Wednesday, February 06, 2019

Wintriest Winter

This winter has been the wintriest I think we've experienced since moving to Utah 4.5 years ago (let's pause a second to let that number sink in). We've had some recent snow-on-snow-on-snow business going on and it's a little bit crazy.  New York winters traumatized me in a way I know no other place will.  I was recently at a gathering with friends and as we exited, one friend in particular and i paused to chat some more in some inclement weather.  Another friend remarked on our devotion to friendship as we stood in the rain to converse. The friend I was engaging is from Oregon aka "land of rains all the time" (I think that's on the license plates)  and said this was her favorite kind of weather and she could just live in it all day.  This other friend then asked me, "Jen, were winters just so magical in New York? Did you just love it?"  And the way she said it, so dreamy and full of whimsy and love and hope compelled me to respond harshly-- "Are you KIDDING ME? Winters in NY are a veritable HELL!" and then went on an emotional tirade, as is custom by anyone who's experienced a NY winter:

"The unavoidable cold itself is soul-destroying. But the snow! Multiple times it snowed over two feet in a single storm. And that's not including the subsequent storms in days after! We were literally marooned and couldn't even leave our apartment! The subways and schedules were utterly demolished, multiplying and compounding everyone's commute. Walking out in it was a nightmare, as the sidewalks were unwalkable, un-strollable, and as it slightly melted, with literal feet-wide dirty slush rivers to hurdle or ford and you had no other option."  Anyway, I'm pretty sure by this point she had already politely sauntered away and gotten into her car but I probably had a few more [paragraphs of] words to say about it.

  Even though this has been the snowiest winter in years--I'll say it one more time--it pales in comparison to a single NY winter. PALES. Alright. So. That said... I am not hating all of this snow(!) This morning we woke up to a real life blizzarding white-out.  Drifts blown high, the wind still gusting with great vigor, streets un-plowed. Some areas of snow 3 feet deep, others not 2 inches.  And as anti-snow as I have been in my life, I actually enjoy snow driving. Though I'll take any kind of excitement, frankly. I grew up maneuvering in snow and I think my experience driving in New York, alone + in NY snow has made me believe I am snow-driving invincible. If I can do that, I can do an-y-thing.  School there was canceled regularly but I knew we would not be so lucky here.

 "Get in the car, Julian, and we'll see what happens!" I gleefully said this morning as we left to brace for the storm to get to school. On the way, treading new paths, we slid a little bit to and a little bit fro. The wind hurling snow darts into our view from every direction. Stupid other drivers not turning on their lights. It was exciting and I thanked the good heavens above for our sturdy large vehicle with high ground clearance {prayer hands}.  As I returned from drop-off I saw another neighbor struggling in vain to shovel out his small car with his son belted inside it.  So, having made the journey successfully and, as usual, feeling like I can CONQUER ANYTHING,  I took his son to school as well.  And then I went to help shovel the neighbor who gave up and pushed the car back into the drive.

So we've received a lot of snow and shockingly, I don't hate it.  It makes winter and having to endure it actually mean something. I can still go out in it if I want and I have things to occupy and it makes the cozying in factor increase exponentially.  Now, it's still early February and, as I read on a meme recently, "January was a rough year, but we made it,"  but right now I'm ok and this is a thing to be celebrated.  In addition to the snow (I can't believe I'm saying that), I'm going to go ahead and list the reasons why it's ok:

1. I bought a sun lamp.  Or, I bought Sean a sun lamp that I stole. I set it down next to me in my favorite chair and I force myself to just sit and read with faux-rays beating down on me for at least 30 min and I swear it works like magic.  I walk away cheerier and more bright-eyed and energized.  What a thing. So it's magic or a freakishly strong placebo effect; I don't care. 

2. My Hunger Games reading has really carried me through. Next I read Ella Enchanted which I thought would be uninteresting fluff and was totally mistaken.  It is the most charming little read I've come across in a long time, which was most welcome as the book I read before HG was What Alice Forgot which i pretty much give half a star to.  Maybe it's that I had to rush to read it in time for the book club but I really get annoyed when I feel forced to read something I'm not enjoying.  What a chore! People liked this book. I did not.  But yay for other books.

3. Yoga. Yoooogaaahhh.  My yoga classes are saving my life right now.  I love yoga so much and getting out a couple times a week to re-center and re-estabish that good ol' mind/body connection has done wonders for my mental health.  It is pure therapy and I think I've noticed some progress in my strength, range of motion, and flexibility! (Say that last part like it's suddenly a commercial for it, like I'm advertising for yoga) Really though, it's thuh best and I am so grateful.

4. The hygge is alive and well.  With book-reading, two cats, several pairs of fuzzy socks and blankets and tea to last a lifetime, we are doing well.  We recently conceded to get a Wii (like, the old school one, and I'm betting that's as far as we'll go) and Sean and Julian and I play that regularly.  It's totally fun and makes us feel like we're exercising, which is what people were saying about it 15 years ago. 

5. As a bonus item, we recently got Julian a punching bag and hung it downstairs. Ha ha ha.  Yup.  Little kid needs some kind of energy release. It is awesome and I'm trying to think of ways to incorporate it more as a way for him to cope with stress.  "Oh, time to punch it out?"  "Better go punch it out."  But he's good at it, punches seriously hard, and I kind of want to rent it out to neighbors or something.

So happy--dare I say HAPPY-- winter to us all!

Also, here are two videos for you.  One is Julian using his punching bag with me singing Eye of the Tiger (as one must) and the other is of a duck skating on a frozen pond.  On frozen duck pond. 


Joel said...

Come on, it's clearly a Canada goose.

This has been a strange winter. I think we've made it through the coldest, snowiest days and then we get a cold snap and more snow in February. This morning it was 1 degree F but the "real feel" is -11. My daughter looked like Randy from A Christmas Story this morning.

Joel said...

Also, I did start my Hunger Games reread. I'm on book 2.

)en said...

Ha ha! Goose, duck. Potato, potahto? Alright it's a little embarrassing.
-11-- NO.

HG, yes! Let me know thoughts when you're done.