Saturday, February 18, 2012

For the love of winter

I live in the Chicagoland area and I hear a lot of complaining about the weather in the winter.  On average, 5 months out of the year the temps are in the 30s and 5 months out of the year the temps are 60 and above.  I personally love the weather here.  The only time I don't really like the weather is when I fear for my life (i.e. driving in winter storms, thunderstorms, or on icy roads).  So I ask myself, why do I like living here?  Why do so many people flock to warmer places like California or Florida?  As I pondered this question, I wrote down ways that I appreciate the weather that mother nature sends our way.  Maybe, just maybe, if you do these things you'll like the winter weather a little more.  Here is a list, in my own order, of what I think is most important. 

10.  Knit/crochet - If you do this, every fall you'll look forward to all of the winter items you can make.  Plus, what you make will probably be cheaper than what you are willing to buy in store.
  9.  Roast chestnuts - A yummy winter tradition that you can look forward to.
  8.  Light a fireplace - What better way to warm up than to cozy up next to a fireplace? 
  7.  Look at the stars - The stars in the winter are at their brightest and they are amazing to look at. 
  6.  Cozy up with hot chocolate - Another winter tradition to look forward to.
  5.  Sit by a sunlit window - It's easy to forget the warmth of the sun in the winter but if you sit by a sunlit window, it will warm you right up.
  4.  Appreciating winter helps you appreciate summer - If you always lived in a place like California, it would be easy to forget why warmer weather is nice. 
  3.  Play in the snow - Kids appreciate winter more than anyone else.  Why?  B/c they have fun with it!  It's ok to be a kid sometimes.  Make snowmen, have a snowball fight, and slide along the sidewalk on the slick snow.
  2.  Run/walk outside (or any sport) - When I run outside, in 5 minutes I'm all warmed up and the cold no longer bothers me.  I start to notice the beauty of winter rather than just focus on how I feel.  When I walk outside, especially after snow has just fallen, it's gorgeous.  Nothing is better than a fresh blanket of untouched, sparkly snow.
  1.  Dress appropriately! - I cannot emphasize this enough.  It always surprises me when people tell me that they are THINKING of wearing long underwear.  In the winter, I always do!  One of the worst feelings in the winter time is walking outside and feeling the shock of my cold pants or the icy wind touch my skin.  If you wear long underwear, you don't feel that.  Also, wear layers, wool gloves, wool hats, wool scarves, wool socks, cowls, whatever it takes to stay warm.  Please do not complain about the temperature b/c YOU chose not to dress appropriately. 

 In my opinion, every season has its positives and negatives.  I just don't like the way people HATE HATE HATE winter.  Embrace winter for what it is because it will not be changing significantly, anytime soon.  To remind you of some of the beauty, here are a couple of my favorite photos. 
Things I LOVE in the winter
The sound of ice cracking under my feet (purposely breaking it), seeing individual snowflakes; white, snow coated trees; sparkly, icy trees; untouched snow; sparkly snow; the bright night sky; animal tracks in the snow; bright, blue sky and white snow together, the quiet of winter.

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