On Winter

We're just about half way through a winter that has yet to really show up, and I couldn't be happier about it. For all my brave talk about how much I love my seasons, the truth of the matter is that the seasons I love are pretty much fall and... fall. It's been years since I've been in school but I still think of the year in school terms. For me, September marks the arrival of a new year, not January 1. Thinking that way plays some tricks with my mind, because the optimism and hope and potential of a fresh slate don't quite match the decline and decay I see all around me as autumn leads us kicking and screaming into winter. And though winter looms large throughout autumn, I still somehow manage to be not ready when it finally does arrive. It never fails that I find myself standing in line at Walgreens with a pair of 99 cent gloves the first day the temperature dips below freezing. Gee, if only we'd had some warning that this was going to happen! I don't think I'm the only one who thinks like this, either. The first snow is always treacherous, even if it's only a fraction of an inch, as people seem to be driving in the snow for the very first time. In Buffalo.

So now as February races by I find myself worrying less about when the other shoe is going to drop and instead hoping that we can somehow ride this mild spell clear into April. I don't even want to think about what the implications and consequences of such a bizarre winter are. Will there be droughts or food shortages or some other thing (almost certainly unpleasant) that we'll have to deal with later on? Is this a taste of how winters of the future will be or a once in a lifetime exception to the rule?

I will say that I don't miss the cabin fever that is usually appearing right about now. I don't miss brushing the car off firing up the snow-thrower or even the beauty of the bare trees right after a snowfall. Going without for one year won't kill me.

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