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.
When I was younger I actually hated Winter. Now that I’m middle aged I enjoy each season and anticipate the changes. At one time I only wanted to live where it was warm, today – not so much? Having lived for many years where it was always warm and sunny I realized with work and responsibilities I still only had a small window of opportunity to enjoy it. Family also makes for putting up with the winter just a little bit easier.
When I was younger, I loved winter. Sometimes I still do, even though it was cold and blustery yesterday as Mr. Muse and I left the cafe for lunch, it was still magical with everything covered in a blanket of snow downtown in Baraboo. So, I do appreciate it, usually from the inside of a warm and cozy building. And yes, family and friends help to make it go just a little bit faster.
But damn, I’m tired of the cold. I know it can be worse. And I know it will get better. It just seems that every time it looks like we’re about to be “in the clear,” and the snow is going to melt and the temperatures will allow me to take out the trash wearing only my boxers, things turn for the worse, quickly, and I find myself shoveling snow on an icy sidewalk.
Again, I’m done with the cold. For now. Ask me again when I find that it’s too hot outside.
Why thank you, Sir! I was initially going to tease you about taking your trash out in your boxers, but I’ve been guilty of darting to the woodshop/barn in nothing but my birthday suit in the past (my feet are washable) – although I haven’t sprinted out there in that state for more than half a year.
I can’t complain too much about heat – growing up in a house sans air conditioning has made me very grateful to have a home that does have it now.
Glad to see you still maintain your optimistic outlook regarding the upcoming arrival of spring – it will be spring, it will be spring – brrrr – it will be spring!
Exactly! And the flooding will begin!!