Friday, November 14, 2014
The other day, a friend of ours made a rather thought provoking post on his social media page.No, it wasn't a cat chasing his shadow, or a dog sliding down a hill on a garbage can lid.
Most apropos is the fact Northeast Ohio is experiencing the first snow fall of the season. To lend a degree of interest, it is a Lake Effect storm. (I take a more detailed look at this phenomena in my book; 1850: Death on Erie)
It said, in effect: the Polar Vortex has been renamed. It is now called Winter. Ever heard of it?
Well… this set me to thinking; which is dangerous at best and disastrous at worst.
What is in a name, I pondered. Would a rose still be as red, smell as sweet were it not called a rose?
Then, it struck me…there is a lot in a name.
POLAR VORTEX: has an air of foreboding about it. One envisions Darth Vader returning in The Polar Vortex of Doom. Only Indiana Jones can save us.
Winter: predictable, while at times annoying, it is far from malevolent.
POLAR VORTEX: wild, out of control, and Life Threatening. As in “It came from the Arctic! The POLAR VORTEX!”
Winter: mostly complacent, with the occasional wild flare up. Somewhat of a sluggard compared to Spring tornadoes
POLAR VORTEX: blizzards, white-outs, snow-clogged highways, and airports at a stand-still.
Winter: a landscape cozily blanketed in white, smoke curling from the chimneys of warm, snug homes.
POLAR VORTEX: Misery
POLAR VORTEX: frozen pipes, frozen cars, and calling AAA
Winter: putting on a sweater, enjoying a cup of hot chocolate, and watching the snow fall
POLAR VORTEX: the Stone Age is just around the corner
Winter: Spring is just around the corner
POLAR VORTEX: Be Afraid! Be VERY Afraid!!
Winter: Oh Look! The Sun makes the snow look like millions of diamonds!
POLAR VORTEX: the end of the World as we know it
Winter: Let’s go sledding! The Snow isn't going to last forever!
POLAR VORTEX: Stock up on milk and bread (why load up on milk and bread? Are people going to have a French Toast Eat-a-thon?)
Winter: Maybe I should pick up some eggnog in case people drop in, I want to be prepared
POLAR VORTEX: The wolf is at the door!
Winter: The wolf is smart, he is snuggled up in his den
POLAR VORTEX Do NOT leave your home!
Winter: Let’s go! There is a birthday party at the home of Farmer Gray. It will be the perfect ending to a perfect day.
POLAR VORTEX Nothing good happens this time of year!
Winter: Don’t count on it. Look how many birthdays there are in August, September, October….
The thoughts meandered through my mind like frozen custard through an ice-cream machine.
All in all, I prefer Winter.
It is far gentler on the mind.