Even though it’s the lead story on the 6 o’clock news many nights, I haven’t written about the weather in awhile.
News flash: It’s cold out there right now.
You already knew that.
But it’s not that cold today. I went for a walk/jog earlier, and my car temperature gauge recorded a balmy 17 degrees. The sun was out, too.
Unlike some of you, I like living in a place with four seasons. I don’t wear a scarf in the winter; I like the cold on my face. It’s invigorating.
When jogging, I wear layers. My thumbs and fingers get cold first, so I wear two pairs of gloves. I had no issues today.
Joy of winter
I’m thankful for winter. Last year, it never came. I jogged in the rain in January last year – and got soaked in a rainstorm when it should have been snowing. Ugh. That was my worst jog ever.
Those signs that say “Bridge may be icy”? It’s true. There are two bridges over the Black River on my favorite exercise path, and they do ice over before the path itself does. I tread gingerly there. (They get slick in the rain during summer, too. Got to pay attention all the time.)
I drive a passenger van for a living, so maybe it’s strange that I say I enjoy winter. This means I have to slow down when the weather turns nasty. Welcome to the real world.
I learned how to drive in a Chevette in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula a long time ago. I can rock a stuck vehicle out of a snowbank with the best of you.
Step up your game
For Christmas, we visited family in Michigan. I drove my wife and oldest son to a late-afternoon Christmas Eve service in Ann Arbor (with Ohio license plates and a Michigan State sticker on the back windshield, by the way) along snow-covered roads. I traversed aptly-named Hill Street and pumped the gas pedal repeatedly without thinking to get our minivan up the incline. If I’d floored it, I’d have spun the wheels and lost traction. Keep the wheels rolling, slow enough to keep traction with the road but fast enough to keep the vehicle moving.
There’s a skill to winter driving. Perhaps that’s why I like it.
Speed limits, of course, go out the window when it snows. Before our sons were born, we motored through Buffalo the first week of January during a snowstorm similar to the one Erie, Pa., got this week. I drove 15 – that’s fifteen – mph on the New York State Thruway, a 55 mph highway then (it’s 65 mph now). We were grateful we had a motel reservation; otherwise, we might have been stranded out there.
I always see an SUV or two speed past me on snow-covered roads. Be my guest. I’m not surprised to see them in a ditch or stopped by a police officer a few minutes later. Happens all the time, doesn’t it? You’d think we would learn.
I have never owned a snowblower. Put on the boots and get out the shovel. I’ve been blessed with excellent health. It’s good exercise.
I enjoy spring more when we’ve had a real winter. If trees never “die,” how can they “come to life” again? New blooms, greener grass, warmer temperatures, more people outside (I saw only one older man on my 6-mile walk/jog today).
There’s a reason Easter is in the spring. It’s a symbol of new life, of rebirth.
Summers are nice in northern Ohio (although I did get dehydrated once after my walk/jog last summer). Not too hot or humid, usually. I couldn’t handle a Florida or Texas summer.
Fall is a beautiful time, as leaves change color and the temps begin to chill a little. We bought a house a few months ago that has a number of mature trees in or near our yard. I spent a lot of time this fall raking those leaves. Again, good exercise. (I have to find the positive side, right?)
Our city has an awesome leaf collection system. We rake leaves to the curb, and the city brings around a huge vacuum cleaner that sucks up the leaves. It’s pretty cool. They come through several times each fall, so we just keep raking. (I filled a couple of yard waste cans with late-falling leaves on Dec. 21, just before the most recent snowfall. Someday I’ll get all the leaves off the yard. Maybe.)
I enjoy getting outside year-round. Cold, cool, hot, warm. It’s all good.
It sure beats over-eating while watching blowout bowl games all day (which I did yesterday, actually – yawn).
Fresh air. It’s good for your health, and mine.
See you on the trail. Any time of year.