People are wearing jackets. Not only that, they’re raking leaves. They’re putting up storm windows. They’re decorating with ghosts and witches. Most chilling of all, those damn pumpkins are everywhere — on menus and porches, in windows and lattes. The signs are unmistakable; we’re on the slippery slope to winter.
This is unnerving and not because of Halloween. Because we don’t know what’s heading this way. Sure, winter, but we don’t know how harsh it will be or how long it will linger. Left to my imagination, never recommended, I anticipate cold and snow and misery on a Siberian scale. Hence the trepidation.
The other day, a woman noted her mother had seen a black caterpillar. And there’s bad omen number one. Black caterpillars, I’m told, are harbingers of a severe and protracted winter. Great, so something straight out of Dr. Zhivago, I knew it. Last year was too mild, too uneventful; no blizzards, no polar vortices, no fall on icy sidewalks. Now comes payback. I hate payback.
In a hollow effort to offset the caterpillar sighting I checked the Farmer’s Almanac; it’s famous for weather predictions. And? Bad news. Really, really, really bad news: above normal snowfall is projected for Illinois. Of course. We’re one of only 2 places with such a dire forecast; New York is the other.
Snow is hateful, despite the nonsense about snow-covered landscapes being wonderlands, which is sheer lunacy. 1 It’s litter; cold, wet, unsightly debris that needs to be scraped off roadways and sidewalks and windshields. It ruins shoes and pants and moods, wedges itself between doggie paw pads, collects in blackened boogers behind car tires, piles up in parking lots. Snow is terrible stuff.
I’m not prepared for this, but according to an insipid quote I stumbled across: ‘All you need is tea and warm socks.’ Ha, only if you live in Florida, which I don’t. So I’ll trade tea and socks for forced air heating and Jack Daniels. Maybe squeeze in a long, lo-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-ong winter’s nap, too.
copyright © 2016 the whirly girl
1 Unless you’re a skier (or Heidi), in which case, snow is readily available in hilly and/or mountainous terrain like Switzerland, Colorado, the Himalayas. It doesn’t belong in flatlands, i.e., Illinois.