Crossville Chronicle, Crossville, TN

January 21, 2013

IN ALL CANDOR: From here to Memorial Day

By Clayta Richards
Staff writer

CROSSVILLE — It’s winter in Tennessee. (116 degrees in Australia) I know I shouldn’t whine about how cold it is since it’s much colder and snowier in other parts of the continental US. But, on second thought, why not — whining is constitutionally protected.

In spite of local predictions to the contrary, December was fairly warm and enjoyable. I have no objections to Christmas shopping in 70 degree weather. The only downside was those weather forecasters who kept saying last year was the warmest year on record and December was way too warm. What do they know?

Come the last days of 2012, the winter solstice hit — and right along with it were the frigid temperatures. Bleh! You would think if you had to put up with sub-freezing temps, you would at least have a half decent snow to enjoy. No. Just a few flurries flying and nothing else but cold rain, fog and mist. My stars, we could be living on the English coast.

The first weekend of the new year, it is noted that daytime highs hit the 50s. Nice. But that couldn’t last for long — forecasters quickly produced a really big mass of cold air plunging temps into the 20s. I would like to assure the Canadians that southerners in the USA are fine with them keeping their cold air masses, and especially since they need all that frigid air to keep the ski slopes in Banff running smoothly.

I’ve been reluctant about going to the attic to pull down serious winter clothes. I’m about four weeks behind on having warm neck scarves and leather gloves in a convenient place in my closet.

January, week three, another cold front has hit and we’re slogging into work through cold rain and fog. Oh, where does the misery end? Flooding is certain in some parts of the state.

Perhaps, since none of us can change the weather, the answer is a comfy chair in front of the television set. The new year brought relief from all the syrupy Hallmark movies with new episodes of Revenge, Gold Rush, Big Bang and those hillbilly Moonshiners. See, I have very sophisticated tastes when it comes to my guilty pleasures (no Honey Boo-Boo). And, to my credit, I have started to watch Downton Abbey, which should raise my sophistication score considerably, seeing that it’s British . . . .

There is one more January woe that cannot be overlooked and seems to have a weather connection: car trouble. I had to spend $1,200 getting all the little leaks and other mechanical things fixed, as well as a timing belt changed. But, kudos for my recent timing belt — it had 188,000 miles on it. The advertising says they should be changed every 80,000 miles. As noted before — what do they know?

Finally, after the latest no-snow cold event found me clearing a thin layer of ice from a car window with my bare hands, producing blue fingernails, it is clearly time to go upstairs and dig out the winter mittens.

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Clayta Richards is a Crossville Chronicle staffwriter. Her column is published periodically. She may be reached at