Winter Attitude

Most of the people I know are thrilled to get a few days of above freezing temperatures at this time of year. Not me.  I chose this climate.  My family visited relatives in northern Wisconsin quite often when I was a child and I always knew I wanted to live here.  I chose a college because it was in Minnesota and after wasband finished grad school in Milwaukee, we headed to Minneapolis even though neither of us had jobs yet.

I don’t mind the cold – until I lose my winter attitude. Once we have some warmer weather, my body decides that it’s ready for spring, a return to shorter sleeves and flip flops.  Then the cold weather DOES get to me.  So even if it’s 35 degrees out, I’m still wearing my gloves and big knitted scarf and pretending Mother Nature is still bringing on the chill.  Once my body has made that transition, there is no going back!

How do you handle the last weeks of winter?

 

48 thoughts on “Winter Attitude”

  1. I have never felt winter had to be handled. But I admit I like the shorter winters in Kato as opposed to TwoHarbors but for the longer autumns and springs.

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    1. I love this question. I had a rough night. Nights are what I have to handle. I had been awake and about for a couple hours. Then was going to get a couple hours sleep. My brain was ready. Then I read the question and it took my back to the elemental life we lived when I was a child. Then my mind found a conundrum I thought I had laid to rest. My last new piece of creative writing, ignored for a year or more, demanded attention. I wrote a prologue to some sort of extended fiction. I love the prologue and the new tone I found in writing. But is it a novel or a collection of stories or stories that add up to a long story enfolding short stories. The challenge and stimulation will keep me awake, the challenging stimulation of the creative process, about which I think almost all the baboons know.

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      1. This is a tease about your latest creative effort. Now I am curious. When you are ready to disclose it, I will be wanting to know what it is! Late Winter Opus.

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        1. Sorry. Not teasing. Just wanted to raise what I know is a common joy and frustration. I am not up to doing it. Just wonderful to think about creating as I sell off art stuff. I might try forcing something from the prologue for a bit. Here is a tease: “Concierge to the Cows.” Or should that be “A Concierge to the Cows.” Does the A improve the Rhythm? I do have the two novels and collection of short stories in “final” form.

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        2. In response to “Concierge to the Cows”, I went looking for Billy Curmano’s concert for the cows called Bongo Bovine but it was only 31seconds long and therefore disappointing. This is better:

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    1. Usual pattern is sleep from 12:30 to 2:30. Then again from 3:30 to 6 or 7. Nap an hour in the day. But there is no usuall patter. Rarely sleep 3 hous in a time. Every so often sleep 4 to 5. But oh how it hurts to sleep that long, as you know, Steve. Took Ambien/Zolpidem for a dozen years, then it did things in my brain. Then discovered a normal night is about the same on or off the drug.

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      1. Your patterns are highly similar to mine, Clyde, although it sounds as if your habits are more regular. I now sleep about two hours at a shot. A typical night has me going to bed three times. When I can’t sleep I fiddle with the computer until I get sleepy again . . . if I ever do. These short sleeps seemed a problem once. Now I take them as part of this stage of life, and I don’t panic about them. I would never take sleep-aid medications, not on top of all the pills I need now. Wine works better and seems safer.

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        1. The computer will only rev up your brain and make it hard to get deeper sleep. It is better to read or do something like crossword puzzles. TV or computer screens are the worst.

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        2. theyhave computer aps that will take the hot colors out between x and x oclock so you dont get the wake up buzz from the screen. i had my kid set it on my phone . i have not done it on my laptop

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  2. Rise and Shine Baboons,

    I just heard on AZ Public Radio that, “Winter is not quite done yet,” as I read the TB post for today. The high today here will be 63 degrees. Winter here resembles October and April in MN.

    Lest you think it is heavenly, though, I have discovered two realities about winter in AZ:

    1. They still have weather fronts that include barometric pressures that change and cause migraines and joint pain. My chiropractor here also tracks these things, so I at least get some sympathy with a treatment. I noticed this pattern about 20 years ago, and my Dr. told me “it was all in my head.” I hate that. Today barometric pressure is 27.9 here and my joints are screeching.

    2. Remember when Minnesota and Midwest Dr.’s sent people with allergies to live in the dessert (ala my Aunt Mabel)? Does not work anymore, since all the Northerners brought their water features (lame–these folks don’t know what a good lake is!) and versions of their favorite plants which pollinate, creating the same allergies that exist “up North.”

    I have hit it off well with the Polymer Clay Artists here. One of them asked me why I don’t just move here and hang out with them all the time. I groaned and said, “Listen, I just don’t do heat.”

    She sniffed and told me, “You just tough it out. It’s not so bad.”

    Northern winter gets old, it is true, but heat must immobilizes me. I wonder if that is what you experience, too VS?

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    1. It’s going to sound like a cliche but it’s the humidity that gets to me. In my travels I have experienced dry heat versus wet heat and I’ll take the dry heat anytime, thank you very much.

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      1. Mostly that is true, but when it is 117 degrees here dry vs. humid just does not matter. Hot is Hot.

        The other question here that no one can answer, Water? Where is the water going to come from as this area continues to grow? The Colorado River is over-drawn from and water is scarce.

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    2. Let her sniff.

      I can pile on more layers and eventually be ok.

      I can build a low tech fire and be ok for quite awhile.

      Severe cold kills off the bugs before they get too big. I care about that a lot.

