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Tim Myers: Those thinking to flee California, beware the cold

Posted: January 26, 2013 10:36 a.m.
Updated: January 26, 2013 10:36 a.m.
 

The three or four regular readers of this column know that I and the rest of the local Myers clan do not originally hail from these parts, spending just under 40 years in the extreme climates of the upper Midwest in Iowa and Nebraska.

Now Iowa and Nebraska (and most of the rest of the nation above the Missouri Compromise line (Check Wikipedia!) ) enjoy four seasons: Freezing, sweltering, two pleasant days in the spring and two pleasant days in the fall.

Now for a relatively short period of time the Myers clan lived in North Texas in the Dallas area.

This geography also enjoyed four seasons: Sweltering without tornados, sweltering with tornados, super sweltering and two days of ice storms.

How difficult to describe then to our long lost relatives the weather in Southern California. Near the coast one can easily count on 330-plus days of stellar weather.

Even in the more modest inland environs of the Santa Clarita Valley one can count on six months of PERFECT weather, with 90 days of potential swelter and about 30 days of gray skies and rain.

To give one an idea, our oldest son, who moved to the SCV and started second grade at Helmers Elementary, wore shorts EVERY single day of the year until he reached the eighth grade, when he would deign to wear long pants on the cooler days in December and January.

Oh how I remember those early days, when we scoffed at the natives who bundled up in parkas on those "cold" nights in late November and early December. In those days a light hoodie and cargo shorts sufficiently warmed us through the winter.

But how far the strong Midwestern stock fell over these last nearly 17 years.

Cargo pants replaced cargo shorts from Oct. 1, and I found an actual winter coat necessary tricked out with heavy neck mufflers, gloves and a knit stocking cap to attend high school football playoff games in the months of November and December.

But the ultimate humiliation occurred during the recent "cold" snap in SoCal.

With high temperatures hovering region wide in the low 50s for several days, and moving into the unspeakable 30s and even 20s overnight (though breezes actually prevented a frost from occurring), I found myself heaving quilt after quilt on the bed, throwing on sweaters and even wearing neck mufflers indoors.

Oh the humanity!

And yet, some misguided natives toy with the idea of abandoning the state, fleeing from out of control left wing politics to the utopian Midwest or South where real ‘Mericans believe in laissez faire economics and keeping the gays from getting married (well, except my home state of Iowa).

Those who harbor these feelings should view a few cautionary tales.

In the early 2000s one of my Nebraska bride’s crony’s husband decided to take the "job opportunity of a lifetime" in Green Bay, Wis.

The South Bay family got quite excited about what type of home they could purchase in Green Bay with the yield from their Northbridge home, and despite cautionary tales about the extent and coldness of Wisconsin winters they packed up and gleefully moved to the home of the Packers.

It appeared the family at various times enjoyed the pastimes of skiing and snowboarding in the Big Bear area, not focusing on the fact that a quick drive to the bottom of the mountain returned one quickly to the mild winter temperatures of SoCal.

I would like to say they stoically made a go of contending with the cold winters of the North Country, but they lasted only until the first ice storm, in OCTOBER.

With Halloween approaching and the strong probability of California kids contending with sub-freezing temperatures while trick or treating, the husband contacted friends, former colleagues and relatives in Southern California to take ANY job in his field remotely approaching his former position.

The family found themselves ensconced in a replacement home in Tesoro del Valle by Thanksgiving and remain there to this day.

Three-sevenths of my family recently returned from a trip to Omaha and Lincoln, Nebraska after a 17-year absence.

While temperatures during this trip just amounted to average cold, my Nebraska bride returned with a mild case of pneumonia, reminding her why she fled in the first place.

So if one thought the "cold" snap uncomfortable, one should think twice about fleeing the mild climes of SoCal for more frigid parts.

Tim Myers is a Valencia resident.

 

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