Weather Wussies

I really can't stay - Baby it's cold outside
I've got to go away - Baby it's cold outside

Dare it be uttered but Pittsburghers, historically of hearty winter stock, have become snow wussies.

Thus began an editorial by Colin McNickle in last week's paper. I read the rest of the essay aloud to Rick and we had quite a laugh over it. We've been saying the same thing since we moved here, eighteen months ago. Never have I heard so much whining about the weather. Listen up people, it could be a lot worse.

My grandfather used to tell stories about the winters back in the days when he drove a streetcar (above in 1944). Apparantly, there were snowfalls so great that at times, he'd be forced to abandon his trolly and seek shelter.

Most of you don't remember what it was like before they started using salt on the roads. In those days they used cinders from the steel mills. The cinders were supposed to help with traction, but all they really did was manage to turn everything black - snow, slush, shoes - it was awful. I can remember my dad stopping the car at the base of a hill to get out and wrap chains around the tires. Imagine!

Last summer, while we delighted in the fact that our lawn actually sustained itself without our having to spend six-hundred dollars a month on water, the neighbors bitterly complained that it was too wet. Too wet!

I've always been intrigued by this 1936 photo of my Pap, up to his knees in floodwater. There's a companion photo of lesser quality in which he and his father are walking across the street together, both clad in top coats and fedoras. What's with that? If I had to wade through twelve inches of water to go wherever, I certainly wouldn't put my best clothes on to do so.

I've got to go home - Oh, baby, you'll freeze out there
Say, lend me your coat - It's up to your knees out there

My last winter experience in western Pennsylvania before moving here, was in December of 2000. I can only imagine what the locals thought as they passed by this gang, mugging for the camera in single digit temperatures up on Mount Washington. They must have thought we were nuts.

I remember packing for this trip. You'd have thought we were going to the Arctic Circle. Notice Brittany, too cool to wear a hat, shivering behind Sherry, the southern belle of the family. Poor Sherry! She probably thought we brought her along for human sacrifice.

The neighbors might think - Baby its bad out there
Say, what's in this drink - No cabs to be had out there

We were married in the middle of a blizzard in 1980. Our rehearsal was almost canceled because of snow. As it was, the groom was an hour late to the church that night because the car he was driving fell apart. He had to crawl under it to gerry-rig some part or other and when he finally arrived, he was half-frozen. After the reception the next day, about one-hundred people trudged through the continuing snowfall to another party at my aunt's house. The next morning, one of the neighbors called the house to report a cocktail, complete with cherry, lemon-twist and swizzle stick, frozen on top of the mailbox.

I think about that every time I make my way to that very same mailbox to collect my mail.

Most people want to know why on earth any sane person would leave sunny southern California to live in a place with such obviously abhorrent weather. I usually just smile and shrug my shoulders. Let them think what they want.

After all, anyone that really knows me would tell you I did it for the photo opps! Of course!

I really can't stay - Get over that hold out
Ahh, but it's cold outside

Baby it's cold outside! Brr its cold!

Baby It's Cold Outside, written by Frank Loesser in 1944, was a pop hit for Dean Martin.


  1. Your best post yet.

    As for your 4 seasons, we get along fine with just 3.

  2. Yes, I recognize myself..... haha but I can't help this body make-up... I love to look at it, don't really mind driving in it... but hey - what can I say... I wear a jacket outside in the summer and a blanket 12mos a year!!!!!

  3. I love the winter weather... just like it from inside not driving around in it. But you're spot on... we are a bunch of wusses

  4. What a fantastic post. Your cousin (and my high school classmate) Christina forwarded this to me after I posted on Facebook that it was 77 degrees and gorgeous out here in San Diego today. I loved your use of "Baby, It's Cold Outside." Leading up to Christmas, I was walking around San Diego with Barbra Striesand's version of "White Christmas" in my head: "The sun is shining/ the grass is green/ the orange and palm trees sway/ There's never been such a day/ in Beverly Hills, LA/ But it's December the 24th/ and I am longing . . . to be . . . up North . . ."

    I got my winter fix during Christmas in Pgh., though! Happy to be back in the sun, eating local strawberries, now.

    Thanks for the smile.

  5. Ha ha if you want wusses just look at the folks down in Miami this week. Of course who am I to comment, Californians aren't much better. It is 59 outside and I am sitting with Conor's room heater blowing directly on me. When it comes right down to it though, I'd rather be cold then hot. You can cuddle up by a fire, layer on the clothing if you are cold.

    Love the old photos...keep them coming!