The temperature still hasn’t gone above the 20s since Leive and I returned from our trip last week. Monday morning it was only 5 degrees, and it is 11 as I write this. Nor are we alone; most of the country is in a big chill right now. I thought it was bad enough last month, when I had to break out the hand-me-down parka from my Dad, which in other years I only needed for January and February. Now even in Florida I hear the strawberry crop is threatened, in addition to the citrus.
Speaking of citrus, while we were in Florida I picked the fruit off my Dad’s calmondin tree. This time we got a bountiful harvest, which is a good thing, because this will probably be the last time I harvest that tree. The calamondins filled a plastic shopping bag to bursting; here they are in our kitchen sink. For some perspective, most of them are the size of a quarter. Do you see the two pitchers to the right? On Sunday I squeezed the calamondins, and got enough juice to fill the tall pitcher completely, and the short pitcher halfway.
Since Monday, we have gotten enough snow each morning to make driving a challenge, and close schools in several counties. I visited Kroger on the way home today, and that grocery store was packed with shoppers, because a big snowstorm (2-6 inches, with 4 inches most likely) is forecast for tomorrow. Here in Kentucky, when really bad weather hits, the stores run out of bread and milk first. By contrast, when a hurricane is expected to hit Florida, people stock up on batteries and bottled water down there.
Today one of my co-workers told me he checked the weather report for Nome, Alaska, and their temperature was 19 degrees. Who’d have thought we’d be colder than the town known for dog sleds?
Perhaps the best sign of the seriousness of the situation is that Rich Brooks, the University of Kentucky football coach, announced his resignation. No doubt he quit because UK lost the Music City Bowl game last week. Normally in this town, we’d be talking about little besides that, but it’s hardly getting any attention now. If we weren’t so darned cold, this would remind me more of the really bad weather days in the old country (Florida).
I will try to go in to work tomorrow, because last year’s ice storm showed me that unlike the schools, we don’t get any holidays, except for those that were marked on the calendars long ago. I had to use a vacation day to cover the ice storm, as a result. Still, I told my co-workers that if I’m not there, they can blame it on the snow.
By the way, do you remember when I said that the radio scene in Lexington leaves something to be desired? We don’t have a top 40 station, for a start. Well, back in mid-November, three FM stations (94.5, 96.9, and 106.7) started playing non-stop Christmas music. A seasonal Christmas station is probably normal for most American communities, though I thought it was excessive for three of them to start broadcasting the carols before Thanksgiving. I checked on them since returning from last week’s trip, and would you believe 106.7 is still playing Christmas music right now? Perhaps they are giving equal time to the Orthodox churches, because their Christmas happens tomorrow.