Nothing in the world is perfect. And the weather is here to teach you that lesson.

All the people I know that live here who brag about our weather to our Northern brethren, yeah, they can all shut up now.

Because, guess what, even if it doesn’t get cold here a lot when it does, it doesn’t play around. This year we’ve had single digit windchills, ice storms (we’re not good enough for snow) and all 4 seasons in 2 days. Today it is 70 degrees, tonight it will dip below freezing. I am not even kidding you. I’m not even sure why anyone who lives here would bother to brag about our weather anyway because we have the four seasons in a day phenomenon regularly, it is so hot in the summer you want to peel your skin off and we have our piece de resistance: HURRICANES. Like as a regular thing. Yeah, the beach is great when there is not 8 feet of storm surge and 85 mph winds…

And then when we do have unexpected weather (read: ice) people go all ape and scream about school make-up days and the fact that we don’t have plows (which, incidentally don’t work on ice and make a lot of sense to have and maintain when you need them once every 4-5 years at most). All the northerners decide to go ugly and make fun of/criticize stuff and I’m all: if it’s so crappy down here and so great where you came from here’s an idea: GO HOME! But they know it’s no better up north where communities have already blown through their plowing, salt and sand budgets for the winter. Some before Christmas! And it’s even funnier when they say “there’s six feet of snow on the ground and kids are going to school in (insert northern or mid-western state of your choice).” Because snow is one thing, ice another. A report on NPR had an NJ transplant being interviewed in Raleigh, NC a few weeks ago who said, “I couldn’t drive on ice in Jersey either. And neither could anyone else!” Yeah, good to remember transplants. Not to mention, I have friends up north and in the mid-west all over facebook and twitter who have lost spring break for snow days, not to mention had days added on the end of the year and lost teacher workdays. But here Spring Break is a sacred cow we can’t give up but don’t let that stop you from complaining that a few minutes were added to your child’s school day.

I’ve lived up north, albeit when I was very young. I grew up in the South. Let me tell everyone something, both places are miserable. Yep, we’re both at the mercy of the weather and none of us can control it so there you are. It’s miserable. We can dress accordingly for one kind of weather and soon be fighting with another kind. We can own all the equipment and not have the money to run it or own none of it and become stranded in our homes. We can praise God for warm sand and cool water and curse Him for roofs ripped off and rotting dry wall.

Guess what, everything here is temporary. Everything here is flawed. Nothing here is worth bragging about. Nothing is that big a deal. And once we get that through our thick skulls, well, then, maybe then, we focus on what is perfect and eternal. We can live in joy and love regardless of weather, school calendars, and budgets. Once our goal is not the here and now, how free will we be?