There are some people built for the cold. They enjoy winter along with all of its elements. The snow, the ice, the bare trees and chilly wind. It’s my understanding that some people actually look forward to that time of year.
Obviously, I would not be one of those people.
Do I like a pretty snow? Absolutely. Through a picture window. Ideally while holding a cup of coffee, curled up under a blanket, reading a book. Now that’s bliss.
The irony of living in North Carolina is that we’re sitting solidly in the ice belt — not far enough north for real snow, but not far enough south for rain. Most storm systems that hit our area drop a mixture of sleet and icy snow, and our temperatures are typically conducive to slight thaws during the day with refreezing at night. This pattern brings a delightful black ice that terrifies school systems to no end.
Not that any of this truly matters. It could be a Robert Frost winter wonderland outside and I would still choose snuggling with my dog on the sofa over strolling through the dazzling white snow. Why? Because no matter how beautiful and magical and wondrous it might be, that stuff is FRIGID.
I often feel chilly on a sixty degree day, shivering cold if it’s overcast and breezy. Thirty degrees rocks me to my core, and not in an “isn’t this freakin’ AMAZING?” kind of way. It’s more along the lines of “endure whatever forced me outside, retreat indoors as soon as possible, then spend the next three hours bundled up as I try to raise my body temp to a comfortable level” sort of way.
The winter I lived in New England was my own personal version of Hades. (Only, you know, the opposite. Temperature-wise.) It didn’t matter how many layers I piled on, I was always freezing and nothing could take the edge off. I think I shivered my way through a good five months there.
When the kids were little, snow days were the bane of my existence. I know, I know…the magic, the joy, the excitement in their eyes as they romp in the snow. It’s supposed to be contagious. Playing with them, sharing in their blissful wonder makes a person feel young at heart.
I tried. I really did.
But I couldn’t get past the reality of a runny nose and freezing fingers and numb toes. I had on too many layers that cut into me when I tried to move, and running around was all the kids wanted to do. Plus I was done after 15 minutes, tops, and the kids were all woo hoo, sledding! And snowmen! And snowball fights! And snow angels! They wanted to stay out for hours, despite their growing crankiness as they ignored their hunger pangs.
And the laundry — UGH, the laundry involved in snow days. There’s at least three changes of clothes per day, with each outfit comprised of two or three layers. On the bright side (ha!) the kids can dress themselves now; I just need to confirm they’ve put on enough clothing to keep all their digits intact.
But those are just icing-on-the-cake reasons why winter is my least favorite season. I have way too many core struggles with the über-cold months. The top contender? Sunlight. I miss the sun. I need the sun’s warmth on my face like I need oxygen — I go too long without it and find myself feeling awful. Greeting the day in the dark is depressing, and having the sun set at 5:00pm makes for an incredibly long evening to fill before bedtime.
So… Serious lack of sun exposure. Short, dark, depressing days. And constant cold assaulting me.
Even Christmas can’t save this season from being at the bottom of my heap.