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Posts tagged ‘Weather’

I like winter, and I’m not sorry

If you think this post is about you, it’s not. And it is. It’s not directed at any one person or interaction, it’s based on weeks of everybody.

I am a Midwestern girl. I have lived here my entire life, and I like it. I understand the appeal of living someplace with perfect weather all year long, but I sincerely mean it when I say I wouldn’t want to live someplace where we didn’t have all four seasons.

And I really do love winter. I love snow. LOVE. And in case you live under a rock or are from a different country, it has been quite the winter this year. We’ve had a lot of snow. We’ve had some periods of extremely cold temperatures. And we’ve had A LOT of snow. Yes, so much that it merits being mentioned twice. And as far as I’m concerned, this is the best winter we’ve had in years! Usually we don’t get much snow, or it doesn’t last very long. Not this year. I was out yesterday morning shoveling the almost one foot of new snow and I was struggling to figure out where to put it. The mounds lining my sidewalks are already so tall that it was quite an effort to launch more snow onto or over them. I’m thinking of putting in a ski lift on the biggest one. I was exhausted when I was finished. And I felt great. A few hours later Ruby Dogwonkafonka and I went for a walk around the neighborhood.  Sidewalks weren’t clear and we traipsed through some stretches with snow almost to the top of my boots. We slipped and slid walking in the middle of the street, where ice was the layer beneath the snow. I almost wiped out multiple times. We had a blast.

Winter is a big adventure.  That’s my outlook.

And even though I don’t think I should have to defend my affection for the season, I will acknowledge that I have a good gig working from home, and that it makes it easier to love the snow when I’m not required to drive in it every day. I’m not opposed to driving in it though – I sometimes have a weather-be-damned attitude that causes me to venture out when perhaps it isn’t the smartest move. (I do this much less often now that I don’t have AWD or 4WD.) Getting the car out of my alley is usually the biggest challenge; if I can do that, I’m good to go.

Here’s what I don’t understand.

Why are people so angry with me for liking winter? Because they sure seem to be.  At the very least, they act like I’m crazy and that there’s something wrong with it.

I don’t understand people who like heat and humidity, but that doesn’t mean I think they’re wrong. We’re just different. It’s kind of like being a morning person versus a night owl. One isn’t better than the other. We’re just different. And as with many things in life, you don’t choose which you are, you just are what you are.

So let’s make a deal. You don’t have to like winter, but please stop trying to squelch my fun. If I get excited when more snow is in the forecast, remember that my glee doesn’t actually cause the snow.  I’m sorry you are cold and miserable. Get better socks.

And now, a list! Things I love about snow and winter!

  • A fire in the fireplace. Nothing is cozier or homier. And it might include s’mores.
  • Fuzzy socks.
  • The way fresh snow sparkles in the sun.
  • Watching dogs romp in the snow. Sylvia freaking loved snow. She would run like a maniac around the yard and dip her head to lap some into her mouth without breaking stride. She would stick her entire head into a snowbank. Dogs and snow make me happy.
  • Warm blankies, some of which I might’ve actually made myself.
  • The really beautiful socks and scarf I bought in Ireland. The socks are super warm and I would never be able to wear those without cold weather. My feet would explode otherwise.
  • My new purple coat.
  • Hot chocolate. Maybe with booze.
  • The way my dog sleeps smashed up against me when she’s cold.
  • My amazing red mittens that keep your hands warm and dry EVEN IF YOU DUNK THEM IN A BUCKET OF WATER.
  • Deciding to spend the day sitting inside wrapped in a blanket reading a good book. Or watching a favorite movie. Or napping.
  • Homemade chili.
  • Shoveling. Yes, I enjoy shoveling. I find it satisfying.
  • Karma points earned by shoveling for a neighbor.
  • The camaraderie and neighborliness of people helping each other get cars dug out, unstuck, etc. This happens a lot in neighborhoods where you have lots of on-street parkers.
  • Turning the heat up one degree higher on a really cold day.
  • The way the world looks after a wet snow when everything is coated and beautiful.
  • Snowmen, snow angels, snow forts.
  • Going for a walk while it’s snowing, and everything seems extra quiet and still.
  • Snow days! (I get it, we’ve had a lot of them this year.)
  • The fact that snow isn’t rain. 38 degrees and rainy is probably the most miserable weather I can imagine.

