So last night got pretty chilly. It’s 10 am and the frost is still pretty thick in my yard, even where the sun is shining. The goats are oddly quiet. They are still huddled in their little barn, keeping each other warm. All three cats stayed inside last night.
I logged into facebook this morning, and saw all kinds of posts about how people miss the warm weather, and how they aren’t ready for winter yet. These are the same people who in the summer wish it were cooler!
NOT ME! I say “BRING IT ON!” I have been ready for winter since March! I recall the day perfectly! The weather had been warming up, and it was melting the snow on top of the ice. There was still more than two feet of ice on the lake, but walking through a foot of water to fish on it not only isn’t fun, but it is dangerous too! I wasn’t ready to stop ice fishing.
I was thinking back to those glorious below zero days of January, when the creaking and groaning of the ice signified that ice was being made. Unlike the hollow cracking sounds the ice makes in the Spring when the weight of melting snow and water threatens to break the ice out from under you!
I mad a choice nearly 40 years ago that I preferred the cold weather. My neighbor was talking to my step father as we were shoveling the sidewalk. He was talking about how cold and miserable it had been, and how happy he would be when summer came. I stood there listening to him, and kind of agreed. I was dreading how it would feel when the feeling came back to my frozen toes inside my rubber boots, lined with a bread bag, and three pairs of socks.
But wait a second? Didn’t I hear the same neighbor complaining how hot and muggy it had been the previous summer? The more I thought about it, I realized that nearly everybody I knew did the same thing! That was the day I decided on the spot to pick a season and stick with it. I swore I would never be one of those people you hear all summer wishing it would be cooler, and then all winter wishing it were warmer.
I thought back to the sleepless nights of summer, tossing and turning, constantly trying to find the cool side of the pillow. Slaking my thirst with lukewarm tap water. Mosquitoes! Piling into a hot car with my family or friends to go swimming, being cooled slightly by the lake water full of others doing the same, only to pile back into same hot car to go home a few hours later, where you would be just as hot as you were before. Or you could swim in the ocean where it was so cold, you were glad to be hot. Not to mention being covered in sand and salt that stayed on your skin until you showered it off.
Then I thought how nice it would be to snuggle down in the blankets that night after a hot bath. Making a little nest in my bed along the wall, where the heat register worked as a poor boy’s electric blanket. A fuzzy dog at my feet. I thought about how even though my feet were cold, my body was warm, safely insulated by long underwear, a nice sweater, and a heavy coat. A warm knit hat, and pair of mittens and a scarf protected my head, face and hands, and the work I was doing warmed me even more. Even my poor frozen feet wouldn’t have been so cold had I not waded through deep snow, filling my boots the day before, and then took them off without putting them over the heat to dry.
The choice was made! You can have your hot days of summer…Me? I’ll take the chill of winter any time! I am sitting here typing this up, in sweat pants and a tee-shirt, I am thinking about adding a hoodie. I finally closed the the last open window last night. Deep under my blankets last night, I had no idea how cold it was. I got up this morning to an icy cold glass of water from the tap. After I post this, and I let the goats out to graze I wont have a single mosquito on me! I’ll smell the wood stoves down the road, and the autumn leaves as I sip a hot cup of coffee. This is my time of year, and good things are still coming!
You might hear me remark from time to time how cold it is, or you may hear me complain of constant snowfall, but commenting on the cold is not complaining, and days like today prove it can be cold without snow!
When you are hot, you can only undress so far before somebody calls the police, because you are naked in the freezer section of the grocery store. But even in -40F temps in Alaska, I was always able to dress warm enough!
(And trust me here…You do NOT want to see me naked in the freezer section!)