Saturday, January 29, 2011

Winter Wonderland

For the past three weeks, it has snowed and snowed and snowed.  This has led me to an undeniable conclusion:  I am still a Texan at the heart of things.  Here is a list of things I can now do after living up here for 20 + years:
1.  Ski on ice-covered slopes.  Today I learned the hard way that I can no longer ski on any kind of powder.
2.  Drive on ice-covered roads.   I can't speak for all my colleagues who tried to slide into me on Route 20 last Tuesday because I'm trying to forget that morning commute for the rest of time.
3.  Walk on ice-covered driveways.  See the picture above?  I have learned, again the hard way, that the beautiful sheen is black ice, it lies in wait until you take your mind off of winter for one nano-second.
4.  Operate a Snowblower and shovel wet snow without ending up in the ER.
5.  Dress in layers and not feel mournful about looking like an Inuit for 6 months out of the year.

Here are the things I will never get the hang of because my cultural muscle memory formed in a warmer, lighter place:

1.  Making peace with the sun setting at 4:30.  Each winter, daylight savings time brings forth a bewilderment in me as I wonder how we are going to possibly make it through the season with such a paucity of light?  I also wonder each winter why we don't get rickets. 
2.  Parking backward in your driveway so you can get a jump when your battery dies in sub-degree weather.  Also, keeping your windshield wipers sticking straight up so they don't freeze to your windshield.
3.  Owning fur-lined things...hats, boots, mittens, underwear.
4.  Letting go of my worry that things are going to freeze; pipes, fish, children, and tires.  So far so good but it feels a little dicey this winter.
5.  Not buying into the "Snowmegeddon" hype surrounding every type of precipitation highlighted by the newscasters.
6.  Pacing yourself.  Winter lasts a long, long time up here and you have to go easy.

So upon reflection, the list is pretty even.  Maybe I have picked up a couple of New England tricks.  Get out in it, if a Texan can do it, you can too.


  1. As a lifelong New Englander, I love winter (especially now that I have a jeep and can actually drive myself to work during it). I love hibernating: napping on Sunday afternoons because it's too cold and dark to do anything else, staying home more, hearing the crackling fires in the fireplace, wearing warm (sometimes furlined) clothes, feeling the crisp air, and watching the silent beauty of falling snow. There's nothing like it.

  2. I can't help but notice a very nice snowblowing job on that walkway in the picture;-)