News
News Home
Quick Bites
Exploradio
News Archive
News Channel
Special Features
NPR
nowplaying
On AirNewsClassical
Loading...
  
School Closings
WKSU Support
Funding for WKSU is made possible in part through support from the following businesses and organizations.

Akron General

Northeast Ohio Medical University


For more information on how your company or organization can support WKSU, download the WKSU Media Kit.

(WKSU Media Kit PDF icon )


Donate Your Vehicle to WKSU

Programs Schedule Make A Pledge Member BenefitsFAQ/HelpContact Us
Ohio


Winter: Ohio's imperfect thread
The longest day of summer is the time to value the balance that comes with winter
by WKSU's PAUL GASTON


Commentator
Paul Gaston
 
Winter in Ohio needs to be treasured during summer in Ohio.
Download (WKSU Only)
In The Region:

For Northeast Ohio, summer is just beginning. But WKSU commentator Paul Gaston points us in another direction.

Gaston on the balance of Northeast Ohio

Other options:
Windows Media / MP3 Download (4:01)


            If you are among the seasonally savvy who celebrate the turn towards spring at the winter solstice, you may be aware that today turns us in a different direction. To be precise, at seven-oh-nine this evening the angle of the earth with respect to the sun will begin to grow wider.

And when that happens, winter will no longer be a distant memory of the past. It will once again lie ahead of us. It becomes inevitable.

            No, it’s not time to exchange our flip-flops for snow boots. Won’t be anytime soon. Thankfully. You can’t do much better than summer in Northeast Ohio. Long days. Cool evenings. But because we are so comfortable, midsummer offers the ideal opportunity to reach a balanced perspective on winter. If you’re shoveling snow or picking yourself up off the ice, you’re hardly in a philosophical mood. But on a calm summer evening? Why not?

The real winter's in store
           So, ignoring the warning about being careful what you wish for, I’m hoping we’ll get a real winter next go round. One with enough snow. Enough that we actually have to shovel it. A couple of nights when the thermometer flirts with zero. Cold deep enough and constant enough to freeze the ponds and skating rinks.  Perhaps a few snow days at the schools.

            It would be ungrateful not to smile at the memory of our mild winter last time around. Cities saved money on salt. Orthopedic surgeons probably saw fewer slip-and-fall victims. We all saved some money on heating costs. It was easier to get around. What’s not to like about that? Not much.

A thread of humility
 And yet. I think of the Middle Eastern weavers who deliberately introduce in their otherwise perfect rugs a less than perfect thread. That deliberate flaw draws attention to the excellence of the rug otherwise. It also reflects a pious admission that only God can achieve perfection.

          What does this have to do with Northeast Ohio? I imagine a kind of balance sheet. On the left side are the Cleveland Orchestra, our many minor league baseball teams, the Metroparks, the Towpath Trail, world-class hospitals, vintage wine growers, superlative art museums, the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame, brewers and brewpubs, a Great Lake and some other pretty great lakes. It’s a long list.

On the other side of the ledger there’s a single entry: winter. And my tag line is, “You do the math.”

            And that’s how I think of winter in these parts. As one liability to offset a long list of assets. As the imperfect thread in an otherwise remarkable carpet. As a reminder that because Northeast Ohio can be a great place to live anytime, we can put up with a challenge for a few months each year. A bumper sticker I saw the other day puts it this way for Cleveland: “You’ve got to be tough!” Well, nothing wrong with that.

Forget I said that 
            So this evening, while you are enjoying a cool lemonade swinging in your hammock under the buckeye tree, brace yourself for that ever so subtle shift, more a nudge than a lurch, as we begin the leisurely drift towards winter. Perhaps a real winter, this time.

            One final word. If we do get a real winter, one with slippery roads and steep heating bills and shortages of salt and cracked pipes and snow too deep for easy shoveling, please forget you ever heard this commentary.

Listener Comments:

Well said. I really enjoyed (and agreed with) this commentary.


Posted by: Frank Buck (Kirtland) on June 21, 2012 3:06AM
Add Your Comment
Name:

Location:

E-mail: (not published, only used to contact you about your comment)


Comments:




 
Page Options

Print this page

E-Mail this page / Send mp3

Share on Facebook




Stories with Recent Comments

Sen. Sherrod Brown announces plans to improve Medicare by lowering prescription costs for seniors
Sounds good. I'm living in Florida to escape the snow. So far it's working. I retired from GM in 2000. Keep pushing for all the working people. In the long run ...

The tiny town that time, and elections, forgot may go out of existence
Thank you for this story. I grew up in Limaville, my parents home is there still...unsellable due to the septic/sewer problem. Sometimes I am sorry I left...wis...

Where Ohio'sJohn Kasich stands in the presidential polls
We are fans of Gov. Kasich since he served in the House of Representatives. It pleases us to finally see him as the potential President of the United States. We...

Air Force unit gets training and Youngstown gets rid of some eyesores
Do they have to totally destroy all the beautiful oak and leaded windows, which I am thinking are probably there? Do they just have to destroy them like that? C...

Jewish challah and Native American fry bread at an Akron cultural exchange
Each time I saw the young students relate to each other, I got goose bumps. These young students can and hopefully will teach all of us to live and respect eac...

One of the Cleveland Orchestra's most celebrated musicians bids farewell
I had the honor of studying with Franklin Cohen in the late 80s and early 90s. He is unparalleled both as a clarinetist and as a musician. His deep personal war...

Summa's dress code is not 'etched in stone'
SOME OF THESE POLICIES ARE A COMPLETE JOKE. UNLESS YOU ARE DOING THESE TYPE OF JOBS EVERY DAY, YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT IS COMFORTABLE AND REASONABLE OR NOT. UNLESS ...

In a crowded, controversial field, Kasich's low-profile may be a boon
I think it should be required that if a candidate wants to use the facilities of one of our state universities to promote him- or herself, they should be requir...

How's Kasich selling in New Hampshire, and what about Iowa?
"If he heads there, says Gomez, he’ll either have to shy away from those issues, flip flop or “stick his finger in their face and say, ‘Yeah, yeah, I expa...

Ohio School Boards Association says new law could mean state takeovers of schools virtually anywhere
It would be nice if the state were this concerned about the dozens of failing charter schools.

Copyright © 2015 WKSU Public Radio, All Rights Reserved.

 
In Partnership With:

NPR PRI Kent State University

listen in windows media format listen in realplayer format Car Talk Hosts: Tom & Ray Magliozzi Fresh Air Host: Terry Gross A Service of Kent State University 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. NPR Senior Correspondent: Noah Adams Living on Earth Host: Steve Curwood 89.7 WKSU | NPR.Classical.Other smart stuff. A Service of Kent State University