Here is how I feel about winter:
Once January is over, without any major event or hub-bub, it’s over. For me, it’s over. Winter has had its chance to make a mark and if it fails to do so that’s just to bad. You’ll just have to wait until next year, winter.
Every. Year. This happens every year.
And every year, I forget.
I forget about the proverbial heck that is known as February.
Most of our major storms the last handful of years, perhaps longer than that even, have erupted in February. One year, we had two blizzards within a week’s time. But every year, I forget. I think January is the most difficult month to muddle through.
I stare out my window, and I yell like Lt. Dan from Forrest Gump at the sky, “IS THAT ALL YOU GOT?!? Do your WORST!!” Because, in my mind, if it’s going to be bitterly cold, then it had better be snowing. Or doing something other than just being cold outside and raining.
And winter, being the raging meanie that she is, takes all of those words I shout at her and sits on them. And waits. Until February.
Until I can see spring on the horizon, ground-hog shadows be darned. She’s tricky and calculating. She will even throw in a handful of days that hover around fifty degrees to get us used to the idea of warmer weather. To throw us off. To stir up the germs again. To raise the ants from the dead.
Before the temperatures plunge right back to near zero degrees, and all of a sudden a winter storm is approaching within the next 24 hours.
By February, I’m over reading weather reports. For one thing, who wants to see bad news, repeated over and over again? Why do I want to remind myself that for the next eight days, it’s forecasted to be 13 degrees outside and cloudy? That’s like asking why I wouldn’t want to punch myself in the neck multiple times in a row.
I dislike listening to the weatherman drone on because the weatherman (lady? person? #pc) droned on and on in January whenever there was ANY chance of snow or icy precipitation. They spent the month making mountains out of proverbial mole hills for ratings. Facebook eats it up. Twitter eats it up.
Every winter “event” becomes a Snowpocalypse. Or a polar vortex. Or global warming. Or the macarena. Or something. Another form of entertainment for our consumption. Because now even the weather has to entertain us.
Every weather anomaly must be the worst ever, the coldest ever, the most snow ever. Because we need to have meterologists standing out in the middle of a hurricane, telling us that it’s raining sideways for us to know that hurricanes are bad.
By January, I’ve wished that all of the meteorologists in the DelMarVa region would just drop off the face of the Earth for repeatedly getting our hopes and nerves up and then dashing them with a wink and a “just kidding.”
So I quit checking for snow. I quit listening.
And then I find out that within 36 hours, snow is coming. Which leaves me unprepared.
Because I have to bake cookies when it’s going to snow. I must have something simmering in the crock pot. There are parameters and expectations to this entire operation or things will go south very quickly. And I must get myself in a zen like mindset so that I can be prepared to be cooped up with the littles.
They’re great kids, truly. But when the wind was blowing hard yesterday, and temperatures were below zero, and it was a day where it was genuinely not an exaggeration to use the term “chilled to the bone”, they insisted that they still needed to go outside.
Thankfully, they could attach themselves to my husband who was shoveling off the steps. This after he was underneath of the house with a hair dryer, trying to thaw out the pipes that had frozen in our downstairs bathroom. Poor man.
I had to hurry and dress them while warning them that yes, it was going to be very cold. But kids can’t comprehend that. They KNOW it’s cold outside. It’s winter after all. So when mom says “very cold,” they shrug and thinking that it just can’t be as bad as all that.
They were back, beating at my door within ten minutes, announcing that they were too cold to play outside.
Because nobody listens to mom.
The best that I can do is to hope that maybe, MAYBE my husband’s work will close for the day. Because people in these parts, no, we aren’t the best equipped at handling travel in the snow. And people HOPE that it will be a doozy of a storm. In fact, that’s all that they will talk about, as they wring their hands with glee.
Because once a season, we love having the excuse of being snowed in and stuck at home in our reclining chair, the television on in the background, snoozing under a blanket. We love to have a reason to put work aside for the day. It’s the unspoken social contract of the middle Eastern Shore.
How I miss the chance to have that happen. Instead, my children don’t seem to get that snow days should be an exception, and mommy and daddy are allowed to laze about on the couch, watching Downton Abbey. It’s supposed to be a day for hibernation.
This does not compute.
Eventually, it will warm up. And there will be humidity. And horse and deer flies. And ants in my kitchen. And hornets flying about my yard. And mosquitos lurking and waiting in the evening. And days where the heat stops the clock and the minutes tick by as the world melts. Literally.
And I will wait for that to pass, too. I will close my eyes and think of autumn. Of leaves changing and hot chocolate and pumpkins and crispness in the air. And those humidity-free, breezy days will burn away into winter again, and I’ll be right back here. Telling you all how cold it is.
At least you can hope, right?