Of course, I unfortunately live in Northeast Wisconsin where winter lasts for eleven months. Okay I exaggerate, eight months. Now don’t get me wrong I love the Midwest, its values, its people. I just wish it were further South.
Here are my winter whines along with the Sauvignon Blanc and Petite Syrah that get me through it all.
1. The available activities. I don’t ski, snowshoe, skate, snowmobile, or sled. So my activity level goes way down in the winter and that means it’s really hard to not gain weight. It doesn’t help that my husband loves to cook and there is a lot of good food around. That just makes it harder to get back in shape when everything thaws out in May. Drive to a gym? See no. 3.
2. The cold. The circulation in my toes and fingers doesn’t work very well so they are usually cold. I wear socks to bed every night. This is good for my husband because he doesn’t get those icebergs at the end of my ankles against his ….um, legs or whatever is in reach of my feet. But it takes me forever to warm up some nights and when I’m cold I can’t sleep. As to my fingers, well there isn’t one time in church when I shake hands and give the peace of the Lord to my neighbor in the pew that I’m not told, “Wow, your hands are cold!’ I think I will have to starting waving or just keep my mittens on.
3. Winter driving. I am in dire fear of skidding off the road, sliding into another car or having another vehicle hit me (ever since we had an accident about 6 years ago). Thus, once it starts snowing I don’t venture forth until the roads are dry, really dry. If the roads are bad and I have an important appointment like with a doctor my sweetie will be an agreeable chauffeur. But I don’t like asking to be driven to my book group, church, the library, shopping ….well you get the idea. My fear and my pride keep me in the house a lot in the winter.
4. The bills. Number one is the heating bill. Every time that big old propane truck pulls into the driveway I’m looking at another $400-500 charge. Big cold snap expected next week, guess we’ll be getting to know that driver really well. Fill ‘er up, Bill!
But on top of that is the plowing bill. We have a walk behind snowplow but neither of us are getting any younger and even though Curt is not an invalid it was just getting tough to suit up and go out and push the snow around. Our driveway is medium length but is still a lot of work. We hired a plow guy. Takes him 5-8 minutes tops, where it took Curt 30-40 minutes, to do the whole driveway and the apron and parking area in front of the garage. Thirty bucks per plow and we’ve had him here 6 times this December. Could be worse though, the plow guy we had last year charged us $45 per plow and then waited to send me the whole winter’s bill in May!
5. The footing. As in the surface underneath my feet. Black ice did me in two winters ago. Never saw it until I was on the ground. That resulted in a sprained foot and a stress fracture. Been gun-shy ever since. I now walk slow on most driveways, sidewalks, parking lots…sort of like a slow duck. However walking in deep snow with big boots or snowshoes is no problem. Too bad I don’t like winter sports.
6. Finally, it gets dark early. My ambition level goes waaay down when the sun sets. No matter what I’m doing when it gets dark and it is cold out, I’m looking for my sweats and slippers. After dinner, it’s an afghan, a glass of wine (see the intro for preferred vintages) and a book, or what’s on the TV, that occupies my time. In the summer I’d be back outside. I think we have now come full circle to the weight gain issue again.
So there are my gripes about the long, cold, dark winter. For a more upbeat take on the season visit my friend Terra’s latest, 6 Great Winter Outings in Northeast Wisconsin. She’s a winter lover.