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Monday, February 6, 2012

Winter

I have a love-hate relationship with winter. Maybe hate is too strong. How do I intensely dislike winter? Let me count the ways. Winter is:

            bone-chilling cold that cuts right through clothes, making joints ache
            ugly piles of snow filled with debris dug up by the plows
            clearing the driveway only to have the aforementioned snowplow bury the end
            white-knuckle driving in a blizzard where you follow the taillights of a truck and hope it doesn't go into a ditch because you will, too
            walking through slush that seeps into boots, leaving frozen toes
            gloomy, gray Michigan skies filled with thick, dark clouds
            dreaded utility bills that skyrocket in January and February

So, why do I love winter? I must be crazy. Winter is:

            waking up the day after a blizzard to a pristine landscape when the sun affirms all is well again
            the beauty of snow covering all the ugly brown, dead grass
            the sun glistening off ice-covered branches
            Mom attaching a garden hose to flood a low area in our backyard so my sister and I could ice skate; doing pirouettes and pretending to be Sonja Henie or Carol Heiss
            cross-country skiing with my husband and kids, striding through freshly-fallen snow where the only sound is the swish of the skies followed by "Mo-om, I'm cold. Can we go in yet?"
            seeing my husband and friend ice fishing in a tent where if you open the side flap it looks like a two-seater outhouse
            the power and majesty of Lake Michigan waves churning and dashing against the beach
            enjoying the warmth of Florida, at least for a week

Winters are different now from when I was younger. I gave my skates to my daughter years ago and sold the unused cross-country skies at a garage sale. Being retired, I don't have to drive in blizzards. Now, my favorite winter activity is hunkering down like my pioneer ancestors. Of course, they didn't have the conveniences of central heating and electricity. We have six more weeks of winter, more or less, depending on whether you pay attention to Punxsutawney Phil, Staten Island Chuck, or Howell Woody. It's been a very mild winter here in mid-Michigan. Will it continue? Or are we in for blizzards in April?

Wrapped up in soft fleece with a good book and a cup of chai latte is my idea of a fun way to wait out a blizzard. Or, better yet, writing. An afghan around my legs, the computer on my lap, my feet up in the recliner, and my head on a starship or a planet far-far-away. That's how I enjoy winter.

What do you love or hate about winter?

7 comments:

  1. Diane,

    We really are twins separated at birth. I have nothing to add, except my skating took place at a local outdoor rink.

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  2. I actually like winter more than summer. I don't do heat well so winters—especially this one in Michigan—has been nice.
    Great post, Diane!

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  3. I hate the gray skies day after day after day. Having to bundle up in layers of clothes to take the dog out for a walk. I used to love crosscountry skiing, but for years now there hasn't been enough snow to do that, or if there's enough snow, it's too cold to go out. So my solution? Hi to all of you up north. Today's high will be 80 degrees, mixed sun and clouds. Tomorrow 81, mostly sun. Next day 79, mostly sun. Just came back from walking the dog...in shorts and a T-shirt.

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  4. The only thing I like about winter (in Michigan) is the snow when it is falling. Preferably on Christmas. Once it's on the ground and stirred up with footprints,dog droppings (sorry), road dirt etc. I could do without it. I'm with Maris -- the gray skies really get me down. Snow days no longer matter to me...sorta lost it's glam as a grown-up trying to figure out who's going to watch my kids since school is off.

    Now winter in southern Ohio where I grew up isn't quite so bad. Much less snow and fewer bone-chilling days/nights.

    Another great blog, Diane. I really enjoy reading yours. I guess I should get busy and post something myself... :)
    Anne

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  5. You've made some good points, Diane. The winter driving is my most significant winter annoyance.
    But I love Winter. The hope of sparkling snow, the time-outs by the fire with tea and manuscripts, the change of it all.

    Thanks for bringing up thoughts of my favorite season. All the best, Annette

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  6. I'm always amazed when I hit upon a topic that generates such great comments. Thanks, guys!

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  7. The thing I hate most about winter is cleaning snow off the van before heading out anywhere. Of course this year have only done that a few times. And if I would get busy and clean out my garage I could park in it and avoid the snowbrush routine. My favorite thing about winter? Hot chocolate and marshmallows! And also, like you, sitting in my recliner with a book or laptop. Oh wait, that's anytime of year. :)

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