Some Winter Positivity
My intense dislike of winter has been well-documented on my blog(s). But I had a good day today, and I thought I would shine a light on some of the unsung benefits of the cold and the snow.
- Skylar loves it. She launches herself into snowbanks, up to her neck, and barrels through the snow like she’s swimming. She loves this in a way that makes me think her ancestors were pulling sleds across the tundra. She also loves when we come into the house and she gets to get rubbed down with a big fluffy towel. And I love Skylar, so I am happy she is happy about this. (Also she gets way less dirty during snow season than she does during say, rain-and-mud season, or summer dust season.)
- The world becomes your refrigerator. During other times of year, you have to schedule your multiple errands so that groceries comes last, despite that it may not make sense geographically or work with grocery store closing times. Not so in a Midwest winter, when your car will keep even a gallon of milk fresh a daisy while you wait in line at Chipotle.
- It never gets really dark. Of course in the winter it starts getting “dark” practically before I’ve left work. But winter dark is not like summer dark. In the summer, once the sun sets, my neighborhood is basically a huge dark closet, whereas in the winter, the tons and tons of white reflective snow means that I can see just fine while I walk Sky around the block or wander home from a late movie.
- Good things happen in the winter. Christmas. MLK Day (either because you have great respect for a civil rights activist and icon, or because you like a 3-day weekend, or both, I think we can all agree this is a great holiday). The Golden Globes, the SAGs, the Indie Spirits, the Oscars! (i.e. awards season in general.) The Super Bowl, for people for whom that is a thing they enjoy.
- The city of Cleveland Heights has been really good about keeping our sidewalks plowed this year. Two years ago, when we had that last devastatingly cold winter, they did not do such a good job, and people who, like me, were tired of having to cross-country ski to the bus stop, started protesting and petitioning and writing op-eds and things. Finally late in that season, they got in gear. Last year, they got the reprieve of a basically snowless winter. This year, they have proved that they took our complaints to heart. And it is appreciated!
- When you wear winter coats you always have pockets. I don’t know, I just appreciate this. Sometimes in the summer when I walk Sky, I have to tuck my keys into the waistband of whatever pocketless pants I’m wearing. That’s stupid. In the winter it doesn’t happen, by default.
- In my current residence, I have a covered parking space. Have you ever scraped a windshield? I haven’t for ages. That’s not really a winter benefit, it’s a being me benefit, but there you go. I’ve scraped enough windshields in the past to know what a pleasure it is to not have to.
- Snow days! Do you remember how great this was as a kid? I used to beg the universe for snow days. When one seemed imminent, I would set my alarm clock ten minutes early, so I would have time to lay in bed and listen to the school closings on the radio. (“Please Grand Ledge! Please Grand Ledge! Get to Eaton County already, who CARES about Calhoun?”) In high school, I had a little TV in my bedroom, and I would wrap up in the blanket and watch the news for the school closings scroll across the bottom, the TV light flickering in the dark bedroom. Always craving that moment when I would find out school was not required that day, and I could crawl back into my warm bed until the sun came out. Weekends, somehow, never felt like such a gift.
- The weather goes great with a mug of something warm. I am a hot tea fanatic, but I also will not turn down a cup of hot chocolate, if it’s offered. When it’s cold, it feels like a great excuse to just chug these beverages down with impunity.
- OK, it’s kind of beautiful. Today as I walked Sky around dusk, I passed by Lee Road, where the speakers were blaring classical music, and I looked up and saw falling snow passing under the streetlights. It felt very lovely and peaceful. In most moods, I would not notice or acknowledge this. But in the spirit of “can’t beat it, join it,” thanks, winter, for giving me a little thrill today. Also, please disperse quickly.