February 2011 Issue
Editor's Note: Mercury Falling
Ah, February in Ohio. Time to ponder the perennial question: “Cold enough for you?”
In our perpetual search to discover the truth about all things Ohio, for 12 months we dispatched our editors to elevators across the state — from Cincinnati to Ashtabula, from Portsmouth to Sandusky, from Marietta to Defiance — to determine the most frequently asked question between the lobby and the roof.
You might think it’s “How are you?” And you would be right — 10 months of the year. But in Ohio, the question is seasonal. It just wouldn’t be February here if you weren’t asked the “Cold enough for you?” question a bazillion — roughly speaking — times a day.
So it’s “How are you?” for 10 months and “Cold enough for you?” for one. Do we really need to tell you what fills out the 12? Oh, come on. Are you an Ohioan or not, for pity’s sake?
For those of you who are not Ohio born and bred — we forgive you, by the way, because evidently you finally found your way — we will give you a hint: The question is asked in July.
Yes, of course: “Hot enough for you?”
As your bones rattle and teeth chatter this month, it is important to keep that question in mind. Imagine: In just five months, you’ll be seeking an air-conditioned respite from the heat.
And we Ohioans wouldn’t have it any other way. We can only shake our heads at all those states where, in reality, there is only a season or two. Here in Ohio, each of the four seasons is as distinct from one another as … well, as snowflakes.
So for now let’s revel in the winter. That great author “Unknown” even gave us the “Ohio Winter Poem” to celebrate the season in rhyme:
It’s winter in Ohio
And the gentle breezes blow
Seventy miles an hour
At twenty-five below.
Oh, how I love Ohio
When the snow’s up to your butt
You take a breath of winter
And your nose gets frozen shut.
Yes, the weather here is wonderful
So I guess I’ll hang around
I could never leave Ohio
‘Cause I’m frozen to the ground!
Happy sledding, and see you next to the fireplace.