The Big Freeze

The Big Freeze

The Big Freeze

Here we go again, settling in for another long winter.

I’ve come to terms with the fact that I was completely mismatched with my parents. Where on earth did they get the idea it would be OK to raise children where school is canceled because you can get frostbit with wind chill in seconds waiting on a bus? How dare they embrace these driving hazards we had to maneuver at the ripe age of 16 on the back roads to ensure we didn’t land in a ditch. Were they thinking I’d grow up to be a professional ski slope navigator, honing my driving skills through the winters?

But hey, I’ve tried to find ways to adjust. I’ve even gotten creative.

Did I tell you about the time I turned my soda into a slushy simply by leaving it on the porch? It is so magical.

I’ve thought long and hard about this, but something doesn’t quite add up. See, I have all the symptoms of being a Southern gal. (Someone grab me a genealogy test, please!) All the signs are there. I’ll make you a lemonade and sit on the porch swing any time of day. I’ll walk barefoot on the hot cement to run through a sprinkler. I make a very mean milkshake. I love to swim and lay in a hammock. Someone got it all wrong. That stork was supposed to drop me off in Florida!

Just kidding. I love my Mom and Dad despite this bad decision. (“Oh, we like the seasons. This is where we were raised. It’s a good, wholesome, small northeastern town. You will be safe.” Blah, blah, blah.)

If you haven’t figured it out, I don’t get along well with Old Man Winter. I am like Ebenezer Scrooge throughout it all. Bah-humbug!

Now, don’t get me wrong. This affliction only occurs within me from November through February. Oh, how my teeth chatter just saying that word. You know, the F——y word. For only having 28 days, it generally turns out to be the longest month of my year.

Yearly, the same thing happens to me over and over again. I’ve tried all the suggestions known to mankind in an honest effort to embrace this cool, dreary, damp, gray-overcast-sky weather. But who am I kidding? I can’t do it. It’s just too cold!

You might have heard the saying, “A few inches of snow in the North is just another winter day. But a few inches of snow in the South is the end of the world.” That’s my world! Coincidence?  I don’t think so. I belong in the South. Sure, we have all the gear — the plow, the salt, the boots and hats and gloves and shovels and heated driveways. I should tough it out, right? No, I say!  Just give me the warm sunshine.

That way, there would be no need to waste time, energy and the extra expense dealing with the snow, ice, and price-gouging heating bill. I could just sit on my porch swing sipping my lemonade.

Myths: For those who believe you can drop pounds being cold because the body burns up so much fuel trying to stay warm, it’s not true. I put on ten every winter. And for those of you who believe cold boosts your brain, not true either. I am endlessly tired and weak, making my way through these months in a clouded yet steady brain fog.  Every single day. Yes, cold weather, and I do not agree.

I tried cutting jokes to ease the chill in the room. You know them:

  • It is so cold even the dog wanted a cup of coffee.
  • It is so cold my cat climbs into the refrigerator just to warm up.
  • It is so cold snowmen are migrating south.
  • Hey, what do you call a penguin in the Sahara Desert? Lost.
  • What kind of ball doesn’t bounce? A snowball.
  • What bites but doesn’t have teeth? Frost.

Nothing. Not even a chuckle. This is no joke – none of these distractions work; it is just too cold.

I may be a wintertime Scrooge, but I do keep trying to change my ways. This winter, I set some goals to live by, and you just may find them useful.

  1. Remember, your breath can serve as a portable heater for your hands in a pinch.
  2. Dress in layers and always have extra blankets in the car.
  3. Have kitty litter in your trunk (it gives you some grit to peel your car out of an icy spot).
  4. Ask anyone else in your home to go out and start up your car in advance of your departure.
  5. Hand warmers aren’t only meant for the hands.

Last, but not least, don’t be a Scrooge because it doesn’t change a thing. It’s still cold out there.