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Winter’s Good Side

February 18th, 2014 at 11:39 am

Today’s Flyover People column as seen in The Emporia Gazette:

cat tracks -2

cat tracks into the neighbor’s yard



I should at least get partial credit for making it through half of winter without whining or complaining.

But I lost my cool, my patience, when February opened with a sleet storm, followed by 7 or 8 inches of snow, and relentless cold air. Temperatures stayed below freezing for well over a week. I felt cold all of the time, outdoors and indoors, and my tolerance for winter disappeared like the sunshine.

While I can endure winter, I don’t enjoy it. The only positive thing I can say for winter is that the ice in my tea doesn’t melt as quickly as it does during the warm months.

So I turned to my Facebook friends and asked them to tell me some good things about the season. I received more than 80 comments which ranged from the pragmatic to the playful.

Many people mentioned what winter lacks: fewer bugs, less sweating, low humidity. Winter favorites included: Christmas and Christmas music, dogs and blankets, flannel, snuggling and crackling fires. Others mentioned comfort foods, hot tea and hot chocolate.

Lucrecia Eubanks, Corky Heller and Von Rothenberger like snow ice cream. Mollie Sultenfuss said that winter offers an “excuse to stay inside and read, of course.”

Tracy Simmons is a reader, but she also doesn’t mind getting outside. She brought up “snow forts, sledding, playing Fox and Goose in fresh snow,” and that “shoveling snow builds upper body strength.”

Bryan Thompson mentioned sledding, snowmen, snowball fights, as well as icicles and the sun dog that appeared one day, and “just the pure beauty of new-fallen snow.”

“Long peaceful nights full of darkness, and the way snow can blanket an entire town,” are a few of the many things J. Schafer loves about winter. And, “seeing your own breath (try THAT one, summer!).”

“The cave, the season of hibernation, of turning within,” is what Kris Holmes appreciates.

Heather Mellott said that winter “Provides the melancholy necessary to write a sad song.”

Eric Benjamin, who often heads into the Flint Hills on his bicycle wrote, “The sound absorption quality of the snow makes it so quiet but at the same time the sound of the crunching snow under my tires and any other sounds like birds or people talking at a farm down the road are crystal clear. Winter cycling has an adventurous quality to it like no other time of the year.”

Scott Rochat wrote, “The stories are usually better. People around here (Longmont, Colo.) brag about making it through the Blizzard of ’83 or ’06. No one wants to remember a drought.”

Lynn Bonney said, “Ice cold water – from the tap!”  And Lou Ann Thomas said, “You can accidentally leave restaurant leftovers in the car overnight and they’re still safely edible.”

“I love winter, I long for it, but we do not have much of a winter here in Stockholm this year,” Kerstin Ivarsson wrote. “It is raining now, so grey and boring. I love the snow that makes things so much lighter up here in Sweden where the days are so short in winter.”

April Buckman, who loves gardening, said, “It gives Mother Nature a chance to rest so that she can grow again in the spring.”

Jan Short wrote, “1) The snow covers up the junk in my yard. 2) Don’t have to mow. 3) Makes you really appreciate when spring comes!”

Both Janet Fish and Randy Attwood commented that winter suits them. Janet said, “Winter is the anti-summer. I don’t do well in the heat.” And Randy wrote, “Heat and humidity sap my energy. The cold invigorates me.”

“I walked home yesterday – it was just beautiful,” Deirdre Tollakson said. “Felt like a kid walking in the snow. Everyone has rosy cheeks.”

Winter will end; it always does. Patrick Kelley wrote, “We are alive and we will prevail ‘til spring.”

Copyright 2014 ~ Cheryl Unruh

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Flyover Weather, life on the ground, seasons, weather

  1. February 18th, 2014 at 12:39 | #1

    ‘dogs and blankets’, Cheryl, is this a dog- dog you are talking about or something else?

  2. February 18th, 2014 at 13:03 | #2

    People like to snuggle up with their dogs and their blankets. Not the dog/pig-in-the-blankets that one has for lunch. 🙂

  3. February 19th, 2014 at 00:31 | #3

    Kansans don’t like to snuggle with their friend or spouse?

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