It all started by my wife asking, "When can we move to a cooler climate? I am sick of this 100 degree weather for months on end!"
That led to me doing my yearly search for a more reasonable summer state to live in, which always has me yearning to be Canadian then looking at the west coast, then Maine. This year however, I added affordable states to live-in, and cross referenced them to cooler climates.
NOW THE FOLLOWING IS CONFIDENTIAL AND I AM TRUSTING YOU NOT TO BLAB THIS INFORMATION TO OTHERS AND CAUSE THE AREA TO OVER POPULATE BEFORE I GET IN ON THE GROUND FLOOR.... am I concerned about the general population seeing this protected information on a public blog...? UH... have you seen the number of hits I get a year? I think the secret is safe!
The most perfect place in the Universe, with upward mobility, nice climate, similar job opportunities for my degree and work experience and an overall Freakin Cool Place to live... Canton Ohio.
Yeah Canton! While it has cooler winters it has super mild summers. Oklahoma will stay around 100 degrees from July 1 to September 15 and then will hit 90-100 several times up until November or mid December. Canton exceeds 90 degrees maybe 7 times a freakin year dude! SEVEN! We might exceed 110 seven times a year! It has a booming economy compared to Oklahoma, it has a much higher level of educated people compared to Oklahoma, it has way lower poverty than Oklahoma and did I mention it only exceeds 90 degrees something like 7 times a freakin year?!! The final kicker... Canton has cheaper housing than Tulsa. Oh and every year the first NFL football game played will be the pre-season Hall of Fame game in Canton Ohio! Which means Joe Montana will probably be there every year.
So I am telling the family where our new dream home will be located and the boy (future leader of the world) asks me if that is near the Great Lakes. It is, by the way, but just far enough South that it doesn't have snow squalls.
"Yes it is son, can you tell me which lake it might be near?"
He struggles a bit and ventures, "Yukon?"
All of my attention is not suddenly focused on the boy who hopes to start driving this fall with a learner's permit, "uh... did you say Yukon?" I snicker a bit, "Can you name any of the other Great Lakes?"
I should point out that for most of his life I have had my study wall covered in a huge dry/erase map of the continental United States and I know the kids spent hours and hours studying it as they progressed through Elementary, Middle and now High School. "There is that big one... Superior..and Yukon.. eh..Ohio.... um..." his voice trailed off.
"Yes Superior, Yukon, Ohio, Erie.." I jumped in so I could help him out. "Any others? ...how about Ontario?"
"No," he shook his head. "I think it is named for some place in Canada."
Now, as a certified History and Geography teacher, I am getting wound up with pride in my progeny. "So do you know what people do up on the Great Lakes around Ohio, like on the Great Lake Ohio? They Ice Fish! Can you imagine, fishing for ice? But they do, they cut holes in the top of the lake and fish for ice cubes. Then they turn around and sell those to the Eskimos so they can make Igloos. That's where they came up with the saying, 'Can sell ice cubes to an Eskimo.'"
"No way!" the boy comes alive with suspicion. "Now I know you are full of crap! It's hard to tell with you but you went too far. I know what ice fishing is and they don't fish for ice they fish for fish."
"Son, son son..." I say sadly while shaking my head. "See once again you have jumped to conclusions due to your limited education and lack of experience. I, on the other hand am a man of the world that has been all over and watched a lot of TV. In fact, as far as you know I might have been ice fishing on the Great Lake Ohio and turned in my day's catch for cash from the Eskimos."
"You did not!" He semi-laughs and screams in protest. "You don't even like to fish!"
"I don't like to fish for fish because I don't enjoy killing or hurting animals." I countered. "But this was different. Up there we just fished for ice cubes which we could sell. Actually I didn't sell mine. The place I fished for ships them off to a nearby prison where the prisoners turn the big ice cubes into little ice cubes and sells it as crushed ice to restaurants all around the country."
"That's not true! It is so obvious you are so full of crap your ears are turning brown." Then he leans in and says in a stage whisper, "I'm not gullible like Mom."
"Son at 15 you think you know everything in the world and that's the attitude that will hold you back from success in the real world. Have you ever been ice fishing?" I asked
He looked guarded, "No."
"Have you ever met anybody beside me that has gone ice fishing?"
"Not that I know of..."
"Then at this point you have to admit I am the area expert on the matter. Where the heck do you think crushed ice comes from anyway? It certainly doesn't grow on trees and it is way too hot around here to make the amount of ice that is used in restaurants. Nope it comes from colder climates and they use prison labor to crush the ice. They used to also let the prisoners make shaved ice but they had to quit because the inmates were making shanks and shivs out of the ice razors."
My son retreated to the only defense he had left, "I am not listening to you anymore! I know you are full of crap and I am not listening."
"Yep they made the prisons stop allowing the inmates to make shaved ice and now only the juvenile prisoners can make it down in juvy hall. You know that's where the expression 'Little Shavers' comes from. You have heard of that expression haven't you?"
"I hate you." he mumbles from between teeth clinched to keep from grinning.
7 months ago