Yesterday, I woke up in New Jersey (weekend holiday thing) to about 2 feet of snow on the ground. After hours of digging to get to my vehicle, it was heartbreaking to find the engine refused to start. My companions and I were able to get a ride home (a four hour trip), where we shoveled another hour and a half to dig out my second vehicle (now that I don’t have a husband, I keep a spare car for times like these).
Many individuals choose to live in a more temperate climate. They find comfort in the consistent warmth of the sun and the year-long predictability of the outdoor thermometer. The trade-off is that they may, from time to time, endure a horrific hurricane or a terrible tornado- either of which can temporarily shake one’s sense of security to the core.
Conversely, there are those of us who dwell in the northern climates- where the mercury shoots up and down between January and December. For those of us with extra blankets atop our flannel-sheeted beds right now, we know it’s not easy to live where we do.
It’s financially taxing:
- We need two wardrobes because after September we trade our headbands for hats and our sandals for Sorels. (Sometimes we even need a base layer under our regular layers!)
- It’s necessary to inventory those “other” landscaping tools- shovels, snow blowers and salt.
- Heating oil, wood pellets, extra electric, pipe insulation…it all adds up.
Patience is a necessity:
- We have to warm up our cars in the morning.
- Snow and ice make for slow travel.
- Grocery store trips can abduct hours from the day if there’s wintry precipitation in the forecast.
And then there’s the emotional/physical component:
- Bleak skies breed bleak moods.
- We feel restless and annoyed due to months of being shut indoors with the same people.
- Shoveling can make our backs sore.
- Who wants to go for a jog in a sleet storm?
- The naked trees exhibit unforeseen beauty when draped with a blanket of white.
- The crisp cold air seems cleaner and more pure than the simple summer breeze.
- We are able to gaze at the miracle of our breath.
- Delicate late-night snow can fill you with an awesome sense of peace.
- The sun is brightest at the top of a snow-covered mountain.
- We savor the bone-thawing pleasures of hot cocoa.
- The soft snow empowers us to be free (racing downhill on a sled), to be silly (sculpting snow angels in the yard)… and even to jump fearlessly from great heights.
Existing within a harsher climate takes guts. It’s hard work. And yet, it brings forth rewards unfathomed by those who don’t recognize the possibilities.
Winter is my favorite season. Do you know what I’m saying?