Even though the snow and the cold and the sub-zero wind chills are dragging on longer than a Senate quorum call, I still find things to appreciate about this season of frigid black and white.
There’s beauty – the vast, unsullied, undulating drifts of white across an open field or expanse of something that once was green. Engage in a little frivolity – snow days (well, for some people) filled with sledding or skiing or just cross-country skiing through your unplowed neighborhood streets, as long as you keep an eye out for the fishtailing rear-wheel-drive cars.
You could snowshoe on a sunny weekend day through fluffy white peaks, as long as it snowed on Friday and not the previous Monday; if the wind’s not blowing too hard; if you don’t have a cold or the flu and you haven’t had various leg and pelvic injuries for the last 18 months.
Better yet, you could just shovel. You’ll be doing it anyway – repeatedly – so enjoy the bracing February air and a fabulous workout that provides both weightlifting and cardio benefits. Just remember to bend your knees and suck in that gut as you heave rectangular piles of frozen precipitation over the growing mounds at the sides of your driveway.
Maybe, you lucky dog, you have a snowblower. There’s nothing like the roar of a motor at 6 am, the smell of gasoline cutting through your breath as it rises and frosts your eyelashes. With a snowblower and a little headwind, soon you’ll look like the abominable snowman. Perhaps you hire someone to plow you out each morning; perhaps they actually do it before you have to get to work.
Me, I stick with a shovel. I never have to fill it with gas, change the oil, wait for it to start, or swear at it when it doesn’t show up on time. Afterward, as I sip a steaming mug of cocoa and feel the warmth of the heating pad seep into my lower back, I feel like I’ve accomplished something. Good thing – it’s likely I’ll be accomplishing it again very, very soon.