Thursday, January 12, 2012

Get the Groundhog Here...NOW!!!

This a reworking of a post from November 2010. I have been busy with school work, so I pulled out an old one. It still applies today as much as it did then.

We have had a very mild winter before today. It is the middle of January and had days that were in the 60's just last week. I have known that the cold was coming, but have been praying for a very mild winter. However, this morning I woke up to snow on the ground and the temperature never got above freezing. Tomorrow is supposed to be even worse. The forecast predicts a high of only 29 degrees. This can only mean one thing, but I really don’t want to admit it. I think winter is coming.

I hate winter. Actually, the word 'hate' may not capture what I want to say; I loathe winter. Despise. Abhor. Deprecate. Detest. You can pick your favorite verb here, I really do not care for winter. I don’t like the icy roads, the constant and very real danger of slipping and breaking a bone, the extra preparation and supplies to keep in the car, the increased utility bills, the snow shoveling, the snow getting tracked into the house, the salt build-up on my vehicle, the need for extra clothing, the increased commute time, and the COLD.

Many people try to claim that winter is pretty; that the snow covering everything is beautiful.  I will argue that it is not.  When I lived in Puerto Rico, my brother sent me a picture of his backyard so I could see what I was missing. I don't know what feeling this was supposed to give me, but I don't think it worked.  I really didn't miss it at all.  It didn't bother me in the least that I wasn't there to see it.  While he was having to dig his car out of his driveway and spend money on tire chains, I was less than a mile from the beach and eating mangoes on my front porch.  Can you imagine the difference?  Do you really think I was upset that I had missed the icy scenery of the backyard?

While I can give some (although limited) appreciation for the beauty of fresh, fallen snow; it has some serious limitations.  The beautiful places are generally uninterrupted by people (i.e. open fields, mountains, Antarctica, Zac Efron movies).  However, those are also not places in which people have to function.  When the snow falls where we have to live and work it is not nearly as breath-taking.  It is much more than just not pretty, it is a real hassle to have to contend with.  How many times in the winter have you gone out to your car to leave for work or school just to discover it will take an extra 20 minutes to get out of the driveway because of the previous night's weather?  Or maybe you planned ahead and dug a path in the driveway the night before, but woke up the next morning to find that snowplows clearing the roads had buried the last six feet of your driveway under two feet of snow and rock that is now frozen. Or maybe you are running late for work because your car door was frozen shut.  After fighting Jack Frost for half an hour (or longer) you now have to brave the condition of the roads caused by this 'beautiful' landscape.

NO THANK YOU!!

As if walking in this treacherous, slippery landscape wasn't enough, you must do it with limited mobility due to the extra weight and restrictive clothing required to survive.  To get through the winter we have to wear coats, thermal underwear, nonskid (and waterproof) boots, scarves, stocking caps, earmuffs, gloves and other various miscellaneous items.  A family of four has to get up an extra 90 minutes early in the morning just to get everyone dressed.  

Winter clothing choices cannot be taken lightly.  For example, when choosing gloves you have 2 choices: you can either (a) keep you hands warm, or (b) move your fingers.  It is up to you to decide which is more important.

There is still the worst part of winter to contend with: the COLD.  Some days it is so bad it takes your breath away as soon as you step out the door.  You must dress appropriately if you want to survive your excursion out of the house.  If you go overboard and dress too warmly you will start to sweat.  The perspiration could then freeze and crack your face exposing your brain to the elements.  If you do not wear enough clothing (or choose something that doesn't break the wind, isn't waterproof, or gives easy access for bathroom breaks) then you run the risk of various winter ailments.  You could get hypothermia, pneumonia, frostbite, or Mad Cow Disease.  Midwestern Mothers are always warning their children to wear a hat over their ears because if the ears get too cold they could freeze solid causing them to break off if the child turns his head too quickly.  Every winter numerous fingers and toes are lost to frostbite, not to be found again until the early spring thaw.  Unfortunately, by then they are too soggy to do anything with.

As much as I hate this season, I think I am ready.  I have stocked up on soup and coffee and have signed up for all online courses for my college classes.  I am not leaving my house until March.  And that will only be to get umbrellas, raincoats, and a canoe, because it will then be time for the torrential spring rains.  I hate spring.

16 comments:

  1. I do love the look of freshly fallen snow in the evening or early morning as long as I don't have to go out in it.

    Getting caught in the blizzard today almost reduced me to public tears. Not cool.

    As soon as the temperature drops my anxiety mounts. I have a terrible fear of slipping and hitting my head on the ice. Is that weird?

    This fear is then replaced, in the spring, with my fear of wasps.

    I need to move to a warm place that has no wasps. Does that exist?

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    1. I don't know. I have being saying for the last couple of years that as soon as I get my degree I am moving down south somewhere. This is for warmer weather only. I never investigated the wasps.

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  2. Very well said....even if it was an old post!!!! Can't wait for more very excited to read more!!!!

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    1. It's the first time I have done that. I think I feel guilty.

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  3. First, you shouldn't feel guilty at all, it was a great post!
    Second,I can't imagine what it must be like to have snow all around you because here in Buenos Aires it doesn't snow during winter. However, the weather is so wet that you freeze to death anyway! And I must fight my clumsiness in order not to slip and hit my head with the wet floor. Not cool. At all.

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    1. I can't imagine it would be cold in Buenos Aires. In Puerto Rico it rarely dipped into the 70's, even at night.

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  4. Ugh, I do not envy you in the slightest. I am such a cold weenie - I get bent out of shape when the temp dips to the 40s. High of 29? No thanks. I've never lived anywhere where it snows - it sounds miserable.

    PS - Soggy fingers, +1

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    1. Thank you, Vesta. I enjoyed it when I was younger, but now I hate snow and ice. Last year was awful, the ice took out the power lines and there was no power for a while to even heat the house.

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  5. It's been 60 degrees here all winter. I hate it!

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    1. Right now I would trade for 60 degrees, but if I could have my way, I miss the temps in PR. It was 88 degrees every day. I almost never wavered,

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  6. Tomorrow it's supposed to be 5 degrees here. Winter sucks.

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    1. I couldn't agree more. I could go without ever seeing a day under 70.

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  7. deploy the groundhog! groundhog in the hole! ...ok, that's all i got.

    i'm over the roller-coaster of this winter here in alabama. we're having 40 degree shifts in the matter of 36 hours. blah.

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    1. Illinois weather has those crazy dips and surges as well. People blame the crazy weather when they get sick. I'll take it if it doesn't go low and stay there.

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  8. I love winter, it allows me to cover up my body with lots of layers and therefore I look like the Michelin Man just as everyone else does. Nubian logic.

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    1. I guess it would hide my spare tire. I have tried to get into the spirit. I have friends who just love winter. I just can't get on board. I am practicing for being a grumpy old man.

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