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Around The Bluhmin’ Town: Baby, it’s cold outside!

Judy Bluhm~ 3/2/2015

Brrrr it’s cold! In faraway places like Boston, Cleveland, New York, Chicago and Siberia. Oh, and let’s not forget about Florida where our grapefruit is freezing on the trees and places like Tennessee have had their schools closed for a week. We need to stop using up all the salt on our margarita glasses and donate it to these poor frigid places because they are suffering greatly.

 Living in Arizona, it is sometimes hard to grasp the wrath of Antarctic weather that has been wreaking havoc on over 120 million Americans, causing them to shiver, shake, and run for cover. Baby, it’s cold outside!

 I was born in Cleveland and lived in northern Ohio for the first twenty-six years of my life. I think by the time I was twelve I knew that I was going to move to somewhere warmer. Perhaps it was because I had to walk to school in frigid, windy, lung piercing weather. Or maybe it was because my older brother got frostbite (while walking to school) on both of his ears and they looked like heads of cauliflowers. Ouch!

The below –freezing temperatures have gone to people’s heads. You know things are weird when the mayor of Boston is imploring his residents to “stop jumping out of windows” head first into snowdrifts. What started out as a few brave souls jumping out of windows so they could then grab a shovel and move the piles of snow away from their doors so they could open them – has become a sport.  Yes, there have been a whole lot of young people diving out of windows into snow banks! In other words, they have lost their minds!

Have you ever had brain freeze? You know, that sharp, painful sensation from eating ice cream or gulping a cold drink too quickly? It is the cold-rush, cold-stimulus headache, with a scientific name of sphenopalatine ganglioneuralgia. Is it possible that all those giddy folks jumping head-first into snow drifts actually are suffering from a form of brain freeze? The mayor shouted on the news, “We are not from Looney Mountain!” Well, not sure what he was talking about, except when the towns-folks are acting “looney,” I guess we can just blame on the freezing temperatures.

Want to buy some snow? A guy in Boston is selling a ten pound box of snow (enough for about twenty snowballs) for the bargain price of $119.00. He said he has placed “hundreds of orders” for the snow, to people living in warm climates. Which makes me think that maybe you don’t have to live in a cold climate to have your brain cells frozen. 

My relatives in Cleveland posted on Facebook some pretty amazing photos of a “winter festival” being held in a park in sub-zero weather. Oh yea, looks like a fun. Ping pong tables were set up, lots of vendors selling things (like gloves and face-masks) and plenty of Vodka booths where it looked like folks were lined up to “enjoy” the festival. I have an idea. Stay inside! Put on the fire and be sensible!

Cold weather brings with it particular challenges that most of us residing in Arizona will never have to worry about. Cover up the pipes, fire up the snow blower, scrape the windshield, start the car periodically or wrap the battery, throw the salt, shovel the walk-way, turn up the heat, keep a drip of water in the lines…oh my, it’s a whole lot of work. Not to mention turning a Styrofoam ice cooler upside down and cutting a hole in the side for stray animals or throwing the bird seed and suet out for feathered friends. Blanket the horses, bring the chickens into the garage, put boots and a coat on Fido ,and “weather” the storm. Bang ice off the gutters and knock it off any flat roof before the whole thing collapses. Yes, Dear Readers, we are pretty blessed to have nice weather.

 One of my family members in Ohio pointed out that “winter brings out character.” Might be true. But I am certain that winter brings out layers of clothing, goose-down jackets, face masks that only criminals should wear, thermal underwear, ear muffs, hats, wool socks, and sturdy boots.  Character? Perhaps while shoveling snow it might feel like “only the tough can endure,” and provide a measure of solace. After all, record-breaking cold spells don’t happen all the time and accepting the “bad” with the good is one way of coping. How else could so many people live through a summer in Phoenix unless it is “balanced” by a wonderful winter?

So when a friend of mine in Ohio writes on Facebook that “weather is not everything” and there are more important things in life than “a warm climate, sunny days and beautiful sunsets,” I have to agree. It is ridiculous to imply that we, living Out West, are somehow shallow because we enjoy sunny, warm days! Of course there are more essential things in life than good weather! There is golf in January, wearing shorts under clear, blue skies, taking walks in seventy degree weather, hiking , playing tennis, or riding a horse on a sunny day!  Face masks? Only unless we plan on engaging in a bank robbery! Sunglasses? Required. Winter has arrived and we are ready!


Judy Bluhm is a writer and a local realtor who lives in the Anthem area. Have a story or a comment? Email Judy at