      You;ve heard of “rare tropical diseases”, but you never hear about “rare arctic diseases”. Think about it.

      I’m sure I could “adapt” to the heat, but why on earth would I want to?

      My parents winter in coastal Texas every year and say they would give me the plane ticket if I wanted to come down. I just quietly shudder.

      It is an odd thing to have parents who really just don’t know you, and really don’t want to.

      I loathe flying.
      I love winter and would not want to be cheated out of any of it.
      And if I did feel the need to “escape” I can think of no good reason to ever be in Texas.

      Not that Ihave an opinion on any of this.

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  3. There is an official index to measure winter pain. Called the WMI (Winter Misery Index), it is a simple way to rate how awful different winters are, based on temperature and snowfall. The index for the winter of 2017-2018 shows it to be worse than the winters of recent years but far milder than the awful winters that prevailed before global warming.

    The WMI seems to be a simplified version of the Saint Paul Pioneer Press PIP (Pain In the Posterior) index. The WMI is less psychological than the PIP, which specifically rated how “dreary” and long winters were.

    The old PIP rating system fits sherrilee’s emotional landscape by noting the agony of winters that hang around too damn long. I think I’m in sherrilee’s camp. Psychologically speaking, the nine months of pregnancy my erstwife and I experienced were split roughly 50-50 between the first eight months and the interminable last month. With all of its dirty gray snow, the ragged tail end of winter is hard to endure.

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  4. I handle tbe last weeks of winter by looking for any portents of Spring, like the hint of warmth in a cold wind, or the lengthening minutes of daylight. I suppose that starting garden seeds is a way of handling winter. Worry wether the plants are getting big fast enough makes the last weeks of winter pass more quickly. I think I will start peppers next weekend.

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    1. Good to know. I invariably start things too early (and they go spindly) or too late (and Imight as well buy plants from the farmer’s market).

      Since it is snowing today, O may just stick somthing in a pot. ONe of the reasons I start things too late is that we have a warm spell, which gets me thinking along those lines, then winter makes itself known and I think, “nope, too soon”.

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  5. When I lived in Saint Paul there would inevitably come a weekend with genial temperatures that melted snow and ice. That always brought out men in my neighborhood, guys armed with shovels, spades and ice picks. They would hack away at the accumulated snow and ice on the alley, creating rivers of meltwater that rushed toward the storm drains. On one hand, this was a bunch of guys amusing themselves by opening up rivers in the snowpack. At the same time, this was all about the deep desire everyone had to speed up the end of winter.

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  6. All anyone wants to know is when spring will get here. To hell
    with dripping icicles, cold blue snow, silly birds too dumb to
    go south, and sunlight gleaming off rock-hard snowflakes. I’m
    sick of breathing air sharp as razor blades. I’m tired of feet as
    hard to move as two buildings. I refuse to be seduced by the
    pine tree blocking my path. Even though…just now, look how
    it moves, its needles rubbing the sky-blue day. The glow it has
    around its entire body. How perfectly it stands in the snow-
    drift. The way both our shadows cross the noon hour at once,
    like wings.

    ~ Tom Hennen “Adrift In Winter” from Darkness Sticks To Everything: Collected and New Poems

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  7. Several years ago, on a wild hair, we went to the island of St. Thomas for a week toward the end of winter. It was fun, something out of our ordinary pattern, something to break up the monotony. But guess what! when you come home, YOU STILL HAVE TO DEAL WITH WINTER.

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    1. My erstwife and I did the same thing, going to the next-door island, St. John’s. It was a glorious break from shoveling snow. And yet when I got home I had two new things to appreciate about Minnesota. No sand fleas, for one. Nasty little buggers and they aren’t polite about where they’ll bite you. And the showers at our campground featured cold water. I didn’t miss them when we got home!

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    2. What is the origin of that phrase?

      I hear it and always wondered if it is a wild hair or a wild hare.

      I can’t make sense of either.

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        1. not so fast, Bill. I clicked on the link which Barbara so thoughtfully provided and it looks like they are saying “wild hair” is a common mispelling of “wild hare” when used to refer to a sudden impulse. But it also looks like there is possibly justification for either spelling.

          Some things are googlable objective facts (like “who died and left the successor in charge” some things seem to be more subjective and up for discussion (in which google can provide fodder for discussion, not end it).

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  8. It doesn’t seem to me that today qualifies as dwelling in the last weeks of winter. Twice today I had to chip a sheet of ice from the windshield of my car with minimal help from the defrost. The ice on the side windows was quite resistant to the rasp of the ice scraper. Maybe in a couple of weeks I will be thinking about the “last weeks of winter”, but not today. I was relieved to arrive home and confirm that the power was still on in the house. As yet, no downed power lines from the ice storm.

    I would like to revel in winter, but I am too wary of it.

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  9. as i was scraping ice it occurred to me that the last three weeks are a piece of cake. anyone can get the three weeks left and deal with it.
    snow in march doesnt count. at all
    the ten cold days are doen. spring is just a step away. not quite yety but so close. i need to paln my trips to az and rto texas before the winter is over. chicago and vegas too.
    nothin to it. get the slop shoes ready for the melt. the bikes ready for the spring ride. the motorcycle ready to ride and the seed in the seed pots.
    i can deal with the last 3 weeks.
    i like winter, i like spring and i like summer, i like fall , and i like every moment. i like frank sinatra too

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