Laughter is the sun that drives winter from the human face. ~Victor Hugo~
This winter, I choose to follow Victor’s words. I choose to laugh. I choose to smile through the cold, the snow, and the shortened, dark December days…to drive the blasted winter from my face.
Sunday morning brought the first signs of winter to the area.
Outside the apartment, a light dusting of snow covered the farmer’s field. The first snow event is always welcomed, along with the wished-for fluffy white Christmas Eve snow. The rest of the winter snow events are met with varying degrees of excitement and loathing. I love a blizzard when I can stay home from work, drink hot beverages, and watch TV all day. In contrast, I loathe a one-inch snow that greases the road and sends vehicles sliding through stop signs and into ditches.
We have had on and off snow, and parts of Minnesota and northern Wisconsin have been hammered with up to 18” of snow since Monday. It is still snowing in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan and it appears this snow event is headed to Canada. Cold and wind will follow this storm, with highs expected in the 20’s F (or -4 to -5 Celsius) for the rest of this week and into the next. Lows will be….frigid.
The ends of my mouth are starting to turn toward the dirt. Quick! Someone tell me a joke!
How many of you had first-hand experience with the polar vortex of 2013-2014? That was fun, wasn’t it? I consistently wore long underwear under my clothes from the 1st of December to the end of March. Weeks went by with highs never making it past 20. Days went by with wind chills that even a polar bear would not enjoy. Last winter was bone-freezing, to say the least. I attempted to whine about the cold a few times until Natasha told me to stop. “For God’s sake, it’s winter in Wisconsin!” she would say. (Yeah, but THIS is like winter in Antarctica.) Nevertheless, I tried to keep my mouth shut and continued to dress in warm layers. That’s all one could do because no one could change the weather. It was out of our hands.
I think it was early fall when I first heard predictions for this winter – as cold or colder than last year, as much snow as last year, another possible polar vortex. I put my hands to my ears and sang, “La, la, la, la, la, I can’t hear you!” (I am not a fan of the Farmer’s Almanac.) A later prediction intimated we might have a normal winter, one which I wrapped with love around my psyche for a few weeks.
Oddly enough, I don’t feel dread about the 2014-2015 winter. I am taking a positive stance this year – determined not to whine, determined not to hibernate all weekend under the blue tones of an afghan that my mother knitted years ago. I am telling myself to buck up and smile broadly. I am anxious to continue my walks outside and breathe in the crisp winter air. It IS a choice, one that I can make for myself, to stay emotionally un-battered from the season’s grumpiness.
And, really, it’s not officially winter yet. What if we have a frigid fall and a warm winter? That would make the Northern Hemisphere laugh, right?
I plan to laugh regardless.