Zionsville Times Sentinel

January 29, 2014

Living in blissful ignorance

Zionsville Times Sentinel

---- — There is an old saying that ignorance is bliss, and I never really accepted it as being true. I like to know things. With the recent cold spell, though, I am starting to believe that ignorance can be bliss given the right set of circumstances. I don’t know if it is a function of being older, but I am way more averse to cold weather than in my youth. I don’t think I ever minded it as a kid, but that may be because I was ignorant of the fact that there is always someplace warm on this big blue marble if you know how to book a flight. My family never travelled. We didn’t do the family summer vacation to Yellowstone in a station wagon with no air conditioning, stopping along the way at rest stops to eat food mom had packed in a cooler. We never went skiing in the Rockies. We never went to the beach. We never knew what we were missing.

My first experience with travel happened when I was 24 and got married. That trip was a flight to Florida. I fell in love with travel — not the act of traveling, but the experience of seeing somewhere new. That trip was in October, though, and I didn’t discover the joy that is the beach until a few years later.

Who would have thought that a landlubber of a Midwestern girl would fall so truly, madly, deeply in love with the beach? Certainly not me, but I am a total devotee of warm, sunny beaches — which brings me to my point. I never knew to hate winter because I didn’t know what warm sand was, let alone that it existed in the middle of winter. None of the people I knew ever went to warmer climates in the winter.

The people I grew up with were in the same, frozen boat as me. We just hunkered down in our winter coats and waited for the sweet arrival of spring, completely unaware that those in the know were somewhere basking in the sun. And we were happy. At least we thought we were happy.

Then we got older and learned about spring break. Of course, I am from an era when spring breakers were 90 percent college kids out for a big party. They still exist, but in a much smaller percentage than when I was that age. The mix these days is a lot of families with little people enjoying a break from cold temps back home. Now that I know spring break can mean warm beaches, I want to be away from the cold and snow more than an addict wants another hit. Thoughts of warm, sunny beaches occupy my every waking moment and fill me with a loathing for winter that I never thought possible. I don’t think the problem lies with winter, though. She is still the same soul-sucking beast she has always been. I think the problem lies with me, and the fact that I am no longer living in blissful winter ignorance. Amy Rodriguez is a writer living in Hendricks County. You can read more of her work at rubymay1029.blogspot.com.