Save 75% - Only $49.99 for 1 full year! digitalPLUS subscription offer ends 12/1

Better or Worse: A warm wish for snow is no match for cold reality

Winter Weather and BlizzardsSuper Bowl

Our winters have been relatively mild in recent years; but when I was young, we had to snow-shoe to school in 8-foot drifts, uphill, against the wind, both ways.

Now, that's winter!

I'm not a big fan of blizzards or week-long power outages. Still, I long for the winters of days gone by, when no one shopped for Super Bowl snacks in flip-flops and shorts, and women didn't have to wear their brand new, knee-high, fleece-lined boots in 70-degree weather.

Last winter, I never once wore a heavy coat — the whole month of January, I got by with a muffler and a newsboy cap. (The hat was actually too much. My head got sweaty.)

Then, in December, I declared, "I want a 'real' winter this year, with actual snow and a nip in the air!" Otherwise, I figured, we may as well be living in South Carolina, where it's supposed to be 55 degrees and humid this time of year.

I missed snowmen, moonlight splashed across new-fallen snow, and eating snow ice-cream. OK, maybe not eating snow ice-cream. "Be careful what you wish for," my mom always warned us, "you just might get it."

Turns out she was right...as usual. The week before Christmas, the temperature dropped below 40 and we got a little snow. "Hello, old friend," I thought. "How wonderful to see you!"

But, by Christmas Eve, it wasn't fun anymore. I went grocery shopping under menacing skies and a steadily falling snow. My poor body, unaccustomed to cold weather, couldn't deal with it. I shivered mercilessly.

Pushing my shopping cart across the parking lot, I was pelted with snow, sleet and freezing rain — an unholy trifecta if ever there was one. "Uncle!" I yelled inside my head. "Uncle! I give up! Oh, why did I ever want snow and cold in the first place?" It was only the third day of winter.

That's when my mom's words came back to me: Be careful what you wish for. "I'm freezing," I told Doug that evening. "It's so cold in here."

"I think it's quite comfortable," he replied from beneath two blankets. "Back away from the thermostat and show me your hands. I'm not paying another $935 utility bill. I'll burn the furniture in the fireplace first," he declared. "Now go put on a sweater."

Sweater ... sweater ... the word sounded familiar, but I just couldn't place it. I went upstairs and checked out my closet. Sure enough, there were sweaters, neatly stacked and covered in dust from being unworn for years.

I guess I'd better get used to bulky, itchy, cold-weather clothes again, even if I do think my turtlenecks are trying to strangle me. It doesn't look like winter's giving up any time soon. I also have to get reacquainted with wearing layers and warming my hands over a bowl of oatmeal. Maybe we'll have an early spring, I'm thinking. Or maybe a mild winter after all?

Email Cathy Drinkwater Better at

cbetter@juno.com.

Our winters have been relatively mild in recent years; but when I was young, we had to snow-shoe to school in 8-foot drifts, uphill, against the wind, both ways.

Now, that's winter!

I'm not a big fan of blizzards or week-long power outages. Still, I long for the winters of days gone by, when no one shopped for Super Bowl snacks in flip-flops and shorts, and women didn't have to wear their brand new, knee-high, fleece-lined boots in 70-degree weather.

Last winter, I never once wore a heavy coat — the whole month of January, I got by with a muffler and a newsboy cap. (The hat was actually too much. My head got sweaty.)

Then, in December, I declared, "I want a 'real' winter this year, with actual snow and a nip in the air!" Otherwise, I figured, we may as well be living in South Carolina, where it's supposed to be 55 degrees and humid this time of year.

I missed snowmen, moonlight splashed across new-fallen snow, and eating snow ice-cream. OK, maybe not eating snow ice-cream.

"Be careful what you wish for," my mom always warned us, "you just might get it."

Turns out she was right...as usual. The week before Christmas, the temperature dropped below 40 and we got a little snow. "Hello, old friend," I thought. "How wonderful to see you!"

But, by Christmas Eve, it wasn't fun anymore. I went grocery shopping under menacing skies and a steadily falling snow. My poor body, unaccustomed to cold weather, couldn't deal with it. I shivered mercilessly.

Pushing my shopping cart across the parking lot, I was pelted with snow, sleet and freezing rain — an unholy trifecta if ever there was one. "Uncle!" I yelled inside my head. "Uncle! I give up! Oh, why did I ever want snow and cold in the first place?" It was only the third day of winter.

That's when my mom's words came back to me: Be careful what you wish for. "I'm freezing," I told Doug that evening. "It's so cold in here."

"I think it's quite comfortable," he replied from beneath two blankets. "Back away from the thermostat and show me your hands. I'm not paying another $935 utility bill. I'll burn the furniture in the fireplace first," he declared. "Now go put on a sweater."

Sweater ... sweater ... the word sounded familiar, but I just couldn't place it. I went upstairs and checked out my closet. Sure enough, there were sweaters, neatly stacked and covered in dust from being unworn for years.

I managed to struggle into one of the infernal things. (How do you button these things, anyway?) The effort left me breathing hard and perspiring. "Why is it so hot in here?" I wondered.

And suddenly I recalled why they called them "sweaters." I took it off again.

I guess I'd better get used to bulky, itchy, cold-weather clothes again, even if I do think my turtlenecks are trying to strangle me. It doesn't look like winter's giving up any time soon.

I also have to get reacquainted with wearing layers and warming my hands over a bowl of oatmeal. Maybe we'll have an early spring, I'm thinking. Or maybe a mild winter after all?

My mom's wise words keep haunting me: Be careful what you wish for…you just might get it. I think my toenails have frostbite. I don't recall wishing for that.

Email Cathy Drinkwater Better at cbetter@juno.com.

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
Related Content
Winter Weather and BlizzardsSuper Bowl
Comments
Loading