And as usual, Frazz gets me. 🙂

Frazz

 

ps….I wrote this yesterday; today I got my car stuck trying to pull into the alley to get to my garage. Really stuck. Four strangers with shovels dug and pushed and dug some more and pushed and finally got me dislodged. And this does not change any of the above. All part of the adventure! Thank you, strangers!! 🙂

Thank you, Mother Nature and Samuel & Colonel David N. Foster

I’m not someone you would call outdoorsy, not by a long shot, but I do like to play outside. I like to walk my dog and ride my bike and roller blade (with protective gear covering most of my accident-prone self) and sit on my porch swing and daydream in my hammock, and all of those activities generally happen outside. But the weather really dictates whether it’s a fun time. I don’t like heat and I really, really hate humidity. Humidity is my kryptonite. (Spellcheck doesn’t know “kryptonite”. WTAF?)  And we have had an oppressively hot summer, and it has totally ruined my outdoor playtime. Until last week, when Mother Nature took pity on me.

[Side note: I know some people love hot weather. There’s no need for you to argue with me about it. It’s just like being a morning versus a night person; neither is wrong. Although I could argue that when it’s cold you can always put on another blanket, but when it’s too hot you can’t take anything else off. I break into a sweat when the snow melts. I blame my dad. He is nodding along as he’s reading this, whereas my mother is putting on a sweater.]

Anyway, as I was saying, Mother Nature finally gave us a break. The last week or so has been freakin’ beautiful. Cooler. Comfortable. Some days, we’ve even had low humidity. I’ve had my air conditioning off for over a week now. In AUGUST. It’s fabulous.

Who can be expected to work on such a beautiful morning?

Friday I played a little hooky and went to revel in the glorious morning by taking a walk around Foster Park. I’ve been hiding out for months in climate-controlled comfort and had almost forgotten how much I love it there; it might be my favorite place in Fort Wayne.

It could be a country club, with its manicured golf course and impeccable, gorgeous flowerbeds, but instead it’s a public park, smack dab in the middle of the city. It’s vast. The golf course is surrounded by a 2.2-mile loop. There are playgrounds. Baseball diamonds. Tennis courts. Trails along the river. The bridal glen, where my aunt and uncle (and lots of other people, I presume) got married.  It connects to (and is part of) the River Greenway. There are pavilions for rent. There’s Pawster Park, for our canine companions. And it’s all thanks to the Fosters.


My dad comments from time to time about the foresight the Foster families had to preserve this kind of green space in a growing urban environment. A hundred years ago they donated over one hundred acres. (It’s even bigger thanks to additional purchases by the City.) That’s pretty badass, to make a gift of that magnitude. Imagine if someone did something like that today (ahem, Omnisource property, cough cough).

The park is one of the most ethnically diverse places in the community. It’s also one of the friendliest. During my loop last week almost every person I passed waved, smiled, nodded, said “hi” or “good morning” or “how’s it going”, despite my sunglasses and headphones. (Those are universal shields, right?)  I love it. Love. It.  On a nice weekend in the summer, it’s teeming with people. In the winter there are far fewer, but the camaraderie might be even stronger; it’s like a small band of winter weather warriors, united in our quest to circle the park even when it’s frigid.

Off-roading by the river

My affection for Foster Park goes way back. My family cross-country skied there when I was a kid. The circuit is convenient for walking (or running, I assume, but with no bears to chase me there is no need). The wide path with no motor vehicles makes me feel safe on my skates. And as previously mentioned, it’s beautiful. With my last dog, I tried hitting all the parks in the city for our excursions, but Foster was always the best for a good trek (although she loved Franke Park, too). When I was looking for my house a few years ago, I limited my search to the south side because I’ve always wanted to live near the park.  So it was a joy to rediscover my joy when the heat finally broke, and a reminder to take advantage of it more often.

Good news: the forecast this week is for mostly sunny, mild temps, with a high probability of walks in the park.