Wednesday, March 5, 2014

The Annual Winter Whine Post

The winter season trudges on unabated here in Maine, despite the fact that the calendar flipped over to March not long ago.  Our friendly local meteorologist tells me that today’s high temperature is going to be 12 degrees.  12 degrees fahrenheit, not celsius.  That’s cold for this time of year, even by Maine standards.  There’s at least a little comfort in knowing that a good chunk of the North American continent is experiencing a harsh winter as well. There are few things left that we all go through together in today’s culture, but the weather is one of them.

If I had a dime for every time I’ve either uttered or heard “I’m sick of the cold” and “I’m sick of the snow” lately, I could probably settle the national debt.  While freezing temperatures and snow are the most common subjects of complaint, I’d like to offer a list of ten less-often-heard but equally valid concerns about winter, as my annual “winter whine” blog post.  (See here and here for past examples of winter whines.)

10. I’m sick of those buildups of slush in the wheel wells of my vehicle.  If they freeze solid, they can seriously damage your tire by rubbing against them, not to mention cause you to break a toe if you give it a good kick to remove it.

9. I’m sick of taking the garbage out in the cold.  Taking out the trash is an odious task under the best of conditions.  Having to do it when the snot in your nose is freezing every time you inhale just adds insult to injury.

8. I’m sick of getting more heating fuel.  Lugging in another ton of wood pellets or another cord of wood in mid to late winter because you are running low is no picnic.  Writing a large check for another tank of heating oil you didn’t budget for isn’t either. 

7. I’m sick of changing from shoes to boots to shoes.  While boots are great at helping one’s feet stay warm and dry, they tend to go on hard and come off even harder.  I’ve fallen on my keister several times this winter already doing the footwear changing dance when coming in or going out the door.  With small puddles from the snow melting off your boots, you don’t want your socks to touch the floor, after all.

6. I’m sick of being snow-blind. Yes, I am actually complaining about the sunshine here.  Don’t underestimate my whining skills.  The sun reflecting off the snow almost has the same effect as an allergy on my sensitive eyes: watering, sneezing, squinting, headaches.  Sunglasses help, but spring helps more.  Less white, more green!

5. I’m sick of these crazy cats with their cabin fever.  I am an animal guy, and enjoy watching the birds, squirrels and whatnot gather at the bird feeders outside my window in the winter.  Trouble is, so do the cats, and it makes them absolutely insane.

4. I’m sick of stale air.  Sometimes one of the cats drops a bomb in the litterbox.  Sometimes I cook things that have a lingering smell.  Sometimes I raise dust when I am cleaning around the house.  During the winter, one can’t just open up the windows and air things out.

3. I’m sick of tall snowbanks and narrow streets.  I drive a relatively high-profile SUV, and yet I’ve still had more than a few times this winter where I’ve had to stick my nose so far out into and intersection to see if anyone was coming in either direction that I’ve nearly had it clipped off.  Just a bit of a thaw to shrink those suckers down is all I ask.

2. I’m sick of not being able to make travel plans in advance.  Any out of town appointment or event at this time of year is a crapshoot, contingent upon travel conditions.  A concert you’ve been dying to see for months finally comes to a nearby city, you have tickets and hotel reservations, and then BOOM, an ice storm hits.  Epic bummer.

1. I’m sick of my feet always being cold.  My feet are almost perpetually cold anyway.  I tend to wear wool socks from October until April.  Even then my feet are chilly, only slightly less so than if I didn't wear them.  If there is such a thing as electric socks, I would seriously consider them.  I’d probably need a very long extension cord though.

Even though it seems impossible now, the temperatures will warm up, the snow will melt, and spring will arrive, just like it always has for as long as the seasonal wheel has turned.  

Of course then I’ll need to find some new things to whine about. 

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