Quitting Winter (Leaving New Jersey)

28 Dec

I came to New Jersey from Texas in March of 1988. Wichita Falls, Texas to be exact. I came for a job at WJLK AM/FM and with my then wife Merry. March in Wichita Falls was pretty much Spring: temps in the 50s and 60s. New Jersey was icy, windy and about 24 degrees. talk about your rude surprises.

Seventeen years and counting…

I grew up, mostly, in Northern Virginia, just outside Washington DC. Weather there was pretty much the same as New Jersey. Here’s where the ‘mostly’ comes in. My father worked for the Operations Evaluation group of the Center for Naval Analysis. A big think tank that did all sorts of stuff for the Navy. To this day I still don’t know what Dad worked on, except that it involved math that would make Albert Einstein throw up his hands in frustration and say “Oy VEY!” in a loud voice.

Anyway, as a part of the job he took assignments to various Naval Bases. I was born in Key West. Moved to Northern VA when I was about 4 months old. Then to China Lake, near Ridgecrest CA (in the Mojave Desert) when I was 2. then to Norfolk VA when I was 4. At the age of ten we went to Kailua, Hawaii for a year. in 1972 we went back to Hawaii for two years where I graduated high school

Get the picture? I lived several places where it was, and got used to it being warm, year round. I liked it there. Mom confessed that she missed the change of seasons. I have heard other people say the same thing. My reaction to that?

 

Are You Out Of Your Fucking Mind?

 

All that said New Jersey. is Not. All. That. Bad. (ahem…). Ignoring the opening credits from The Sopranos which shows New Jersey at it’s ugliest. There are things to recommend it. I won’t bore you with a list except to say none of that makes up for the six months of cold weather you get every year for part of Fall, Winter and part of Spring.

 

Just before I left New Jersey The Daily Show ran a report on New Jersey looking for a new slogan.
If you lived in New Jersey at the time you laughed your ass off.
An excellent going away present!

trafficnj trafficnj-logo njafternoon

 

When I left New Jersey in the Winter of 2005 I lived just to the West of where the blue and orange lines crossed. To those of you NJ-Impaired that would be Interstate 195 and the Turnpike, respectively.

 

I’m thinking that “NJ-Impaired” might be an oxymoron, but let’s not stray too far off the path.

 

In the ensuing 18 years, I get out of the radio biz, changed jobs and girlfriends a few times and buy my first place, a townhouse in the desirable Monmouth Walk sub-development in Monmouth Junction, South Brunswick Township New Jersey. A nice 2 bedroom place with plenty of room. And thanks to the booming real estate market (and no thanks to my (now seemingly defunct -no surprise there) worthless real estate agency I was able to sell it for enough profit to finance my move to a warmer climate. Or so I thought.


austinweather

This is what I expected my local weather to look like when I arrived in Austin in early December

 

On the day I was scheduled to leave for Texas there was a winter storm a-brewin’. Quick like a bunny I called and changed my reservations from the next morning to later that same evening and hauled my ass up to Newark Airport before Mom Nature dumped several inches of white powder on the east coast.

One thing I never knew is that if you make last minute airline reservations changes you are then singled out to get special treatment at the security checkpoint at the airport. After an intense search with a metal detector and being thoroughly patted down (no doubt amusing to the throngs of onlookers still in line) I headed out to the gate to my plane.

And thanks to this last minute change I couldn’t get my preferred seat in an exit row (leg room is nonexistent in a regular seat) I got squeezed into a center seat with a moron in front of me who decided to put his seat all the way back and ignore my requests that he move it up, just a little. My knees are still sore. Remind me to never make any more last minute airline changes.

 

So I get to Austin around midnight and the local temp is 29. Let me repeat that.

Austin temperature was 29 degrees. Adding insult to injury the ground was covered in ice. Seems Austin experienced a cold snap. Temps averaged 20 degrees below normal. A going away present from New Jersey?

A couple of weeks later and the record lows turn into record highs and it gets into the upper seventies.

Quitting winter, Indeed!

Originally posted before I added WordPress to this site. Published date is approximate.

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