In general, we as Midwesterners love to grumble about the weather. I suppose it’s really easy to complain when you live in a part of the country where you can have 70 degrees and sun one day, followed by snow the next and tornadoes the next. And there’s the whole saying, “If you don’t like the weather, wait a minute.”
I have lived all my life in the Midwest and I do not remember ever loving winter. Of course, I spent countless hours on the neighborhood toboggan run. I skied – both downhill and cross country. I built forts, had snowball fights and rolled snowballs together that turned into giant snowmen. These are all good childhood memories.
But winter also meant frozen toes, a constantly running nose, and I remember my socks were always wet after changing boots and stepping into some sort of schooling before I could get my shoes on.
Winter can be beautiful, but it also comes with a blast of cold air, slippery roads, and let’s not forget that it feels like it gets dark right after lunch time every day. Of course it’s beautiful, but for me there’s nothing beautiful about snow coming in late January and beyond.
Getting through the winter requires a hobby. “Embrace the season,” say snow lovers. Except that it’s hard to embrace the season when you just do not care about skiing, ice fishing, snowshoeing or basically anything that requires me to put on two dozen layers to spend hours outside being miserable. I’ve tried.
That’s not to say I don’t get plenty of time outside. With a dog that requires a whole lot of exercise, I walk or run with him 3-7 miles every day. And that time outside I look forward to – at least most days. But do not expect me to sign up for other activities outside. I’m always ready to come inside and warm up.
But despite the cold and snow and darkness, there is something about winter that I also love.
I love making things around the house to make it as cozy and inviting as possible. I love trying new recipes that warm up the kitchen. I love spending a lazy weekend afternoon indulging in a good book or a great TV series while the white flakes fall outside.
You could say I really hate winter, but I absolutely love overwintering. So for the next three months, it’s right there you will find me – overwintering, inside.
That is not to say that I am looking forward to spring and the warmer days. But of course we all know that as Midwesterners, as soon as spring comes, we will soon complain that it is too hot.
– Rachel Brougham is the former Assistant Editor of the Petoskey News-Review. You can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.