Lessons Learned About ‘Real” Winter

I grew up in North Texas, where snow is virtually unknown and winters are much more temperate than here in Upstate New York, my new home. I’ve also spent almost seven years living in the tropical climes of Africa and learned to deal with 105 degree temperatures. This is my first full winter in an environment that includes real cold and actual snow, and I’ve learned a few random things this year. Some of these might seem self-evident; but, keep in mind perspective: I’m sure there’s a few things I can tell you about riding on a bush taxi that seem self-evident to me….

  1. (Experiential learning isn’t always the best thing – sometimes you should just listen to people who know better or have more experience.’
  2. Feels like’ and ‘ambient temperature’ are two very different things.
  3. Wearing gloves/mittens is a good thing – it is (a) worth taking a few minutes to go inside, find them, and put them on, and (b) not a sign of weakness.
  4. NOT wearing gloves/mittens when it’s 2* outside makes you a strong candidate for a Darwin Award.
  5. The direction a rabbit travels, as indicated by its tracks, can be deceiving.
  6. Dying of hypothermia (you know, reaching that feeling of bliss and acceptance before turning into a human popsicle…) is probably not as pleasant as they make it out to be.
  7. Cold hurts!
  8. When Hoover (our African mutt, pictured below) holds one front and one back paw out of the snow and alternates lifting two paws, it’s likely that he’s cold, not just acting a fool.
  9. When said African mutt tries to walk down the sidewalk on just one leg, he looks pretty ridiculous.
  10. The same African mutt looks even more ridiculous wearing his coat and booties.
  11. Different types of snow have different weights (e.g., powdered sugar snow is nicer to shovel than wet, sloppy snow).
  12. OCD and snow shoveling do not mix well: it’s ok not to clear the snow down to the blacktop EVERY time.
  13. There is, if not an art, at least a solid method to keep in mind when using a snow blower (e.g., don’t blow the snow into the wind, it will end up all over you)
  14. Eventually, the snow will melt.

2012_12_14 - Merry Xmas!


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