Heck, no, it’s just starting. I’m talking about winter — stoopid, stoopid winter. The season of pointy icicles and towering snowdrifts. You’ve undoutedly seen the idyllic images of ice skaters swanning around on frozen ponds, kids throwing snowballs, apple-cheeked people making snow angels. Don’t be fooled.
Anyone with a lick of sense is inside with the heat turned up to 8oº and a bowl of soup parked in front of them. The lucky ones have a blazing fire to warm their frostbitten noses and chilled bones. As for me, I make do with a dog I use like a heating pad. He isn’t always happy in his role, but I’m bigger.
Now that the holidays are over, winter has begun in earnest. No more good tidings or jingle bells to distract us. It’s just us and winter — a cage match. But you’re ready with your snowblower and ice scraper and snow tires, right? Well, good luck to you. Winter has a vast and brutal arsenal: blizzards, ice storms, sub-zero temperatures, frigid winds. And you can forget looking nice, you’ll look just like everyone else: big and puffy.
That’s the second worst part of winter, the claustrophobia. Winter coats take on the charm of straight jackets along about mid-January; you dream of the days when you could move your arms, when you could walk down store aisles without knocking stuff over, when you could untie your damn hood. Sidewalks shrink to the width of a snow shovel’s blade. Windshields have a narrow swath of clean, a porthole to the outside. Fender boogers, those blocks of frozen slush stuck to car fenders, litter potholed roads. A wonderland it’s not.
This afternoon, I happened to glance out the window, a mistake to be sure. The usual tableau of stark, black trees and matted, yellowed grass was gone. So what to my wondering eyes did appear? A heavy snowfall, flakes the size of cotton balls blotting out the rest of the world. This was not a sight for sore eyes, I promise you. My heart fell into my shoes and visions of misery danced in my head.
But guess what. It stopped. As suddenly as it started, the snow stopped falling. The Pantone Warm Gray 6 sky cleared briefly and the sun beamed triumphantly on the newly fallen snow. My heart jumped out of my shoes and soared. It was a beautiful moment, but we’re not out of the woods yet. We’re closer, though. Tomorrow we’ll be closer still to the glorious spring I know awaits us all.
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