It is Tuesday and the weather outside is frightful.
I feel like I am a character in one of Robert Frost’s poems:
Whose woods these are I think I know
His house is in the village though
He will not mind me stopping here
To watch his woods fill up with snow.
It might not be snowing, but it might as well be. The temperature is 25 degrees colder than it was yesterday, and as I write this column the mercury is struggling to find the mid-40s. I have checked and rechecked the ACCU weather app on my phone, and the predicted low temperature for tonight has changed at least three different times. But it’s the wind that is making this day even more miserable then the sporadic rain and cold temperatures.
Some of you who are reading this column are probable shaking your head and mumbling to yourself: “He should be used to this weather. Heck, he’s from Michigan.”
And you would have a valid point. For the 45 years I lived in the Wolverine State, 46 degrees on Feb. 11 was a godsend. It was a day you might even put shorts on. If it was 46 there today, someone would post on Facebook they were having a bon fire.
For me that was three years ago. I have been in Texas long enough to be Texas-a-fied to the weather. I have reverted to the weather of my earlier years, having been born in Phoenix, Arizona and raised there until I was seven-years old. I grew up in the Valley of the Sun, and 110-plus degree temperatures were common in the summer. Granted, it was a dry heat but folks: a 110-plus temperature is hot wherever and whomever you are!
I will take a little ribbing from my compatriots over my bellyaching about the weather. The word Yankee will pop up in more than one humorous conversation. However, now I hear rejoinders from my native Texas friends whenever I joke about being raised in Yankee land.
“Do you have a Texas drivers license?” the inquiry will start.
“Yes sir, I do,” is my answer.
“Do you have Texas tags on your vehicle?” the inquiry will persist.
“Yes sir, I do,” I will answer.
Then the smile will get real big on their faces and they will chime in, “Well then you’re a Texan now.” And we all will laugh.
But the worm has turned for me. I found myself rooting for the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl because Patrick Mahomes is from Texas. I find myself watching and following the Houston and San Antonio sports teams, not the old teams from Detroit. I love exploring the old dance halls in Gruene, Schroeder and other places. I like talking to all the old-timers from the area, trying to glean as much history and folklore on the area as I can without being a pain in the gluteus maximus.
There are so many places and things I want to do here. I want to play in Fort Worth, swim off South Padre Island, go hiking at Big Bend and at Palo Duro Canyon. There is so much more to see in San Antonio, Austin and other places. It’s like I have died and gone to heaven. Everything new here is an adventure; a thing to be explored, experienced and reveled in.
In March, it’s off to NRG Stadium to see Chris Stapleton. April is the beer fest. Then in May it’s off to Austin City Limits to see Steely Dan and spend one night in the glorious Driscoll Hotel in Austin.
Instead of complaining about this miserable weather today, I should be excited that the future holds so many possibilities. No wait, opportunities.
Yes, “opportunities” is the right word because opportunities lost are opportunities lost forever. I won’t let that happen.
(HINT: Next week get a copy of the paper. Find out who is playing at this year’s Come and Taste It. A Texas legend. See y’all next week!)