Monday, February 15, 2010
Bleak midwinter report
On the whole, this winter hasn't been too bad. I was expecting it to be a) brutal, b) messy, and c) gray. Instead, it has been a) quite reasonable, actually, b) cold enough not to be melty-messy, and c) yes, gray, but BRIGHT gray since when the sun comes out it shines and reflects off of all the snow on the ground. I always loved that feeling as a child when I woke up early in the morning and just knew it had snowed because the light shining in through my window was extra bright. I get that every morning now. And the magic still hasn't worn off.
What the magic has worn off of is clearing a foot of snow from my car every couple of days. I've got the process down: load the girls, start the car, turn on the heat and defroster, put on my snow gloves, and then attack the snow buildup. I learned early on that it was a mistake to flip the windshield wipers on while leaning halfway into the driver's seat. All that did was deposit a pile of snow onto myself. So I guess I'm still learning after all.
It's not DC or anything, but in general, it snows here for a few days on end and then takes a break, at which time everybody goes and gets their cars washed so the iced-on road salt doesn't eat away the exterior. I was a little worried at having to drive in the snow since I haven't had a lot of experience doing so, but it turns out Ithaca has the snow plow system down to an art. That's why I've decided that snow-driving skills are overrated. It's all well and good to look down on those other people in those other cities that completely shut down or go crazy when it snows, but really, that's only because they don't have the infrastructure in place to send out fleets of snow plows. It may snow a lot here but it's not like I'm out there in my Corolla busting my way down the road through 4-foot drifts.
My favorite thing about our Ithaca winter is that for the first time in five years, I feel cozy. It was impossible to feel cozy in Tucson because it never got cold enough, at least in my opinion. To feel cozy, you need to get cold down to your bones, hopefully a good, thorough, wet cold, maybe with a few numb limbs and your cheeks red and chapped and everything. Then you come inside and have some hot chocolate and curl up with a blanket on the couch and just savor the process of getting warm. Mmmmmmm. Here, I get to do that every day - multiple times a day, even, since we keep our thermostat so low (61 degrees, and a post about that is coming).
How is your winter going?