Why Winter is a Good Thing--Really, I Mean It

Each winter when the first snowflakes fall, I rush to the window and “Oooh” and “Aaah” in delight. Around here that usually happens in late October or early November. Fast forward three months, and snowstorms bring an entirely different response, especially after a mid-winter thaw has brought false hopes of spring. This morning I woke up to a world covered in a fresh layer of white, with snowflakes still falling. My reaction wasn’t one you’d call delight. My exact words were, “Oh crap.”

                To help me get my attitude adjusted, I’m spending the day thinking of all the reasons a long, cold winter is a good thing. I’ve posted some of these individually before, but today I’m pulling them all together into one big pep talk. Here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

1.  Snow provides water for next summer’s yards, gardens, and crops. In an area which has been plagued by drought, lots of snow is a good thing. Really. I’ve been telling myself this since Christmas.

2.  Some plants—like daffodils, lilacs, and apple trees—require a chilling period before they will bloom. I keep reminding myself to think about the divine smell of lilacs in the spring or the crispness of a juicy apple in the fall. Without the cold, I wouldn’t get them.

3.  Cold weather kills insects. Take your pick--cold winters or roaches, it’s one or the other.

4.  Everything looks beautiful covered in a fresh layer of snow. The snow that was left before last night’s storm had become dirty and gray. The new snowfall brightened it up again. Of course at this point I would prefer no snow, but if I’ve got to have snow, I guess I’d prefer pretty white snow to ugly gray snow.

5.  Winter sports and playing in the snow can be fun. Of course it’s most fun on a warm, sunny winter day that makes you feel like it’s really summer but with snow.

6.  Boots. You can only wear boots when it’s cold, or at least cool. You might get away with wearing boots in September, but doing so in July is just wrong.

7. Last but not least, the cold and snow keep Californians away. This is one of those jokes that is funny only because it’s true. I had a new neighbor once who had lived her whole life up until then in warm climates. Our first snowfall that year was just a skiff of snow which left only a dusting of snow on the roads. I ran into my neighbor in town that day. She told me how frightened she had been to drive on those “slick roads.” I thought, “Oh dear, you aren’t going to make it here.” Sure enough, after her first winter here, she moved back to a warmer climate.

                So there you have it, seven reasons winter is a good thing. I will keep repeating them over and over to myself, because even though I came up with them, I’m not entirely convinced myself. I might have believed them in November, but now it is February, and I just want some warm sunshine and a patch of green grass.


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