Winter musings

     Why is winter a shock to me EVERY year??  Maybe because I grew up in the south and now I live in the midwest and my internal thermometer just can’t make the switch?  I don’t know.  It’s crazy, but I’m always surprised when it turns cold.  How can this be??  Winter, again?  The annual pulling out of the gear—snow pants, snow boots, parkas, multiple layers of clothing, gloves, scarves—is a ritual in itself…a painful ritual.  I like to live in denial when I can…as if just hoping winter won’t come will make it so.  (thinking warm thoughts) Who knew you could wear so many articles of clothing all at one time?!  But in my neck of the woods, all are must-have items.   Keep in mind, when we moved to the midwest a little over 3 years ago, we didn’t own a snow shovel or any of the aforementioned clothing.  And when I was told that my children would go out for recess all winter unless it was COLDER than 5 below, I burst out laughing because I seriously thought it was a joke.  It wasn’t. 
     It’s amazing to me how life goes on in the winter months here.  Back home, if snow was even mentioned in the weather forecast, milk and bread went flying off the grocery store shelves faster than you could say “Jiminy Cricket”.  When, and if, the first flake fell, school was called off for 2 days.  (I say “if” because 9 times out of 10, the snow never actually happened.  On the other hand, here, if snow is in the forecast, count on it!)  And don’t get me started on how people drive in the snow down there.  But here, oh these people have it down to a science!  The plows get out, school goes on like nothing has happened.  You bundle up…covering every piece of exposed skin…and forge onward in the windy, below freezing temps.   And hey, there’s plenty of milk and bread at the grocery store!  You can’t beat that! 
     And so, here we are again, on the cusp on another long midwest winter.  As the temps bottom out and the sleet pelts my window pane, I say to myself, “Every day that goes by is one day closer to spring!”  It also makes me think of talking with my kids over hot chocolate, making soup, enjoying the holidays, warming up by the fireplace and snuggling with my husband.  Life is good, the plows roll on, and so do I! 
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