.

Yet the cold snap this week, with discussion of the “polar vortex” and numbers of minus-this or minus-that, had us reminiscing about what it was like back in the day.

Some of the older folks among us may understand that what is happening today, historically speaking, was then known as “winter.”

It has a long history and, in fact, seemed to come around about every year or so.

That was before breathable and waterproof miracle fabrics, or even polar fleece longjohns. We had Woolrich hunting jackets, dark red with a thin weave of black plaid. They still sell those today, and they’re still as expensive as they were then.

But they were the only good hunting gear we could get.

Back then, there were several less-scientific answers to the question of the day: Just how cold was it?

Well, there was “It’s nippy out there,” and then it progressed to “It’s durn cold,” and then it went to “It’s pretty durn cold!” all the way to “It’s awful durned cold!”

Times were simpler then, and that was good enough. It guided us as we set about our chores, be they city work or farm work, shoveling snow or feeding animals and livestock. No weather was so bad that animals were allowed to go unfed or unsheltered.

Those descriptions, though, weren’t good enough for modern weathercasters. So they had to invent the “wind-chill factor,” so they could put a number to “It’s durn cold — and windy!” in order to make us feel even colder.

The frigid weather we’re seeing is part of an ancient rhythm, a short phase in the lovely changes we experience as we pass through the seasons.

Winter itself is something to be celebrated. For without it, and these long nights and cold days, we would not feel so exhilarated at the arrival of spring.

It was ever thus, and the first warmish days of a new year complete an eternal cycle of life, death and rebirth.

There are no numbers to measure what that means to the human spirit.

— Register-Herald, Beckley, W.Va.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Opinion
  • DAY: God trusted us with them Well, you heard about my wife and I, and our families from the past, so it is time for me to tell you about two of the prettiest girls I have ever known. They are our daughters Debbie and Patty. They are the greatest gifts from God that we have had i

    April 19, 2014

  • LoBianco: Bigger ethics questions raised in House Turner review

    Members of the House Ethics Committee who will take up Rep. Eric Turner’s case face daunting tasks as they try to answer two questions: Did their powerful colleague violate any ethics rules in privately lobbying against a measure that would have hurt his family’s business?

    April 18, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 18, 2014

    Attendees at the Tipton County Board of Commissioners meeting April 7 were treated to an appalling lack of both action and concern by the commissioners.

    April 18, 2014

  • Letter to the Editor: April 17, 2014

    On March 20 of this year I attended a public meeting of the Tipton County Economic Development Alliance. Members of this group include the three county commissioners, a member of the county council, two members from the city council, and the mayor.

    April 17, 2014

  • Hicks: Measuring the unmeasurable

    One aspect of economic research I think is especially powerful is the ability to measure or monetize the things that humans clearly value but for which a market price is not necessarily apparent. This is one of the aspects of economic analysis that gives it such dominance over other social sciences.

    April 17, 2014

  • Rob Burgess House of Burgess: Bush presents 'The Art of Leadership'

    On April 5, “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy,” opened at the George W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum on the campus of Southern Methodist University. The display, which runs through June 3, boasts “portraits of more than two dozen world leaders” painted by Bush, according to the official literature.

    April 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bohanon: ‘Economics is fun’ in Vegas or in Bible study

    I am writing this on an airplane to Las Vegas. I’ll be attending the annual conference of the Association of Private Enterprise Education along with two of my colleagues and six of my students.

    April 16, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 16, 2014

    At the time the agenda for the April 7 commissioner meeting came out, I was happy to see that the neglected commissioner board appointments were finally going to be addressed. These appointments had been in limbo for months on end.

    April 16, 2014

  • Hayden: Want better teacher ratings? Ask the kids

    The state may be back where it started, encumbered with a flawed teacher grading system, a year after implementing what were meant to be tough new standards.
    That was the general consensus of the State Board of Education days after teacher evaluation data were released last week.

    April 15, 2014

  • Letters to the Editor: April 15, 2014

    In a recent “public eye” article written by KT columnist Scott Smith about the proposed industrial wind turbine project; mention was made of the “new deal” brokered by Howard County Commissioners with E.ON.

    April 15, 2014

Featured Ads
Only on our website
AP Video
Captain of Sunken SKorean Ferry Arrested Raw: Fire Destroys 3 N.J. Beachfront Homes Raw: Pope Presides Over Good Friday Mass Raw: Space X Launches to Space Station Superheroes Descend on Capitol Mall Man Charged in Kansas City Highway Shootings Obama Awards Navy Football Trophy Anti-semitic Leaflets Posted in Eastern Ukraine Raw: Magnitude-7.2 Earthquake Shakes Mexico City Ceremony at MIT Remembers One of Boston's Finest Raw: Students Hurt in Colo. School Bus Crash Raw: Church Tries for Record With Chalk Jesus Raw: Faithful Celebrate Good Friday Worldwide Deadly Avalanche Sweeps Slopes of Mount Everest Police Arrest Suspect in Highway Shootings Drought Concerns May Hurt Lake Tourism Vermont Goat Meat Gives Refugees Taste of Home Calif. Investigators Re-construct Fatal Bus Cras Mayor Rob Ford Launches Re-election Campaign Appellate Court Hears Okla. Gay Marriage Case
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Obituaries
Poll