Northern Girl


Here’s a little weather trivia for you  – January is traditionally the coldest month of the year.  At the time I’m writing this, it’s 36 degrees in Missoula.  In L.A. it’s 80, which sounds tantalizing if you’re sitting at a frozen bus stop, but try wearing UGG boots in it.

The weird thing is that I’ve lived in Los Angeles now longer than I lived in Missoula and I still can’t get used to the heat.  There must be something wrong with me because my niece has lived here for about 3 ½ seconds and she’s in a parka at any temp below 65.  I guess I’m just hot blooded and I’m pretty sure I know why.

When I was little, my sister and I shared a corner bedroom.  It had “windows” on two sides.  I call them windows for lack of a better term.  Each one was really just a tenuous, glassy film that could have easily been breached by a group of determined flies had they been so inclined.  And my bed was right below one of them.  In the winter the glass would be coated with a sheet of ice … on the inside.

Now, sometimes that would come in handy, like at Christmas, when we’d have too much food to fit in the refrigerator.  My parents would just set the leftovers next to my window and it would keep for at least a week.  And hey, what’s better than falling asleep to the smell of stuffing?

Later on, when my oldest sister left the house, the rest of us shuffled bedrooms so that each of us could have our own.  Logic dictates that the youngest and most expendable daughter should have to remain in the ice box – at least that’s how I perceived it, but apparently my parents perceived it differently because they gave little Janie-come-lately the warmer room.  Was it because they liked her better?  Absolutely.

Now, you probably never would have guessed it from reading my uplifting, feel-good blogs but I was not always the ray of sunshine that I am today.  I’m sure my parents wondered on numerous occasions how to handle such a self-willed child like me, and at some point it became clear to them – freeze the little brat out.

It worked.  When I turned 18, I said to myself, “Carol, there’s no way you can survive another winter in this bedroom.  You have to move on.”  And I did.  I moved someplace warm.  But I have stubborn blood and it has a very long memory.  It isn’t about to let me go soft.  Maybe it suspects that one day I’ll return to Missoula and its harsh winters.

And that starts to lead me to think that maybe my theory about my folks was wrong.  Maybe keeping me in the deep freeze wasn’t intended to get me to move out after all.  Maybe it was intended to get me to move back.

… Nah.

Missing Missoula

CC the Trained Monkey

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BIO:  Carol Chrest is a bitter old spinster living in Los Angeles. When she’s not working ridiculous hours at her cruddy day job, she writes screenplays.  She drinks.  Back to CC’s Blog homepage.