My Thoughts on Winter
If you hate winter and are easily depressed – read on at your own risk. 😁
This is the time of year that ignites the depression genes inside me and I really have to fight back hard to put out all those little depressing fires that remind me that…
A. Christmastime is over
B. All the happy lights and Christmas decorations are down and the world is back to its blah, drab, winter attire.
C. The days are short and cold and the nights are longer and colder.
And every time I venture out of my house for the next two (or three) months, I’m going to have to dress like an astronaut preparing for a trip to the moon.
OK. Maybe that’s an exaggeration – but there’s not too much hyperbole going on there. Yesterday, the windchill was five degrees (F), which is minus 15 degrees to all of you using the metric system. No matter what system you use – that’s cold. Right?
And around here in the winter you can count on a breeze. If you can call a mini-gale a “breeze”. There are two constants about winter here in the Great Lakes region of the good old US of A:
1. It’s going to be cloudy.
2. It’s going to be windy.
I could have added a third constant – it’s going to be cold. But most winters lately have been milder – not “warm” and still miserable, but not spine-cracking cold. Global warming? Or just a quirk of nature? Who knows?
But clouds and wind we have aplenty. Not that I’d want to but if dared wear a baseball cap I’d end up chasing it down the street as the wind would tear it off my head and blow it around like a dry tumbleweed. And clouds? In the winter, you can see the clouds from both sides now – and it looks the same. A dull, gray blanket of woe – from horizon to horizon. Just gray. Nothing but gray. By February, I’ll forget what the sun looks like.
Anyway, this winter is not playing nice – not that many winters do -and we have days of aching cold then a few days of just cold then back to the aching cold. The cycle has been set. And this winter’s personality has emerged. There are two kinds of cold here… the kind that freezes your spine when even think about going outside and the kind that feels like someone threw you into a bathtub full of ice water.
Oh sure… they’ll be a day or two when winter grins its evil grin and tosses a few softball spring-like days at me. And like a fool who does not know better, I’ll think – more like dream – that winter is moderating and the spine-freezing, ice-cube-bath days are over – and spring has conquered the devilish winter. Hope springs anew – no pun intended.
You’d think that after all of the decades of winters I’ve experienced and I’ve endured, I’d have a little more sense and I would cease to be winter’s buffoon every year when she teases me with a few spring-like days. Yes, ladies, I called winter a “she”. You ladies want everything to be female, I’m happy to oblige!
Besides falling for winter’s trickery and sleight-of-hand every year, I have to overcome my own yearnings to be warm and safe (and smart) in order to continue my – now seemingly maniacal – dedication to taking a four or five-mile walk each day (Attention metric believers – that is 6.44 to 8.05 km).
Even suited up for a trip to the moon – a one-hour-plus walk pushes my old creaky body to its limits. And every year age makes it worse. I can’t help getting older – my dad – God rest his soul- told me getting older beats the alternative. However, dad, we can only beat the alternative for a limited time – as you now know.
Anyway, I’ve been walking every day… and during the Christmas season, I could keep the wicked cold of winter from creeping too deep in my bones by looking at all the festive lights and decorations. I mean who would not be warmed up by an inflatable Santa?
But now its January – my second-most hated month of the year. And though it seems like I’ve already slogged and shivered my way through two-thirds of it, as of today there are still almost three weeks of this dreadful month remaining. And what do I have to look forward to after this month has mercifully gone where spent months go? The longest, cruelest, most detested month of my year – February.
Oh, you want to argue it’s not the longest month of the year, do you? You say it has only twenty-eight days most years. Well let me tell you something – spend a February in my little town once. You could fit three Junes into one February in my neck of the woods. June comes and goes in a heartbeat. February with its twenty-eight days seems like sixty-eight days.
I don’t hate many things, but I hate February. Oh! You like Valentine’s Day. That’s fine… don’t include me. I remember being in third grade and not getting nearly as many Valentine’s cards as the cutest boy in the class did. Females are such a fickle lot.
I am counting down the days until spring. That’s kind of foolish since spring does not begin around here until the middle of April at the earliest. And the last two years on the 9th of May, we’ve had freezing temperatures and snow on the ground! So, spring isn’t a calendar thing around here – it’s a weather thing.
If you’re living in the southern hemisphere – I AM SO JEALOUS! If you’re living in Arizona, Southern California, or Florida, you’re probably wondering why I stay here.
Living here in the Great Lakes region of the USA is tough. I guess I stay here for the same reason people beat their heads against the wall… it feels so good when they stop. And it feels so good around here when spring finally comes – whether that be in mid or late April or in the middle of May. It will feel so good that I will forget about all the stuff I just wrote and walk along the forest path with mitigated memories of the horrors of winter and her surly temperament…. and a stupid smile on my face.
I’m too old and too set in my ways – and well… maybe I just love to complain?