Officially, there are about nine weeks of winter left. I'm not totally sick of the cold, but only because this winter has been mild by normal standards -- at least the standards set during the past four years in Greenville.
My heating bill for December was only about 70 percent of what it was last year. I'm okay with that.
Last week had a few fairly cold days, but it looks like we will be back to highs in the upper 50s in the next day or so.
In South Florida, we measured winter's intensity by the number of nights the temperature fell below 50F. It was probably never more than ten and those came in fits and spurts of two or three nights at a time.
Although I like a little cold weather, I can do without four or five weeks of highs in the 30s. A week of that would be fine with maybe a two-inch snowfall thrown in for good measure.
I'm driving the $44,995 Land Rover Range Rover Evoque Coupe this week. It's the third AWD or 4WD vehicle I've had in the past month.
From the school of what can go wrong will, no doubt my supply of AWD vehicles will dry up just as the first flakes of a six-inch accumulation begin falling. It will send me to my front yard, arms wide spread, looking into the snow-filled sky yelling, "why? why?"
Well, not really; it would be nice to have a 4x4 if and when the snows come, but if not, I'll just do what I have every other snow event: sit home, drink Irish coffee and relish the fact I don't have to be anywhere.
Our one significant -- by Greenville standards -- snow last year was a whopping four to five inches. We don't see snow plows or cinder trucks -- I'm not even sure if Greenville has either -- where I live. Our philosophy is: God brought it; let God take it away.
Because my driveway is a rather steep incline up to the road and the road has two steep inclines between my house and the main road, I'm basically stuck until spring...or until the sun comes out, whichever comes first.
Last year I was lucky enough that the morning after our one "big" snow, a Ford Explorer 4x4 showed up on my doorstep as if delivered by the "we don't want you to be trapped" elves.
It was glorious. I was zipping around Greenville without a care in the world. Of course, I had nowhere to go. Absolutely everything was closed. Schools were closed for a week. But I did take advantage of the Explorer's excellent snow capability and drove all over town.
I got a lot of stern looks from folks stranded in their driveways, wishing they too could drive to nowhere.
I'm getting a lot of looks in the Evoque, too, basically because it's a head turner. From the outside, it doesn't even appear anyone could sit in the backseat. Not so.
Granted the radically raked roofline robs a bunch of headroom, but I have about two inches of clearance back there. Anyone 5'10" or taller, however, is not going to be very pleased. Getting to the second-row seat is made somewhat easier thanks to a power adjustment that rolls either of the front seats forward to make room for climbing into the back.
No doubt one reason it's garnering so much attention here is that it may be the only one on the streets in Greenville. I sure haven't notice another one.
All things considered, I'd much rather be getting admiring looks from the curious than nasty ones from the stranded.
Nine weeks and counting.