Last updateTue, 24 Nov 2015 12am



Go with the FLOW

Columns2Doesn’t cold weather just make everything sort of sparkle?

The sky is a deep crystal blue, the ground is crisp and the frost fairly twinkles on the grass.


Who am I fooling?

I live in Florida – the “Sunshine State.”

People who like the cold live in places like Alaska and Wisconsin and North Dakota.

I strive to avoid the cold.

At the first hint of cold weather - that being anything below 60 degrees, out come the sweaters, coats and blankets.  Below 50 degrees and the scarves and gloves come out.  Once the thermometer dips below 40 degrees, it’s all bets off.

In other words, when the temperature is in the 20s, it’s time to declare a state of emergency.

In this bone-chilling weather, nobody should be required to leave their homes unless they are first responders.

And I only offer this caveat so readers won’t think I am crazy.

Who would take care of the sick and the real crazies that believe an arctic blast is exhilarating and then go to great lengths to prove it by performing some ill-advised activity that is somehow related to freezing weather?

When my children were going through their teen years, I used the often repeated dire warning that “nothing good happens after midnight” in an effort to keep them on the straight and narrow.  I realize now this didn’t always work, but I do believe it was an effective deterrent from time to time and probably saved a few grey hairs and worry lines.

There is a parallel between “after midnight” and “temperatures in the 20s.”

In my book, there is absolutely nothing good to come from sub-freezing weather…in Florida.

You may argue that snow skiing, ice skating, and all those other frigid sporting activities are wonderful.

I’m not buying it.

We live in Florida, the Sunshine State, and we don’t do those things.

We do water skiing, inline skating, surfing, boating, fishing, swimming and a multitude of wonderful activities that require warm, or better yet - hot weather.

There is simply no place in Florida for cold weather.

Cold weather is an unfortunate environmental health hazard.

Think about this:

Cold weather dries skin, turns noses red, makes eyes water and chaps lips.

Listen to your body, folks.  It’s trying to tell you something.

Cold weather is unhealthy. Avoid it.

Think about this:

How many times did you hear about the authorities in some northern state declaring “snow days” last winter?

It seemed like nearly every week there were at least two to three days declared “snow days,” meaning that workers stayed home, children didn’t go to school and they all stayed snuggly tucked inside.  I remember two separate occurrences of nearly a week-long snow “day.”

Don’t get me wrong.  I do not doubt the serious issues of snow drifts, slick roads, zero visibility, etc.

It’s just that these folks are on to something.

In Florida, we have become accustomed to toughing it out, at the expense of our health.

I say, “No more!”

As Floridians, our bodies have adapted to warmer weather, and when faced with loss of warmth induced by extreme cold, our bodies react by engaging in an attempt at self-preservation.

How else can you explain the skin, nose, eyes and lips?

The only plausible explanation is that our bodies are transitioning into what I call the Florida Loss Of Warmth mode, or FLOW for short.

The solution?

Simple: Avoid the cold.

Stay indoors.

Refrain from going outside when temperatures dip below 30 degrees.

Time to stay home … and take a FLOW day.

And for goodness sakes, none of those dumb cold weather stunts like diving into a freezing body of water all the while pretending that it’s “no big deal” while your body turns a ghastly shade of blue, your teeth chatter and your eyes start rolling back in your head.

Trust me.

Nothing good happens after midnight, and nothing good happens when it’s 20 degrees outside.

Think FLOW, stay warm and prosper!