It’s cold outside. Damn cold. I just headed out to perform the morning Happy Chicken chores before coming in to sit down and write this post. It hurt to breathe. The air hurts.
The wind, too. Mr. Muse and I headed over to Wollersheim Winery yesterday for their Open House to attend their grape pruning class and watch the demo. We weren’t long out in the vineyard to watch the actual vine pruning, but we were both shivering despite our layers. As we hurried back to the building, I relayed to Mr. Muse my seeing a status on FaceBook a friend had posted: “Why do I continue to live in a state where the air hurts my face?”
Why, indeed? Islands Magazine ran a story in their February 2014 issue by Jad Davenport entitled, “Japan’s Super Natural Winter”, about Japan’s Yukiguni, or Snow Country. This area is an hour northwest of Toyko and is considered the snowiest place on Earth. One hundred feet of snow is not unheard of and homes have entry doors on the upper stories – just in case!
Here in Wisconsin, we don’t have one hundred feet of snow. What we do have, at least in my yard, has compressed into something the Inuit might use for making blocks for their igloos. I can tromp across the snow, that is nearly knee-high on those few occasions I actually break through a soft spot, unimpeded as I fill my feeders for the songbirds and squirrels.
So, where does the silver lining come in? Perspective. It’s all in how you look at this winter that seems to be never-ending. Here in the Dairy State, the last few years we’ve been rife with ticks, this winter we’ve had dozens upon dozens of days of below zero temperatures which we can hope have killed off many a tick. The Midwest also has a lot of deer that carry CWD, or Chronic Wasting Disease, which with luck – many of these animals will have perished this winter, thus helping stem the spread of this disease. Mr. Muse even expressed his hope that many of the mosquito eggs that would survive a normal winter will have frozen to the point of being unhatchable so perhaps 2014 will be fairly mosquito-free.
Then there are the things that we do inside to distract ourselves from the cold and snow. Seed catalogs are arriving in increasing numbers every week, giving us reason to page through each one slowly, reading descriptions and oohing and ahhing over every plant that catches our eyes. We’ve watched a lot of movies, played more Cribbage, gone through a lot of hot cocoa and even took two weeks to vacation in the Caribbean – escaping the cold for a brief time.
Soon enough it’ll be Spring and though it doesn’t feel like it today when the temperatures hover around 0 degrees Fahrenheit despite the sun shining and the wind chills make it feel like it’s -20, Spring has a way of showing up right on time. Her time. And that’s the silver lining.