It’s going to be 70 degrees here in Maryland today.
Less than a week ago, snow coated the ground not far from my house. And now, as I sit in the kitchen with my laptop and pancakes, above the hum of the washing machine I’m pretty sure I hear a faint chorus of rejoices ringing out from neighboring houses. But there will be no rejoicing here.
Because I love the cold.
Nah, you all say. She must be mistaken. She’s joking. Is this sarcasm? Snarky blogging?
Oh no. I’m serious. And I know cold. Well, I used to know it, anyway. I remember it fondly.
I came from a typical Minnesota family, who by March was spitting out the words “cabin fever” daily and had a personal relationship with the local tanning salon. Come April, nearly the entire city was dying to fly south for a week of warm respite.
And so when my family was able to escape to some warm southern place or another, everyone fell over themselves getting into their swim suit or wet suit and out onto the beach. Everyone except me. I stretched out on the couch with a book. Or two. Or three. I remember my parents eventually dragging me outside, and, yes, I did have some fun in the sun. I look pretty happy in the pictures, anyway.
I tried to join in the tan obsession of the 80’s. I nearly believed tall tales of girls coated in Crisco who fell asleep on the top of black cars and woke up actually baked to the roof. I admired the kids who returned to school after Labor Day burnt to a golden brown crisp. That took some work. And so I attempted to lay out on those teen summer days. I’d unfold the lawn chair in the yard and stretch out, willing the rays to hurry up and soak in already, telling myself that life was better for those with sun kissed skin. But I hated it. It was hot. I sweated and stuck to the plastic chair and I… was… bored. And so after about 20 minutes I was back inside the house with the AC cranked, watching some long lost rerun movie on TBS.
I can hear you all whisper to your computer screens in disbelief. No way. She doesn’t understand.
Uh, yes way.
I love the cold. And the snow. A fresh snowfall is like a new beginning, a clean slate. It’s like making a crazy design with an etch-a-sketch and then shaking it up to start over. I love standing on the edge of a yard full of untouched drifts, being the first to stomp all over it, to make my mark, shuffling around as I draw my name in large letters or flopping down to make a snow angel.
And one of my favorite things is to step outside in the middle of an evening snowfall. The world softens with a deathly quiet. I could stand in those moments forever.
If I’m honest with myself, I’m not sure if I love winter because of the cold and snow, or if I love it because it gives me permission to live the lifestyle I want. Because I’m pretty sure I’m a lioness at heart. Fierce, determined, prepared to defend my cubs at any cost, and with a nearly undeniable desire to laze about all day long. (Seriously, I’d do my best work at 2am, if only the rest of the human world was nocturnal.)
Winter jives with my personal rhythm: slow and lazy. When it’s frigid and sleeting outside, we all hunker down indoors with our blankets and warm drinks. Everyone else may be going stir crazy, but I’m humming happily as I build a little nest on the sofa and tuck into it with my laptop and coffee.
And snow days. SNOW DAYS!
Love snow days. Little gifts from the education gods. Waking up at 5:41am to the robocall announcing school closings is like plucking a ‘Get out of jail free’ card from the Chance pile in Monopoly. Another joy of working in the schools.
So maybe that’s what spring and summer are lacking in my book. Laziness. Geez, when the temp warms up and the birds start chirping, people stream from their houses to jog, walk, and play outdoors. The schedule fills up with kids’ sports and concerts. We get busy. I’m not a big fan of busy.
Although I have to admit I do relish the vacations we take with our favorite card-playing college friends, despite the heat. We may end up in tropical spots, with the sun beating on our heads and sweat pouring down our backs, but when we step off the plane, our pace slows. We sleep in. There’s no rush. And there’s plenty of shade.
Alright, so maybe it’s not the cold and snow I love about winter. (Although they are pretty great.) Maybe it’s the hibernation I crave. January comes and the entire human population gradually freezes, grows drowsy and sluggish. The world takes on a lovely laze.
But January is gone, as is February, and soon March. Spring is budding all around, and the high heat of summer will be upon us before we know it. My beloved relatives in the north will no doubt be dancing a jig come June, and I’ll be happy for them as I stare at my calendar and count the days til my beloved cold returns.