Waning Winter

Waning WinterIt is obvious to everyone who knows me that I need constant change in my life.  The fact that I have so many interests is one of the primary movers behind this craving for change.  I could never live in a place where the weather stays the same year round.  To me, a static temperature would be utterly boring.  Thankfully, my town gets a good dose of each of the four seasons, so I get variety and change when it comes to weather and the surrounding scenery.

As we come out of winter and put away our winter coats, gloves, scarves, hats, and boots and replace them with clothes suited to spring, I always reflect upon a few of the things I love about winter.

Winter is one of those seasons that definitely tells me I am alive.  Unlike many people I personally know, I have a high tolerance for the conditions of every season, including the wind chills we have in the winter that reach 40 degrees below zero (Fahrenheit) to 115 degree heat indexes in summer (sometimes even warmer than that)—that is a “feels like” temperature difference of 155 degrees!  Of course, when I am on my adventure travels out west from the depths of canyons where temperatures reach 125 degrees to 14,000+ feet in elevation mountains, I am exposed to weather and temperatures of all kinds…along with the scenery, the achievements of climbing down deep into canyons and high up into the rarified air of the mountains, the changes in weather and temperatures are paradise to me.

Winter tells me I am alive because my face feels the raw temperature and wind.  The frigid air pinches my nostrils shut.  Even with my gloves on the tips of my fingers tingle.  I can see each of my exhales as they momentarily hang in the air in front of me.  I can hear the crunch of the snow under my boots.  I get into my 4 x 4 Dodge pickup truck and have fun romping around in the snow (just as I have fun romping around in my truck on my adventure travels in any season).  I love riding horses every chance I get.  Horses love cold weather and so they are full of spit and vinegar in the winter.  They romp around in the snow the same as I like to romp around the snow in my pickup truck so it is always a fun ride.  I get to hear the combined crunch and thud as each of the horse’s hooves push through the snow until they make contact with the ground.  Even though I am already one with the horse, seeing the horse’s exhales hanging in the air momentarily just like my exhales makes me feel even more like one with the horse.  The horse kicks up a cloud-like dust of snow and it is so exciting to see the “cloud” enveloping me and the horse.  Although I do use a snow blower to clear the driveway and walk, I must use a snow shovel to get to some areas the snow blower cannot reach, and I must use the snow shovel at the end of the driveway to move the mounds and pounds of snow pushed there by the snowplows (the snow there is too tall and dense for the snow blower), and to fine tune the shoveling (a job worth doing is a job worth doing well).  And, just as in the mountains, the snow absorbs sounds so it is very quiet and serene.  The waning days of winter also remind me that spring is just around the corner and that reminds me that the fun days of summer are just ahead.  For that summer fun, I close this post with track #5 off of Van Halen’s 1986 album, “5150.”  Here is “Summer Nights”—


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