Each summer and each winter, I get a call from my buddy, Lee, in Chugiak, Alaska. He always asks how my family is doing, then gives me an update on his.
It’s always interesting to hear what he’s been doing since we went opposite directions after several years of living in Enid and being in the A.M. Ambucs chapter together. I mention that because we spent a lot of hours together on community projects that required time outdoors, such as building a park area for handicapped children. Much of the construction was done in typical Oklahoma weather: real cold, or real hot.
Lee and I both are native Oklahomans, so it’s not unusual to talk about weather.
“I was looking on your website (NewsOK) and I see where it’s been pretty hot down there,” he said last summer. “You need to come up for a visit. It’s been around 40 to 50 here about every day since (a date the previous fall).”
I usually always ask the same question: “So, Lee, why DID you move up there.” He gives me his stock reply … something about opportunity and scenery. But I have a suspicious weather had a lot to do with his decision. I don’t recall Lee ever being a fan of heat.
In fact, he’s been known to call when we’re experiencing 100-degree days and remind me that it’s sure nice sitting out on the porch about any time of day and not worry about having a heat stroke.
Am I certain about that preference of his for the cooler clime? Pretty much so. Otherwise, he wouldn’t give me the details of walking in the woods behind his house, near the lake, with snow on the ground. Or brushing a light dusting off his hot tub out back in mid-summer so he could take a morning soak before leaving for work. Or how he, his wife, or daughter enjoy driving when you don’t have to turn on the air conditioner.
He told me last year that he had been spending more time in the Seattle area, due to some family concerns. That was about as close as he could stay to his new home state and stay cool.
For a guy who spent a lot of time in the Oklahoma Panhandle and in Northwest Oklahoma, he’s sure changed his internal thermostat.
Luckily for him, he’s very talented musician, and a very intelligent individual in many other fields. Cool guy with a cool outlook.
“You still need to come up here and spend some time with us,” he says every time we talk.
“You’d get used to it,” Lee said to me once. “We have most everything you would need here to write and edit, if you wanted to keep doing that.”
I do appreciate the offer and someday we just might take that trip. But even with the wonderful scenery such as I’ve seen in Lee’s photos, the thoughts of those walks in the woods, fishing on those icy lakes and enjoying other parts of such a trip, there’s one factor that would probably prevent me from staying long: I can only take the cold so long.