Getting Through Winter

For about 30 years, I walked to work everyday in all conditions, so the weather was important to me. I coped with winter by setting milestones. (I hated an early snowfall. It thawed and refroze on the streets in slippery, glazed ruts that made walking treacherous. I generally fell once every winter, or rather, I rolled onto my thick down coat. I only injured my dignity. Some years, I wanted to fall just to get it over with.)

In the summer, I often biked to work. Work was only a mile away through quiet suburban streets. I read an article in a biking magazine on how to ride in snow that I thought would be helpful in winter, but it was all about how to take a fall from a bike. Forget that! Show me how to stay upright.

People at work would often say, “Boy, you sure love winter.” No, I don’t. I just try to get through it the best I can. Still do. A pleasure of retirement is staying home in bad weather.

The first milestone was the winter solstice, December 21. After that, I knew the days would be getting longer, even though the mornings would still be dark.

The next milestone was about two or three weeks after that when the mornings would brighten noticeably earlier. This is where we are now.

The last milestone was the end of January which, on average here in Delaware, is the time of coldest weather. We could still have colder days in February and March, but it was comforting to know the trend was warming, and those colder days were only temporary.

After that, I could go by the months. February could still have stretches of cold days, and March could have heavy snowfalls, but they would soon pass. April brought occasional warm days that became increasingly frequent. May was perfect, and winter was definitely over.

I had survived one more winter. Of course, that was before we even imagined global warming.

About Roger Walck

My reasons for writing this blog are spelled out in the posting of 10/1/2012, Montaigne's Essays. They are probably not what you think.
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