Archive for Thursday, January 24, 2008

Winter does have redeeming factors

January 24, 2008

This is what a real winter feels like. We've had more than a month of this after several recent winters flew by with perhaps one opportunity to catch kids sledding or otherwise enjoying the season.

My car is wearing three coats of corrosive K-10 road grime because I've not had the opportunity to wash away one coat because the next storm blew in before the last one melted away. I spend my weekends mostly cocooned inside unless my dog or some work-related obligation compels me out the door.

As acclimated as I should be to it all by now, winter's latest treat that swept down from the arctic Monday chilled me as no other as I left the office in late that miserable evening.

A glance at the calendar this morning confirmed it was only the start of the third week of January. Somehow, time seems as frozen as the weather. I long to turn flip the month to February and rid myself of that all-to-accurate depiction on the calendar of icy landscape.

I downloaded pictures this morning on the computer for a card I last used in June. Pictures of green pastures and leafy trees under blue skies popped up to mock me and remind me of how weary and depressed I am of it all.

There's a reason the population in the Sun Belt is exploding and that the days we mark as wonderful in a Kansas winter are those that seem to belong in another season.

But this is no way to be and I understand I have to get my mind in a more positive space. So I inventoried what is good about winter.

¢ No insects, except for those lady bugs that mysteriously hatched out in our home, there aren't any. There's no mosquitoes droning around as you walk in the evening, no gnats buzzing your face or ticks to pick off your dog. Sure I'm going through a gallon of blue windshield cleaner a week because my cautious self is passed by every other motorist on K-10, but I don't have to scrap the bugs of the front window while filling with gas.

¢ Speaking of which, it (gas) is cheaper in this the non-traveling season. And also, we get a better deal because it doesn't expand in the pump station tanks as it does in the summer.

¢ Basketball. The son of a one-time high school coach, I'm entertained by just about any college basketball game. This helps during those shut-in weekends, but it can be a problem when I just want to watch one more minute of that midnight Monday Gonzaga-San Francisco game. And this year, things look promising for Kansas State.

¢ Books. It's a great time to actually read those books friends and family gave you for Christmas.

¢ Lawn care. It's mostly non-existent, which is great if you're not a gardener.

¢ Hobbies. It's a good time to get re-involved with that hobby that you don't have time for in the summer.

¢ Fireplaces or woodstoves. They're cozy and give you the hands-on feeling you're taking control of the conditions. There's nothing better on a cold day than backing up next to a burning fire heats your jeans to the point they will warm you for another five minutes.

¢ Reruns. There aren't many of them because the networks know they have a captive audience.

¢ Spring. It's coming and the harsher the winter the more wonderful it will be.

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