Thursday, March 5, 2015

An appreciation of the seasons (and in defense of winter)

It's about this time of year that everyone is fed up with winter.  We are still a few weeks away from the calendar start of spring and who knows when the actual spring weather will show up (looks like maybe next week already??).  Sometimes it's nice and early.  I remember March 3 years ago spending most of my recovery from foot surgery #1 in shorts because it was in the 60s and warmer starting about March 5th or something crazy early.  It was awesome but very atypical.

Having 60+ temps year round can sound awesome but then I think about it more and realize I really wouldn't want to live in a place like that.  I don't like being cold but like the excuse to almost hibernate at home for a few months.  I like seeing the snow falling and the ground and evergreens covered in white.  Spring is so much sweeter after a rough winter or even any winter.  Think of how anticlimactic those warm spring days would be if that's what you lived with year round?  I don't think they would have the same sweetness.

Spring is a lovely time of year.  Everything is coming back to life, we crawl out of our house-cave we've been holed up in for months.  The trees are budding, flowers blooming, and you can go outside in just a jacket, no 5 layers just so you can feel your toes at all times.  The days are getting longer and the grass greener.  We start riding our bikes and (hopefully) running outdoors.  We grill out, eat on the patio, and spend a lot of time on the porch with the windows open.  The beauty and warmth of early spring feels like our reward for surviving winter.

Summer.  I was a summer baby and it's long been my favorite season.  First the obvious, no school, but also the long hot days. Matt and I started dating in the summer and those were our special times together since I spent the school year away at college.  Lake trips, drive-in, family vacations, flip-flops, sno-cones, open windows, being outside as much as possible.  There is very little I don't like about summer (mosquitoes...that's all I got off the top of my head).  We need to soak up these last few years before we have to follow a school schedule again.  For now our summers are nice and long and wonderful.

Fall.  As wonderful as summer is, fall still a nice change of pace.  Other than the end of lake season, there isn't much not to like about fall.  The crisp, cooler days, switching out summer t-shirt and shorts for sweaters and boots.  The fall foliage.  Bon fires.  Cuddling under blankets.  The occasional lingering warm days of summer.  September and October are almost always lovely months.

And then we are back into winter.  With the anticipation of Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years, the first few months of winter weather are pretty easy to take.  I love the cooler days as I start my Christmas baking, decorating, and shopping.  Warm beverages, good book, cuddling with Matt under blankets.  I love the whole holiday season and can get nostalgic for it starting about January 2nd (I'm having iPhone syncing problems which means Christmas music is still on my phone.  I've been doing "shuffle all" with my music and get Christmas ones popping up which makes me think "awwww...Christmas time, I miss that." multiple times a day). 

I love January and the fresh start feeling the beginning of each year brings.  That carries me through January and then Valentine's Day gets me half way through February.  Then there is about a month between Valentine's Day and spring.  Give or take a few weeks.

We are now in the midst of that.  Everyone is fed up with winter and wants spring.  The most frequent small talk topic this time of year (or really, any time of year) is the weather.  Mostly complaining about the weather.  I really try not to complain in general and the whining about the weather gets annoying.   We live in Indiana and it's not atypical to have snowfalls well in March, even dustings in April.  I figure the longer we wait for spring the sweeter it will be when it actually gets here.  Those first warm days of spring are such a wonderful natural high that prolonging it only makes it better.  I don't mind the wait. 
April 15, 2014
I'm willing to trade being close to family and a very affordable city for a year-round "perfect" temperature.  It's a decision every adult makes, whether it's a conscious one or not.  Your spouse, own career, their career, family, friends, the city and much more makes up for whatever awful weather we put up with to live here (or wherever you live).  Most people have the very real option of moving somewhere else.  Sure, you might be leaving family, friends, a good job, etc. but it is an option. 
I'm certainly not willing to do that and I like the changing seasons.  So I won't complain about the weather.  I certainly can't control what falls out of the sky or the temperature outside of my house, but I can control my mood about it and I choose to stay positive (just don't talk to me if I have to go outside on one of those bitterly cold,  -20° windchill days).  I don't mind winter because it always ends.  Spring always comes.  There is something good in every day, even if there is a foot of snow outside.  

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