For summer-loving people living in seasonal climates, we feel a deep sense of dread around late October, that those with more tolerance for cold, snow and merciless darkness cannot understand. Here’s eight ways you know, you are a true loather of the winter:
That Better Not be a Leaf Blower - It starts like an eerie far-away whisper you try at first to ignore… like that sensation a pimple is forming, but you live in a utter denial until it actually surfaces. But there it remains…that high-pitched, taunting screech of the leaf blower unleashed mid- October and embraced by that zealous neighbor targeting every maple leaf like he’s blasting Russian missiles. It’s like a continual, drone-like the sound of funeral bells signaling the start of a long, slow death of all that is warm, good and living. The only thing worse than leaf-blowing is being forced to use a medieval torture device known as the yard rake. For anyone fortunate enough to not be familiarized with this phenomenon, people in New England spend a solid 3-4 weekends combing their lawns with a three-foot wide pick attached to a wooden stick, fantasizing about moving to Florida, or chopping all their greenery down next year. No woodland privacy is worth this. We’ve landed on Mars, people. There must be a better way.
Do You Want to Make a Snowman? - I use an industrial-grade space heater at work…in mid-July. So when perpetually-cold reptiles like myself are asked by their giddy children if we can play in the snow ‘til we no longer feel our vitals, we cringe with dread. Because really, you’d rather roll in glass shards than make a snowman in below freezing conditions. You do it for your kids, but literally count the seconds ‘til you return inside before losing blood flow to that last toe. I swear time itself stood still last February for the longest snowman-building event of my life. A low moment involved paying my oldest $10 to finish the job. Extra marshmallows when you come in, guys.
And Then There was Darkness - For summer-lovers, winter not only robs us of the heat we crave, but it steals our beloved sunshine, leaving us in pitch darkness as early as 4:45, driving home with the high beams on, just to begin preparing dinner and helping with homework when we really want to curl under ten blankets and hibernate. It’s cold, it’s dark, and no amount of UV happy lights bolstered around your computer is an adequate substitute for the 60,000 IU’s of vitamin D you’ve lacked since November.
So This is What Prison is Like - When you have kids in the summertime, leaving the house with kids involves slabbing some SPF 50 on and throwing on flip flops. Getting out of the house with three children in wintertime, however, takes no less than 15 minutes, after hunting down eight matching gloves and hats, shoving feet into snow boots and bundling like we’re ascending Everest. It’s downright horrible, and I’ve literally opted to stay home after concluding the hunt is not worth the venture, on many occasions. “Oh forget it guys, we’ll get the prescription tomorrow. Take some vitamins.”
Driving to Your Death - Maybe I’m getting old, but the last time I drove in the snow I thought I was going to meet Jesus. My commute is 50 minutes across two interstates full of wack jobs trying to make it to the insurance capital of the world before 9. Compiling four inches of snow and ice to the mix leads to the most terrifying hour life can bring. A straight hour of white-knuckling it to work, envisioning your children’s faces in case you die around the next icy turn is the typical AM drive in New England. Every fishtail behind some 14-wheeler brings you one step closer to quitting work and starting that home-based etsy business. Forget the 401 K, at least I’ll be alive.
If These Walls Could Talk - Oh sweet Lord, 73 days ‘til April. Such is the common thought pattern for all parents wondering what the shizzle to do on day number 67 of being trapped inside with children when it’s less than 15 degrees outside. The Playdough is dry as dirt, we’ve failed every Pinterest craft, and played hide and seek in every corner of our 1,800 square foot piece of heaven… Spring can’t come quick enough. We love quality time with the kids, but eight hours of Candyland, puppet shows and glitter glue could cause the best of us to break down.
Winter Sports...Just When you Thought Things Couldn’t Get Worse - Anyone who’s gone skiing or ice skating with small children has danced on the dark side of winter. From risking your life ice skating on Aunt Patty’s questionably frozen back pond…”Dear Lord I think I heard a crack!”…to trying to keep your four-year-old alive while assailing down the bunny hill, these joys of winter are in a league of terror all their own. You haven’t truly celebrated winter until freezing atop a mountain with your child declaring he must pee immediately, while daddy’s most definitely been in the lager lounge, instead of searching for the hand warmers. I caught a glimpse of our ski passes last summer, and had a physical reaction.
Home Heating Oil…The Other Gold - Last but not least, the number one worst part of winter, is the sheer, merciless, never ceasing coldness…especially when living with a warmer-blooded mate who’s especially frugal with home heating oil.I’ve consistently perjured myself when being asked if I turned the heat up, justifying my elusive answers on the need for sheer survival. For four months out of the year, my typical home apparel consists of two pairs of wool socks, three sweatshirts, a shamefully-stained bathrobe, and if things are really tough, I sleep with a hat on. Sexy stuff. For winter-haters ‘round the world, it feels like our bones are perpetually stiff, our skin is permanently dry and we might as well be 300 pounds under these sad layers. We sprint to all destinations –car, work, mailbox to minimize our exposure to the cold, talk to ourselves ‘til the blasted car warms up, and I might own a Hoodie-Footie.
So the countdown has begun, and winter-haters can at least unite in the eager expectation of days getting longer after Dec. 22, and set our sights on the single best day of the year: March 20. #SpringIsMyHero.