Friday, January 21, 2011

Winter

I sure do whine about weather a lot.

In my defense, I am a fair, sensitive-skinned Californian, who has never known humidity or iciness in my entire memory. (Yes, I was born in Korea, but I was three years old when we immigrated. I don't think those early summers and winters in Korea count.)

The things about winter, real winter, that I never knew:

- I am capable of not being able to feel my nose.
- I've never before in my life needed gloves or mittens, until now. All previous purchases were merely decorative, but I'm glad I bought them.
- My skin will get red, wind-chapped, turn rough, and then peel off. As though I've gotten sunburned.
- The sun in New Mexico is very deceptive. Though sunrise is later, the sun comes up and stays up, and is bright, lying to my face about how cold it is outside.
- Grocery stores actually have less produce. I never even imagined that weather would play a factor in the regular, non-seasonal produce that I buy, because nothing changes in California. Here, about half the produce shelves are sad and empty, and I can only find heartier vegetables that survive the freezing temperatures and/or the long truck rides from out-of-state.
- One pair of pants isn't enough. And though I never appreciated them before, pantyhose and nylons and even long trouser socks are my new best friends.
- Thermals WORK.
- Even my hair can feel cold.

The temperature here has actually gotten quite a bit better. Still cold, to the point that I am wearing scarves and jackets and wool socks (I have a newly found and very fervent adoration of wool), and open-toed shoes are completely out of the question. But not as cold as it was just a week ago.

The thing that amazed (still amazes) me is going shopping for fruits and vegetables. I pretty regularly visit three different stores, and all of them were sad and depleted of their stock of more delicate vegetables. Everyone's got potatoes and onions and chard, sure, but even lettuce is getting scarcer. I can't find tomatoes, even the depressing almost-red ones. I certainly can't find kale, which is surprising, since I always considered it a very tough vegetable. All things that I had no problem getting in the dead of "winter" in LA.

Nobody warns you that come winter in a city with seasons, your food shopping experience changes. It was the one thing that sort of surprised me, then confused me, and now I'm amazed by. Isn't this the reason refrigerated trucks were invented? I can buy eclairs made in Vegas, but I can't find a nice artichoke?

Winter is so weird.

2 comments:

Amanda January 21, 2011 at 9:56 PM  

Has it been cold enough that your snot freezes INSIDE your nose when you inhale? If not, it's not actually cold yet.

And yes, that really happens. Trust me, I'm from Minnesota.

jeanny January 27, 2011 at 10:05 AM  

No, that hasn't happened to me. That sounds pretty horrendous!