Who would have thought exercising mischievous behavior over Christmas would have resulted in the opportunity to hear a a personal testimony of the impact of global warming?
I spent Christmas an hour north of Manhattan in a house that sits on the 50 wooded acres painted above. My boyfriend and I set out in snow gear to explore the property which entailed crossing a creek to leave the manicured yard. Rising temperatures had flooded our bridge with melting snow and ice. My boyfriend was ready to call it quits and head back inside to play Guitar Hero since our only alternative was to use the neighbor’s bridge to cut across. He changed his mind after a few minutes of taunting and peer pressure.
Of course, I had to eat my words. No sooner had we crossed the bridge than the neighbor came storming out of his house yelling “Hey! HEY! What do you think you’re doing?!” I thought his thunderous voice might shake icicles loose from the trees to strike us down.
With our tails between our legs we walked toward the white-haired gentleman to explain our (my) weak reasoning. He quickly changed his demeanor and politely explained his boisterous reaction was due to the vandals who been on his property a few weeks prior. We made peace and transitioned into a 20 minute chat about his 3 decades spent on the property. “When I first moved here, there were several days every year when the temperature would be 20 below. It would be in the negative teens for a couple of weeks. Now here it is Christmas and it’s 40.” A comment about global warming skeptics was followed by an eye roll.
Take-a-ways from my soupy-snow Christmas adventure:
- Observant baby-boomers who stay in one place for an extended amount of time make excellent citizen climatologists
- Only coax an unwilling cohort into trespassing with you if you’re certain you’re not going to get caught