Friday, December 19

The Dark of Winter?

Last night I went to bed right after the news, right after the weather guy said the freezing rain in counties farther north would bypass us.

Big sigh of relief.

Every year about this time, I say I hate winter, but it's really the ice I hate. Our city seems to be ground zero for freezing rain and ice, as if under some old Indian curse. Usually, if every town west, north and south gets snow, we get ice. You can drive on snow, or on snow on ice (for traction), but you can't do anything on bare ice.

The weather guy explained the dreaded freezing rain (or ice) would miss us due to the ground being "too warm" for moisture to freeze. Don't know where he's been the last couple of days while the temp hovered just above zero, but guess 33 degrees would be a heat wave by comparison, and the ground probably did warm up. The weather segment ended with SkyCam shots of fog blanketing the city, but the fog lurking outside somehow didn't register as I trundled off to bed.

Not long after, my dreams were interrupted by the need to pee - what I get for drinking two glasses of water an hour before bedtime. Going past the living room on the way to the loo, I noticed one of the vertical blinds was askew, and that it was wayyyy too light outside for midnight...more like dusk than the middle of the night. Illuminated by the full moon somewhere overhead, yesterday's snow reflecting off the fog made the parking lot and everything beyond bright enough to read a newspaper.

I'd always wondered what Iceland's "daytime twilight" might be like, when the sun sort of comes out for a few hours at midday in winter. Now I knew. I could even make out the faces of neighbors across the way walking to their car. How different from the snowless mornings when I could barely see dog-walkers only a few feet from my car as I left for work at 6:30!

Skiing and snowmobile buffs aside, most people living in cold climes dread winter for the frigid temps and short days.

In reality, the least amount of daylight occurs in the waning days of Fall. The first day of Winter is the beginning of longer days, not shorter. Mother Nature's way, I think, of softening the blow of the crappy weather that will occur in the next few months. Although I never think so when I'm dodging drivers who shouldn't be allowed behind the wheel after the first flake falls, snow is a blessing. Not only is it moisture we'll be thankful for come July, but winter would be much more dreary without snow.


This in no way implies, however, that I feel the least bit "thankful" or "blessed" while brooming a foot of the blasted stuff off the car before I can begin scraping the windows. But philosophically - meaning any time I don't have to be out in it - I do appreciate the ability of snow to brighten a winter day.

1 comment:

pinkpackrat said...

The light can't come back fast enough for me. Winter sucks, but then so does July heat:-)