Winter and autumn are my favorite seasons of the year. I guess I should not have to type that I have been called, “weird” for enjoying a season such as winter. There are so many reasons why, but I will only touch on a few. At the very beginning of winter, there is this bitter chill in the air (depending on your location), one that seems to signify “winter is on the way,” and like a little kid awaiting a big happening, I get thoroughly excited. I will try to expertly put into words just how eventful winter is to me, and have you as the reader, feel exactly what I am stating. From the very first snowfall to the wisp of heavy winds and ice storms, this season is one I am always sad to see leave. Recently, I had the pleasure to view our first “real” snowfall this year. The cool breezes and sometimes freezing rain that accompany the snowflakes aren’t nearly as enjoyable as watching each of them hit the ground lightly. I am what one would call a fiend for simple, natural beauty, and for me, nothing beats snow. The beauty in all of this is watching children get bundled up in their winter-wear and coats and tackle the snow like famous linebackers. Listening to them giggle, shout in screams of utter excitement, and make up “snow” games adds to an overall enjoyable day. One of my neighbor’s children did the very things I have listed above last Saturday. Although we were not fortunate enough to get anything over two inches, to them, this small amount was just enough to experience happiness. For this, I could not be more thankful. The simple beauty that comes with winter edges me on to pursue living farther north. I have been told, “You have not experience a real winter yet,” and honestly, I cannot wait to see what my eager mind has been missing.
With beauty must come ugly. Winter weather not only intensifies the spirits of some, it pushes others to drive as if their lives will halt if they are not doing 70 mph during freezing rain, sleet and snow. Because of these conditions, one would think it wise to drive cautiously and be more aware of your road mates. But, here in this part of North Carolina, folks do the complete opposite. This leads to constant swerving, sliding, and you guessed it, brutal car accidents. Some of the wrecks I have witnessed here would leave your mouth agape. I have driven by pile-ups, mashed vehicles no longer identifiable by the naked eye and squad cars and ambulances stationed in that vicinity waiting to add another number to their lists. All of these things have made me shake my head quickly and maintain focus on the road. Everyone seems so hurried here. For what, I have truly not figured out yet because in no way is the hustle and bustle here similar to cities such as Atlanta, DC, and Manhattan. I do not even want to thoroughly explain the traffic here during this type of weather, but you know I am going to anyway, right? Right (glad you knew this). I endure a thirty minutes commute to and from work during non-inclement weather, so during inclement weather, my commute is lengthened to about forty-five minutes to an hour. Now, many of my peers drive twice as long as this to work, so I will not complain too much.
The traffic here can be compared to a long line at your favorite artist’s concert or musical event. Imagine yourself standing outside patiently (or impatiently) awaiting the moment when the doors open. Now, while you’re waiting, what do you do to pass the time? Perhaps you converse with other fans, you text a few friends not with you on your cell phone, or you stand quietly twiddling your thumbs and singing verses to that same artist’s songs in your head. Either way, you have someone or some thing there to keep you occupied. Yeah, um; waiting in traffic during the freezing cold with crazy drivers on the road is not an event I am thrilled to partake in. Not by a long shot. I consider myself a rather patient person, but after 5PM, the only things I am interested in are my couch, favorite chair and warm apartment. Have I painted a colorful enough picture for you here? I sincerely hope so.
The last thing I truly love about winter is couples. I can always spot couples who have not been together long (or maybe this is just my crazy presumption) because they are either wearing matching winter-gear while hugged up out in public, color corresponding beanies or skullies sitting neatly atop their heads, and smiling for all of the world to see their semi-pearly whites. If I am out riding my bike or taking the dogs for a walk, I give the appropriate head-nod to these couples, smile, and keep it moving. The same applies if I am out running errands or spending a nice, winter day with myself. These images always send a smile across my face and then the thought in the back of my mind presents itself, “Are they always like this?” One can only hope these very couples detach themselves from one another to use the bathroom, eat and perhaps enjoy a nice hot shower or bath. Older couples or couples who have been significantly involved for years seem to be a bit more hurried while out. They are not locked arm in arm nor are they holding hands. The common consensus between them seems to be, “Let’s get to where we need to go and get out of this cold!” I can appreciate them ten times more, I believe. I say this because, I get the feeling they have been the younger-happy-we’re-together-now couple before, surpassed it, and came out on top knowing that body heat is good, but in the end, personal space rises to the top. My winter-world keeps me happy. I hope yours does the same.