13 February 2011

winter is for winter

it's safe to say that one of my pet peeves is people complaining about winter weather. especially in, well, winter! if it's spring, and you're getting winter weather, okay...i can see how that's disappointing. but in january? and february? in the midwest? it. is. winter.
and i, for one, want winter weather in wintertime.

i grew up in southern california, in the san bernardino valley. not even once, in the 12 years that i lived there, did it snow in my town. the white capped mountains towered over us all winter, and if we were lucky, once the roads were cleared, we might get to take a drive into the mountains, to play in the snow. but i didn't see snow falling from the sky until i was thirteen years old, and we had moved to the midwest. the first time i witnessed it, i was standing in an old, 3 story brick school house, looking out from large, wood-framed, double hung windows (the kind that operate on those sash cords). i remarked that it looked like angels were having a pillow fight.
as an adult, i happily spent a year in fargo, and lived many other places with proper winters.

then, there were those 7 years i spent in sub-tropical houston. while it was an intellectually, artistically, politically and socially exciting time in my life, i never appreciated the weather. there were about 2 months of the year when the air wasn't hot, thick, sticky and stifling.

i am the sort of person who needs four distinct seasons. there is something comforting, and ordering about that pattern for me. waiting for the last frost date to pass, before planting certain crops, is an exercise in patience and planning. those first crisp days in october, when the leaves begin to change, are a welcome relief from a sweltering summer. snow covered fields, and ice encrusted branches are visual delights that i relish. i like having routines disrupted by blizzards. keeps us in our place.

i enjoy the change in family life, too. finding things to do in the colder months can be challenging. but, we have those seasonal holidays to occupy us, and valentine crafting for 30 kids takes up a lot of time!

sledding, and snowball fights are always welcome outdoor activities. on christmas day, we took cosmo's new arrowcopter toys out to the park, and chased them down in the snow.

this doesn't mean that i don't look forward spring. i do. i have already begun sowing seeds down in the basement, under a grow light. by mid march, i'll be antsy to get out there and put my hands in the dirt.

a long cold winter makes the first signs of spring so sweet.
until then, winter is for winter.
i'll savor every snowflake and single-digit morning.