Here’s something I’ve been wondering about for a while. Does anyone really like winter? I don’t mean fall when that first clean. crisp breath of cold air hits, the skies are a gorgeous shade of blue and the days are hot and the nights are cool. I mean cold, ice, snow, sleet and piles of socks and sweaters. Do couples go to bed saying ‘honey, tonight the temperatures are going to drop down to -10 and I’m so excited because tomorrow I’ve got a meeting at 8 am and the thought that I’ll get to wake up to a car that probably won’t start and most assuredly won’t get warm until I get to the office, just fills me with glee’? Does anyone want to wake up and chisel ice off their windshield, look around for that door lock de-icer that someone gave them for their birthday way back in the spring, shovel their driveway while smelling car exhaust from their (and everyone else’s in the neighborhood) car that is running in hope of getting warm enough to sit in for an extended period of time, all the while sliding around in frozen precipitation while carrying a heavy shovel – all before your actually drive the vehicle?
You may think that I am joking but I’m serious. Everyone I know that lives in the north says things about how they love the change of seasons and despite living in north Florida (where we do have a change in seasons), I’m with them. The first hyacinths in the spring and the tulips, peonies and iris that follow, the first time it’s warm enough to swim in a pool or dip your toes in the creek, the fall harvest, Halloween and Thanksgiving – I’ve got it. But winter?
We got a little taste of it this past week. Monday it was in the 70’s, night was in the mid 30’s and Tuesday night it was 21. Even though I could check the weather on the computer and see that it would be 70 by the next Saturday, I was living in the moment. That meant going out and buying bales of hay for the neighbor’s dogs to sleep in, bringing in all the cats and setting up a litter box while watching them climbing drapes, jumping up on tables and knocking over books and vases before finally settling down for l8 hour naps punctuated with bouts of eating and slapping each other, making a pot of soup, covering up all the bromeliads outside, saying goodbye to all the zinnias, impatiens and coleus, bringing in all the plants in hanging baskets, and making sure all the storm windows were closed – all during the like six hours of light that seems to be allotted to us in the winter.
Now it is Friday and the temperatures are back up there, not balmy but certainly not cold. I spent yesterday afternoon uncovering everything I’d previously covered in the garden, threw the cats back outside onto the porch, emptied the litter box, watered the yard well, gave the rest of the soup to the dogs, and pulled up all the now quite dead plants from the uncovered beds and took them to the compost pile. I don’t care if I see the sweatshirts, undershirts, socks, sweatpants and sweaters I wore this past three days ever again and yet I know that I will have to repeat all these actions again many times before Spring.
So, back to the question: does anyone really like winter? I suppose I should qualify that by saying ‘does any adult or person who has to take care of themselves and others, actually like winter?’ because for children it can be great fun. There are sleds and ice skates. There are also parents who do all the stuff that makes time for the children to enjoy those toys. But for fully actualized adults, does anyone like all the work that comes with winter? Since few of us get to hibernate (which is a very good idea and explains those pesky hairs that sprout up in unlikely places and a constant desire to get under the electric blanket), we have to put up with the hell of taking care of business. And at the risk of alienating everyone who lives in these frigid states, do you live where you do because you love winter? Aside from the first and the last fluffy snow (qualified to mean that it will melt the next day) do you look forward to driving, working, walking – not to mention taking out the trash and carrying in the groceries while attempting not to break your crown or any of your appendages – in the winter?
That’s it from me for the moment. I’ve been in the studio during this cold snap making jewelry and enameling new paintings and watching movies the rest of the time. The cats, incidentally, love winter and keep trying to convince me that they belong on the end of my bed.