By LEON YOUNGBLOOD
My friend lamented, “I wish Mother Nature would make up her mind!”, and I knew we were in for another discussion about the weather. He then said, “You’re shirking your duty, you know.”
“How so?” I asked.
“You haven’t posted your annual snow cream recipe. Every time you run it, we know there won’t be enough snow to sweep off the porch. You can bet on it. And it’s probably because Mother Nature’s telling you not to tell her what to do.”
I wasn’t offended by the accusation. In fact, I felt a smug satisfaction with it. I said, “Now, look: it’s not just anyone who can impact the weather. This gift I have soothes the irritation I often feel regarding ‘Mother Nature’s’ mood swings. The woman needs professional counseling, maybe even some kind of medicine. I only wish I had recipes to make her send mild, drought-free summers.”
“Don’t start with that! Leave it alone!” my friend scolded. “Just run your darn recipe, and maybe we’ll get by the rest of the year without snow. Look at this miserable weather! It’s tolerable, now, but we were freezing just a few days ago, and in a few days we’ll likely as not be freezing again. I notice you don’t spend too much time at your shack on your overgrown property unless the weather suits you. I’m surprised you’re here now.”
“I do not do too well in cold weather,” I said. “I did spend a particularly cold day and night here, recently. I spent most of it sitting by the propane heater, bundled up in 15 layers of clothing—I headed for warmer lodgings the next morning.”
“Sissy,” the man taunted. “Was that during the frozen spell we had? Hah! I was here the whole time, and I took it.”
“Yeah, you ‘took it,’ all right. You ‘took it’ in your heated cabin by your fireplace and wood-burning stove. You ‘took it’ with a well-stocked pantry and refrigerator, and a bar better stocked and with more variety than the local liquor stores. You ‘took it’ with DVDs, a fancy radio, your laptop computer, but not a single book. You didn’t go outside except, maybe, to get firewood. And if you weren’t a bachelor, you probably would have sent your wife to get it.”
This verbal dart obviously stung. The reprobate protested, “I do have a book! A Gideons’ Bible, in fact!”
“Yeah, well, you probably ‘took’ that, too, from some motel you stayed in.”
Now, do you see? This is what bleak, cold winters do to certain sorts of people after a while. Had my friend been born an Eskimo, or Canadian, or Vermonter, or most any other thing far north of the Mason/Dixon Line, he would be immune to our piddling little Oklahoma winters.
He would be walking around in his underwear, complaining about how heckishly hot 22 degrees felt, and that there ought to be a law against it. But the fellow immigrated to LeFlore County from the Oklahoma panhandle.
He knew the extremes from freezing winters to dry, sweltering summers. His seasons, there out west, provided variety.
It’s the same here, the eastern side of Oklahoma. Weather-wise, variety makes us wimps when it comes to dealing with extremes, and it gives many of us trouble dealing with Hegel’s philosophical Triads, too.
I explained the little bit I knew about Hegelian Triads and winter to my friend. He merely grunted, and said, “Just run your darn snow cream recipe. I don’t want any snow.”
So, for my friend’s benefit, here it is: First, assume it’s snowing. If it is, mix your flavoring ingredients first. Mix one cup of milk with a teaspoon of vanilla (Not the imitation stuff!), and one third of a cup of sugar. Then run out, or better yet, send out one of the kids, and get five or six cups of fresh snow. Mix it all together, and enjoy!
My friend will doubtless appreciate this inclusion in this week’s column. It isn’t sincere, though. I would really like to have a few helpings of snow cream.
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