So the kids are stuck at home due to a blizzard that has brought everything to a halt out East.

Ever try to explain snow to a Mexican, or anyone else for that matter, who has never seen it? Doesn’t work, believe me.

Nieve y mucho viento (snow and much wind) just does not describe a blizzard even when I raise my hand to the 3, 4, or 5 foot level to indicate how high. They will whistle or cluck their tongues but they really cannot grasp the concept.

Popapetepel, Mexican volcanoPictures of snow on the volcano are about as close as most people come to the real thing.

Stay safe and warm everyone.

Caliente y Frio (Hot and Cold)

These are the words of the day in honor of my friend, Vanessa, who left this morning to visit her family in Wisconsin. It will be an adventure for sure.

When I awoke I checked the temperature and she is in for a shock when she lands.
Taxco    59 with sunshine and a high expected of 78
Madison   -5 with a high expected of only 14

At Posade de Mision, Taxco, MexicoVanessa has not been to Wisconsin in the winter for many years and I am afraid her “blood has been thinned,” as it is said, by many years in a warm climate. A couple weeks ago, we had a cold spell here, everyone was “freezing.” She admitted one morning that she was so cold the night before that she had a hard time sleeping. Finally she got up to check the temperature and was shocked to see that it was only 61 degrees. Oh my!!!!

Yet, despite her “thin blood,” she is looking forward to seeing and playing in the snow.A I am sure she will be warmed from the inside out by her family’s love.

Vanessa & Blue BearA heated house, plenty of warm clothing, and a hot tub will help too. (I want a picture of that!) She may even find Taxco muy caliente when she returns in a few weeks.

Bien Viaje! Nos vemos pronto!
Safe travels! See you soon!

Leaving on a Jet Plane — and just in time too!

I head South for several months in the winter but not just to trade snow, ice, and cold for sunny and warm. Really, as we used to tell my mother-in-law who complained that we did not visit her in Florida over the winter, “You can’t ski on gravel!”

bb_cable_car-qprI love snow  — skiing, snowshoeing, building snowmen, snowball fights, even shoveling — yes really, it is invigorating! (As long as there is not too much at one time.) What I don’t like or perhaps what doesn’t like me is forced air heat.

So here it is December, in Wisconsin, cool (some say cold) days and even cooler nights, and I still have my windows open. I don’t mean just cracked either — OPEN to let the fresh air in and the heated forced air out.  You cannot do that all winter, thus, I escape to a warmer clime.

In winters past, the heat would come on in the fall, I would leave my windows open as long as I could stand it, but about mid-December the snow would come and the temperatures drop and eventually I had to close up and deal with the fumes from the  furnace and the dust from the vents filling my living space with a large dose of unhealthiness.

After one particularly long, cold winter, I decided to leave the heated living space behind and headed to Florida, where I lived in my van in a state park during the coldest winter in Florida history. It may have been colder than usual, but the air was fresh and unheated. That winter was the healthiest I had felt in years and the beginning of my annual “Escape from Wisconsin.”

I just saw the weather report and I am leaving just in time. Today is an above average 50 degrees, perfect for cleaning out the car for storage and loading in my suitcases. Travel day will be a more seasonable mid-20s, and the day after I leave the deep freeze arrives with wind chills by the end of the weekend expected to hit 30 below!

It’s time to go.