I have several friends who dread the winter and can’t wait for it to end. Maybe it’s due to my pasty skin and propensity to sweat, but I have always preferred colder weather. And although I’m not living in Florida, southcentral Pennsylvania has the mildest climate of any place I’ve lived. On the rare occasion that it snows, snowplows clear the roads in a timely fashion, especially compared to Indiana. I think back to one ice storm in Muncie when my mom’s car got stuck in the street in front of our house. And of course, there’s my renewed interest in skiing.
Recently I read the excellent book “Wintering” by Katherine May in which she uses the ups and downs of the winter months as a metaphor for rough patches in one’s life. May interviewed native Scandinavian, who said she was happy never to move back because of the difficulty of dealing with cold weather and snow issues daily.
That got me thinking, like May, that maybe the reason I enjoy winter is because I don’t live in a place where it disturbs my life regularly. I loved the two years I lived in Minnesota, but I was a middle schooler who didn’t have to shovel, drive, or make it to work on time.
When I do tire of winter (and it usually involves wind not cold), I mostly seem to find something indoors to entertain myself.
Other than my obsession with Mitchell’s college search, this year a plethora of interests have distracted me from the winds that seem even worse out here in the country.
First, I loved watching “All Creatures Great and Small” on PBS on Sunday nights. The first night I started season two, Mitchell said, “What are you watching?” But as the weeks have gone on, even he warmed to the small-town British vet life that has comedy, romance, and of course adorable animals.
On a completely different note, Greg watched (for a second time) with me “Killer Inside: The Mind of Aaron Hernandez,” which I found sad but interesting. Football is one of my least favorite sports. However, being related to and friends with people who find it interesting, I can’t completely ignore it. The murders are tragic and so is the idea that Hernandez’s chronic trauma encephalopathy may have contributed to his actions.
In terms of music, I am thrilled that one of my favorite bands Cloud Cult has a new song out “One Way Out of a Hole.” I first heard Cloud Cult’s lead singer, Minnesotan Craig Minowa, interviewed on ”On Being” a few years ago and after listening to the band’s music, I was hooked. The group largely avoids the commercial music industry, so I’m really excited to listen to the rest of their new album soon.
Finally, food is always something that comforts me, as long as I don’t overindulge. Let me clarify by saying — not the food I make, but rather the food others prepare. I was introduced to a new (to me) restaurant in Hershey – Simply Greek — by some tennis friends about a month ago. All the food on the menu looked delicious, but on that visit I only chose a gyro considering I had to play tennis again in a few hours. Nevertheless, it was excellent and reminded me of my doner kebab-eating days in Germany. The desserts appeared even tastier, so now I will have to go back and somehow save room for dessert.
Although this winter has been milder than some, sometimes my urge to hibernate prevails. Thankfully I have had books, music, television, food and of course family, friends, and my cuddly pooch to keep me company.