Mark Twain sarcastically commented that the coldest winter he ever spent was a summer in San Francisco, and even San Franciscans reluctantly agree in a rare self-deprecating moment. But being caught in the last snowstorm of the century in New York, I think Mark Twain ought to retract his statement. New York definitely gets the prize for the hassles one has had to endure in the soon-to-be infamous Winter of 2015.
Concerned family members have been asking me how I am faring with the weather. To be honest, it hasn’t really sunk into my path of denial yet. Until today. Fun over. I checked the list of weather stats for my favorite world cities that I track every now and then. How can NYC top the list as the coldest spot of 20? It apparently is doing so, beating out Dunhuang in the middle of Gansu and Tashkent in Uzbekistan. OK, so I cheat and have a string of Bay Area cities, but it’s the being HERE and not there that gives me the shake up call.
So I did the common sense thing and went out in the middle of the storm.
I met my dear friend Lisa, whom I had met in Hong Kong from the 70’s, when she was looking for a job and got in touch with me through a Berkeley connection. It was great to catch up with her after a long absence of 15 years since the last time we met in NYC. It was the first winter after 9/11 and New York at that time felt like a ghost town.
This time, Lisa met me at our designated lunch spot on the Upper East Side near the Metropolitan. Originally we had talked about going to visit a museum together. We abandoned that idea after glancing at the window periodically and realizing that staying in a nice cozy spot was a winner. We ended up chatting for hours. We switched mid-stream to another location for a change of pace but we kept our conversation going full steam. The venues hardly mattered, we had so much to catch up on–kids, family, work, travel, Board volunteering, and everything in between.
Lisa’s warmth and energy haven’t changed at all. It was gratifying to know and see an old friend the same in the best of ways. We have both been very lucky to have shared the same values and enjoyed similar interests throughout life.
Yes, life is short. But don’t let the weather get you down. It will be a sunny day tomorrow.