JIM SHEA 10 things I actually like about winter
Today is the second day of winter.
Yeah, yeah, I know the calendar says winter doesn’t begin until the 21st, but that is astronomical winter, or anal-retentive winter. I am a devotee of meteorological winter, which is made up of the three coldest months — December, January, February. Whether officially, or unofficially, winter has arrived. This, however, does not mean the end of all hope. Winter has a lot going for it.
Ten things I like about winter:
Outdoor Chores: There aren’t any. You don’t have to mow, or rake, or prune, or mulch, or plant, or fertilize, or paint, or try to fix stuff. Not that I’m a stickler for any of these things, but it’s nice to go about your day not feeling guilty about all the things you should be doing.
Exercisers: Speaking of feeling guilty, you see a lot fewer people out running, walking, or riding bikes in the winter. This reduction in traffic makes it much easier to drive and eat my coffee roll in the morning. Another group of exercisers you don’t see as much of are dog walkers. While I don’t miss them, either, I do sometimes wonder where their dogs go when my yard is not made available to them.
Snowbirds: I know this is a personal failing, but I become a significantly less bitter person when the last set of Florida license plates has migrated south. Maybe it’s envy on my part. OK, it’s definitely envy on my part, but Florida plates on a car say two things:
One: I have a second home, and you don’t.
Two: I don’t pay taxes in Connecticut, and you do — sucker.
Holidays: Winter has the best holidays. Christmas isn’t just a holiday, but an entire season of ho-ho-ho. New Year’s is a great party, even if you have to be filled in on some aspects the next morning. And then there is the Super Bowl, an entire day devoted to eating, drinking and paying homage to the maxim that a flat-screen television can never be too large.
Watching Football: I know this is perverse, but I especially love watching games in December and January. In particular, I enjoy viewing games being played in snowstorms or sub-arctic temperatures while I am comfortably ensconced on the couch in front of a roaring fire.
Clothing: One of the advantages of living in a temperate zone is that we switch to an entirely new wardrobe twice a year. Winter attire has two basic functions:
To keep us from dying of exposure.
And to hide from the world just how much we overindulged during the various holiday celebrations. Liposuction has nothing on the bulky sweater.
Winter Sports: There is downhill skiing, cross-country skiing, sledding, skating, snowshoeing… With so many options is it any wonder that we are often able to stick with our New Year’s get-in-shape resolutions until mid January?
Weather Reports: Is there anyone in any profession who enjoys himself more that a local television meteorologist when a snow storm is approaching. Oh, the bread. Oh, the milk. Oh, the batteries.
Binging: Sure, you can binge-watch television shows year around, but it’s so much more enjoyable when you can occupy the recliner for nine straight episodes on a snow day and not have the nagging feeling that your life is passing you by.
Driving: Granted, driving in the winter can be exciting, exhilirating, terrifying, and that can be just backing out of the driveway. And, yes, tempers can run hot, especially if there is snow falling. That said, I find that in the event of an encounter, I am nowhere near as offended if another motorist flips me the mitten.
Jim Shea is a lifelong Connecticut resident and journalist. firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @jimboshea.