"Is it spring yet?" my coworker asks as we trudge through the icy parking lot on this frigid January morning. What is it about humans always thinking the grass is always greener. I'm guilty too. When it was 100 degrees in August this year, I specifically remember fantasizing about sipping a pumpkin spice latte in my sweater and the crisp fall air. Shoveling an insane amount of snow this past Monday did not fuel my love for all things winter, but there are so many good things about winter that I want to make an effort to enjoy it while it's here.
First of all, in my neck of the woods, a good ski season benefits the economy. The people who travel here to ski dump tons of money into our economy. Not to mention all the locals that ski, which quite a few of whom probably moved here for our amazing ski resorts. Meanwhile, at the height of winter, I pass the lonely A/C unit on the way to the mailbox and I can't help but imagine myself sipping a frosty beverage in my tank top and shorts and the sweltering in the heat which makes the cool blast of air from my air conditioner as I enter my home a welcoming friend. I remember fondly the year we transitioned from a swamp cooler to an air conditioner—it was life-changing. I think this year I will invest in pretty little umbrellas to put in my drinks, and possibly a kiddie pool for my dog. Ah, summer dreaming.
Another thing that makes the winters bearable is knowing that Mother Nature is doing the right thing. Every year that we don't get snow, I worry about climate change. (You can argue all day about what causes it, but the evidence is there that it is real.) I worry about the economy. I worry about the water supply. I worry about it all. So even when Mother Nature is dumping a ton of wet white stuff on my car, and making my morning commute more hazardous, part of me is assured.
For me, the worst part about winter is the air quality. Where I live, we have an inversion, meaning that the smog and pollutants are trapped between a basin of mountains. This creates air you can see, people. Thick, brown, soupy air that makes you pull your turtleneck up over your mouth. They say that breathing this air is the equivalent of smoking X number of cigarettes every day, and I believe it! I have even resorted to buying Vogmasks for members of my family with health concerns. They're totally stylish, and you'll look a little bit like Darth Vader which is always in.
There are good things about winter, though. The sledding is great. Hot coffee doesn't make you sweat. Spontaneous snowball fights make great memories. If you're near an outdoor skating rink, you've won the winter lottery—especially if it's followed closely by drinking hot cocoa by a fire somewhere. And we can't leave out the skiers! They live for powder days and this year has delivered a bumper crop of those!
Yes, I'd like to be in my backyard, with my feet in a kiddie pool, soaking up the rays, but winter is pretty darn cool, too. So instead of wishing for something that isn't reality, I'm going to enjoy what is, and go cozy up next to a fire for a while. See you in the parking lot—this time I hope you have a smile on your face.