I’ve always been known to tell people that I “don’t do cold” and that I wouldn’t want to live anywhere that gets snow all winter. The problem is that I never really had any firsthand experience with living in a cold climate. I grew up in Georgia, where the average winter time temps hovered around 50 with an occasional snow day or ice storm, but we didn’t really have to get out in it, and if we did it was fun and there was hot cocoa when we got inside!
Even my Navy days in Virginia and again in Maryland were relatively hat and coat-free tours thanks to well-timed deployments. I willingly spent a few winter holidays or long weekends in Colorado, but once more, I didn’t really have to get out into it and if I did, I wasn’t driving and didn’t have to deal with deicing a car or shoveling the the walk. And as any Denverite will tell you, it’s a dry cold – and the sun is out 360 days of the year, so it melts fast. So what did I really KNOW about living in the tundra? Nothing.
So I was mostly talking out of my ass when I said I didn’t like cold, didn’t DO cold and would never want to live anywhere cold. As my circle of friends and acquaintances has grown to include more and more people that choose to live in such climates, seemingly normal and well-adjusted people, I started to wonder: What if I didn’t mind it? What if it wasn’t so bad? How could I really KNOW? Well, now I know. I’ve been in Indiana since right before Christmas and there have been maybe only three days above freezing and many many days with a wind chill below freezing. I’ve only seen the sun twice and I’ve forgotten what color is. There are about 8” of snow on the ground and my car has this odd cloudy sheen to it that I’m pretty sure will eat away the rest of the paint.
So here’s what I’ve learned:
- Small 4” scraper is no competition for 5” of snow on the car. Neither is the plastic bottom from the reusable grocery bag. I need a shovel.
- No matter which way you push the powdery stuff off the car, 80% of it will blow back onto you or the car, or end up in your coat pocket that you forgot to snap shut where it will melt and make you cold all day.
- Any errand in the car is extended by at least 20 minutes on each end so you can clean off and warm up the car. Garages are a must. But then there’s the driving on ice-covered roads.
- You can choke on snow. It gets to blowing around and it’s so cold that it doesn’t even melt in your throat. This is a scary thing.
- Snow blowers are loud. Especially at 6am.
- Okay, maybe this had something to do with the subzero windchill but still. All the guffawing from our Northern friends when Atlanta gets shut down over 2” of ice…well, they DO close and delay starts and even have traffic pile-ups up here, too.
- There is a place in this world for Uggs.Loafers and cuffed pants legs are no match for a 14” snow drift.
- I have an innate tendency toward couch-potatoness. Well, this isn’t really a revelation, but if the choice is between staying inside or going outside into -19 degree temps – I’m staying in. And I’ve been staying in a LOT. Thank goodness for Netflix and Hulu!
- There are 17 shades of white and I’m sick of most of them!
- Wine and great company fix everything! And cheese. Cheese helps. But mostly it’s the company that’s kept me here.