Things are relative, but this account is really funny to me. Some people won’t get it, but others may find it quite amusing as well. The ones who do get it will tend to live in the states that are more northern than Central Texas.
I must first report the bias from which I write. I grew up along the northern border of Tennessee, an area that often gets some of the nasty weather that blows over St. Louis, Missouri. We had snow and ice every winter and heavy, warm clothing to deal with it. Then I moved north and lived over thirty years in three states in the US Midwest, in Illinois, Ohio, and Nebraska. Rough winter weather was normal.
Then we retired and moved to San Diego for a time and then to Austin, Texas, where it’s warmer and colder than San Diego. The winter in Austin and Central Texas this season has been considerably colder than normal.
From this obvious bias, last night Ellen and I heard a local news report from NBC’s Austin affiliate, KXAN, which made us laugh hysterically. You should know that Ellen is a Chicago native. We are in the midst of another cold front that brought a mixture of light rain, sleet, and a skim of snow in parts of Central Texas. Our driveway this morning was clear of ice in many places with only a skim of ice in others.
A local newscaster last night reported the lead story—weather—that included an interview with a lady in Cedar Park, Texas, a town of about 58,000 residents on the northwest edge of Austin about fifteen miles from our house. The exciting news from Cedar Park, as judged by our local KXAN news team, was that the lady interviewed said her mother actually had to use an ice scraper on her car windows! This was big news around here!
Ellen and I roiled with laughter at what we obviously considered an extremely funny report. The only other time I laughed so hard at a local news report was the July we moved to San Diego nearly fourteen years ago and a local radio reporter recounted that a park ranger said it was “horribly hot” when the temperature reached 84 degrees Fahrenheit! It gets considerably hotter than this in Central Texas during much of the year, and I start feeling a little chilly when the temperature falls to 84 degrees.
My apologies to those Central Texans who may have come here from south Florida, the Gulf coast states, or the southernmost reaches of the Southwestern part of the United States. Having to use an ice scraper, many of these people probably would write home about it as a terrible or bizarre hardship.
I don’t mean to make light of our fine local KXAN news team, either. They do a great job day after day. Maybe they will give us another exciting report when the weather warms up enough in March and shave ice, or snow cones in some parts of the country, go back on sale around town.
Breaking news update: About two hours after I posted this story, we watched our local KXAN station again report on the unusually harsh weather in Central Texas. Showing a map of the area with much of it covered in white, yet a different newscaster said, “We got a lot of snow and ice in the area. It measured one-tenth of an inch across this area,” as he explained with bated breath. [Emphasis mine.] There were reports of a number of traffic accidents this morning, but no fatalities as far as we know. It’s bad here.