By Joe Rector
New Years’ night, I made one of several trips outside so that Sadie could either take care of her business or so that she could sniff the ground where pesky rabbits had sat recently. The frigid temperature frosted the grass, and when I turned on the outside lights, my yard looked more like a field sprinkled with diamonds. It was a scene that made me smile, and that just doesn’t happen too often during winter.
The sad truth is that I hate winter. It’s nothing more than months of cold, blustery weather that drives me inside. There, I sit bored stiff in my office and look out the window. To make matters worse, I can see the pool from there, and that makes me even more miserable. Amy and I were married on December 20, and I am glad that we didn’t wait one more day. I’d hate to think the biggest day of my life took place during the season I like the least.
I do look forward to the first day of winter, however, for one reason. After it exits, each day’s light last just a bit longer. The countdown to Daylight Savings Time begins, and I gladly give up an hour of sleep to have longer time outside. If I were the president, my first act would be to make DST permanent.
The only thing good about this brutal season is that it brings snow that closes the schools for a day or two. Snow-covered fields and yards are beautiful, and the way the white lights up the nights has always fascinated me. With that said, I don’t much like wintry precipitation. The best snow days when I taught full time had enough accumulations to close schools, but the stuff disappeared by 10:00 a.m. as the sun beat down on it.
Many people have things rougher than I do. My car is parked under a carport. In earlier times before the structure was built, I trudged to my vehicle on winter mornings with scraper in hand. Clearing the windshield and other windows of ice had me sweating by the time I finished. Then, I climbed into a cold car with a heater that never warmed up enough to cut the chill.
Wearing layers of clothes to keep warm is another bummer part of winter. A shirt, sweater, and coat bind my arms so much that performing simple things is difficult. Most of the time, I wear shorts and a t-shirt from spring through fall. Then I give in and pull on sweat pants. Having to put all those extra clothes on feels like carrying a lead weight.
I’ve been told before that the only way to escape winter is to die. That’s a bit too drastic for me. So, I’ll grin and bear the season. As I age, the cold doesn’t bother me like it once did. Someone told me that nerve endings in senior citizens aren’t as receptive so that things like cold and pain aren’t so intense.
I’ve also been told that I should be thankful for each and every day that I have on this planet. Don’t doubt for a second that I am not grateful for each breath I draw. I just wish I didn’t see them rise from my body as I stand in the cold temperatures of winter. Breathing some place like the Bahamas might better suit me during this most dreaded season. Of course, that would require more cash than I’ll ever have, so, the best thing for me to do is live with it. Brrr!