"Little Darlin' I feel that ice is slowly melting. Little darlin', it seems like years since it's been clear." ~George Harrison
Yeah Darlins',it HAS been a long, cold, snowy winter. And at about this time every year (as February draws to a close) I feel like I am at the end of my winter rope. Is that I am getting older? Is it the lack of sun? Is it really that this has been one of the snowier winters on record? Am I suffering from the dreaded winter blues or what they call SAD? Perhaps all of the above.
I'm trying. I really am. Normally a positive person, I truly don't like feeling this way about the season. Because I believe so strongly in the Universal Law of Attraction, I know that if I wake up and look out the window and moan at the snow and cold, that is not a good way to start the day. Negativity breeds negativity. I know that I simply must find things to be grateful for about this weather, because I do know that for me, the end of winter is often more difficult for me that the middle.
My friend Sandy posted something positive on my Facebook wall yesterday amidst the complaints about the weather. It made me smile. She and her family moved to Vermilion and live on a beautiful piece of property where they really enjoy the seasons. A snow storm means they hitch their horse to a sleigh and glide through the beauty of their property. She said "I'm sorry, but I love the snow. I think it's pretty." Then again, she reminded us she works from home. I do think some of my frustration with the weather comes from my schedule. Perhaps getting up in the dark to a foot of snow at 4 am, then driving in the dark an hour later to be smiley and cheerful on the air does, on some days, take a lot of energy.
So--I figure the thing that will end these winter blahs is just to acknowledge them. Get it out there, deal with those feelings and then move on. So I hope you'll humor me and let me vent, and then, let the therapeutic healing begin.
1) February feels so long, even though it's the shortest month of the year! As my morning show co-host Scott Wynn said the other day, they do everything to make it shorter. They lop off a few days and make it 28 instead of 30 or 31. Then they toss in a holiday or two. But still, it feels long.
2) The end of winter into spring is a big fat tease, and although its begins in February, March is no picnic either. You get one of those 40 or 50 degree days with sun, and then 48 hours later, another snow storm. No gradual thaw seems to happen around here. One day its 17 degrees and the next its 37 and then the rains come. That 3 foot pile of snow melts in 24 hours and then our weather reports go from snow warnings to flood warnings.
3) The Mud. With 2 dogs, the end of winter into spring is muddy paw season.
4) Lack of sun. Enough said.
Now that it's out there...let's focus on why living around here has it's benefits.
1) Living through the winter toughens you up, in a good way. If you can handle a winter in the Northeast or Midwest, you are a hardy soul. Those who live in perfect climates where the sun shies 300 plus days a year don't have the appreciation we do for those amazing days. A sunny 60 degree days after a gray 30 degree one is like heaven to us.
2) We may have crazy snowstorms but we don't have hurricanes, earthquakes, mudslides, or wildfires.
3) The Great Lakes: including Superior, Michigan, Huron, Erie, and Ontario, form the largest group of freshwater lakes on Earth holding 21 percent of the world's surface fresh water. Yes, it brings is lake effect snow...BUT our area will never be without fresh water. In fact, we supply it to most of the country! We need to make sure these lakes aren't trashed and toxified like they were in the 70's.
4)Good place to raise a family. I've read some economist theories that say the once depressed areas of the country--the Great Lakes states like Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania will recover sooner than we think due to the incredible natural resources and moderate cost of living. Plus, good old fashioned Midwest values and friendly people who just help one another. Probably because were are always digging each other out of the snow!
5) The change of Seasons. Just when you are feel like you can't take one more humid day, the cool crisp fall air comes in, and we are treated to pleasant comfortable days, crisp nights and a mind-blowing display of color for a couple of months. And that's really the thing about this part of the country. God seems to know when it's time to change the season for us. The first snowfall has us thinking of Christmas, the first robin of Spring and warmth to come, and then the heat of the summer makes us smile at the impending autumn.
I've lived where the season changes all my life. And I've endured some brutal winters but I'd like to think its made me more appreciative of the good stuff when it gets here.
Here Comes The Sun and I say, it's alright.