The first day of spring is March 20. I wish I could hibernate until then. Is it just me, or has this winter been colder, snowier, slushier, and all-around more “miserabler” than normal?
The first day of spring is March 20. I wish I could hibernate until then.
Is it just me, or has this winter been colder, snowier, slushier, and all-around more “miserabler” than normal?
I can’t remember the last winter I actually slipped on the ice, but I’ve fallen several times this winter, plus many near-misses. It seems that we’ve had more ice that has stuck around longer than is normal.
I’m a dress-and-heels kind of gal, but this winter I’ve made more use of the pants in my wardrobe because to wear a dress is to invite freezing legs, and to wear anything but snow boots is to invite a fall. Yet, I hadn’t even owned a pair for years — until this winter hit.
You know it’s a really bad winter when you calculate every few days the exact length of time left before spring. I’m worse than a kid figuring out how long it is until his birthday.
Demonstrating what makes a winter hard involves a lot more than simply totaling up the number of days the temperature is below freezing, or the number of inches of snow, or any other objective measure.
It’s subjective. Nobody really measures how many days your front steps are slick despite generous use of the ugly sack of salt you leave out on your porch. Nor does any meteorologist, to my knowledge, measure how many days your welcome mat is frozen in place.
If you ask my dogs, this winter has stunk big-time. When forced outside during the worst weather, Ginger often stands on the other side of the glass door for long stretches, giving me a woebegone look that I roughly translate to: “Do you REALLY expect me to lower my hindquarters into a snowbank and do my business in this filthy freezing weather?”
And then, I’d swear, she follows with, “I notice your bathroom is nice and warm.”
Clearing the snow from a portion of the yard does little good, since the dogs have their own ideas about what constitutes a proper bathroom spot, and it never ends up being the area we’ve cleared.
The sidewalks have been so terrible that walking the dogs — or simply walking to work — is often treacherous. A big thank-you to those who diligently clear their walks. I sure notice the difference.
However, many folks — not to mention many businesses, churches and governmental entities — do not do so. A few footprints across a snowy walk are all it takes to compress the snow into nice little uneven icy patches that will linger and present a danger to every passerby.
I’m not yet so ancient that a fall does more than hurt my pride, and whatever I land on, but I wonder how I’ll feel 20 or 30 years from now. My guess is I’ll feel trapped in my home, so however much I grouse about winter, I have to acknowledge that I have less to complain about than elderly or handicapped people.
The question I often ask myself is, “Why am I living in Illinois, as opposed, say, to the south of France? Or at least Florida?”
I vowed as a winter-hating teen that I’d never live here once I had a choice, yet here I am, and here I probably will remain. There is much more to the livability of a place than its weather. There is one’s job, one’s family roots, and one’s relationships with others who live here. Even year-round good weather is not enough to make up for their loss.
But if we have a couple more winters like this one I might change my mind.
Pekin Daily Times Editor Michelle Teheux can be reached at (309) 346-1111 or firstname.lastname@example.org. This column is the opinion of the writer and not of the newspaper.