Pat Shingleton: "Meteorological Winter and Foreign Objects in Snowballs"
The Mount Washington Observatory in New Hampshire records some of the coldest temperatures in the country. This verifies the definition of two winters, the astronomical winter starting December 21 and ending March 21 and the meteorological winter for those that live farther north. As the meteorological winter is based upon weather, the astronomical winter is based on earth's position in orbit around the sun. The meteorological winter happens only when the average temperature stays below 30 degrees for three months and where the snow depth averages 10 inches for the same period. Some researchers contend that true winter occurs in less than a third of the country on a line from Boston to Salt Lake City to Anchorage. From winter's there to where we grew up... George Seaman raised Beagle dogs for rabbit hunting in the woods of Pennsylvania. George designed a dog pen that included pens at one end and an elevated open area that afforded them a place where they could “do their business.” The meshed pen allowed the dog droppings to fall through the bottom to the ground below. Our snowball battles stretched between the Minnet and Sudano yards, criss-crossing George’s property. The rules of engagement stressed that no “foreign objects” could be injected into a snowball, such as stones and gravel. My brother Kevin abided by the rules but creatively inserted the frozen “do-do” from George’s beagles into the snowball. His direct hit on Johnnie Cornelius’ noggin’ met with the delight of many. Johnnie wasn’t a favorite in the neighborhood.