The subject of the mild winter came up last weekend. With family patriarchs around the table I suppose it was inevitable.
My time and event continuum is tenuous; I’ll take most anyone’s assertion of a date and a fact as gospel. My brother Walt said, apropos summer leapfrogging spring this year, winter was so mild twenty nine years ago he rode his motor cycle to work every day but one, when it snowed.
How did he remember that? Well, the next year he was transferred to another city for his job. Oh. Jan backed that up by saying Yes, that was the year mom broke her shoulder. Mom said “Let’s go home, Dutch,” to the Doberman, who immediately took her down Walt’s steps and through Walt’s motorcycle to get home. And Walt’s motorcycle was on the sidewalk in December because he was still riding it to work.
I wondered if I could find out anything about that winter and asked my friend, Mr. Google. He immediately sent me to a 1984 Ohio Journal of Science article devoted to the winter of 1982-83 in Ohio. The winter was among the mildest of the 20th century, warm and rainy, record high temperatures set, due to the jet stream coming from the west and south west for the season, and warmed by El Nino.
Another proven fact and it happened just twenty nine years ago. I can remember mom calling some winter we all lived here an “open” winter. It didn’t mean much to me at the time except to realize she meant it was mild. I’m sure I won’t be lucky enough to turn up another Ohio Journal of Science citing some winter between 1988 and 1997 as mild, so we’ll take her word for it.
The term open winter may come from sea faring times, when the water was open, or ice free. On the first day of spring here in Northeastern Ohio, our magnolia is open. Completely unheard of.
I read in the morning paper that the seasonal ice cream stands are opening early. Now that’s worth a look.