Cold weather has not just been recently invented. The planet has even endured ice ages and glaciers. For those of us who live in the north, ponds do freeze. Snow does fall. But also, spring will arrive. If you believe in Punxatawney Phil, the Western Pennsylvania amazing marmot, spring will in fact arrive soon this year, as today, February 2 (aka Groundhoug Day) was gray and cloudy. Not a furry shadow in sight. But don't put away your mittens just yet...
As a younger woman in graduate school, I once bemoaned the terrible cold of a Boston winter's day.
"Well look at you," one of my classmates said. "Of course you're cold. Light jacket, no scarf, no hat, thin gloves. You need to layer up. Get some warm stuff."
I stared at her. She wore a sheepskin coat, thick boots, what appeared to be hand-knitted hat and scarf and mittens. Her cheeks were ruddy but she also wore a smile.
I followed her advice and learned to dress for that slimy Boston winter weather, snow-changing-to-rain. I stopped complaining and began to enjoy winter--snowshoes and cross country skis and hikes along frozen rivers. When time permitted, I even left Boston behind for the colder weather of Maine. Enjoyed it.
These days I feel like a missionary of sorts, encouraging others to also enjoy this dramatic season. But naming winter storms as if they're hurricanes, or calling a cold snap a polar vortex doesn't help. It just encourages people to complain. And complaining involves mostly hot air, not hot chocolate. Not nearly so delicious.