Lesson Learned: Winter comes with or without you.

I’m never ready for winter. My body and mind skids to a stop when that first blast of arctic air hits the Minnesota/Wisconsin area. I step back, wanting summer. I don’t like being forced to embrace the cold season. And yes, I should be prepared. I am a planner, and I’ve talked about being prepared in my blog.

My first resistance to the cold starts in October when the frost ices the neighborhood houses and yards and the night sky becomes longer than the day. That is when I go into hibernation-mode. I want to curl up on the couch with a blanket and sleep. I think I was a bear in a previous life as hibernating until the spring doesn’t sound too bad.

After the frost comes the first snow. My attitude shifts slightly as I watch the white crystals fall elegantly to the ground. The first blanket with the sun reflecting off the crisp landscape is breathtaking, and I’m in awe. Maybe I do like winter. Until I have to drive in it. I don’t mind driving in the winter months as long as there’s less than two inches of snow on the road. I am a careful driver. I’m not so sure about others. People forget how to drive in the snow and some are reminded abruptly when they drive across an icy patch and their car does a little dance. First snow always creates more than an average number of cars in the ditch.

After the first snow, we usually get that little tease of warm air. The sun is out, the wind is calm, and the light jacket comes out again. Only to be short-lived. This year, for instance, my husband changed the oil in his daughter’s car on Thanksgiving day when she was over for dinner. He wore his t-shirt – no jacket – when outside in near 60 degree weather. In less than a few hours the temperature dropped 40 degrees. Forty frickin’ degrees! And it snowed!

Now, winter is here to stay. The temperature was 15 degrees above zero on Saturday. We were outside walking. We toured a deer stand, a gun range, and a beautiful lake, still blue with open water. A great day to be outside if you had on the proper boots, gloves, scarf, and hat; which I wasn’t wearing. I guess now I have to get out my heavy gear. It’s time to bundle up every day. And I can’t forget to add my scraper, blanket, and emergency kit to the back of my car.

Brrrr! In a week, I may be ready.

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