Last week I was in Sandusky, Ohio for the outstanding Codemash conference (post forthcoming), and the weather was pretty typical for Northern Ohio. Schools were closed the morning I arrived because of ice, and I was reminded about how to drive in it after a five-year absence. By Thursday it reached 55 degrees, only to plunge into an icy mess again by Friday afternoon.
Five years ago was about the time it was obvious to me that we couldn't live there anymore. Living in Seattle for a few years opened my eyes to the idea that I didn't have to settle for living anywhere I didn't want to (specifically Cleveland). It's one of my few life regrets that I needed a whole lot of life upheaval to realize this, and 15 years into adulthood, no less.
As I pulled away from the rental facility, I started sliding around pretty quickly until I got on to the freeway, which was in better shape. As I drove down I-480, through North Olmsted, the crappy weather and general grayness sucked me back into late 1995. It was near the end of what turned out to be my short radio career, and I worked at a CompUSA in that town. The ice scraper left on the seat brought back memories of scraping my windshield. And in a strangely specific memory, I remember going to a show with some of Stephanie's floor mates from school, embarrassed that my passenger had to kind of keep her feet up to avoid the coolant pooling on the floor from the leaking heater core behind the glove box.
And then there were the countless years of shoveling and/or blowing snow. The depression and strong desire to hibernate through the winter. The terrifying instances where I managed to drive through and avoid accidents. The car accidents of friends and family. The time in college that the furnace died while I had a ridiculous fever.
Are there good memories? Mostly of that first significant snowfall every year, but that's about it.
I'm sold on sunshine, even if I have to put sunscreen on any time I leave the house in the summer. I get to eat lunch outside in January under a blue sky. Life's challenges can still get me down sometimes, but weather isn't one of them here.