Archive for Thursday, January 10, 2002

Coping with winter blahs

A short list of the season’s highlights

January 10, 2002

As I enjoyed our shirtsleeves winter weather Tuesday it occurred to me that winter, like a recession, is something that is happening to other people. People who live in Buffalo, and unaccountably, the Carolinas and Georgia.

The glanced at the latest national unemployment figures early this week and saw that unemployment was at I believe 5.3 percent. The latest Kansas figures placed the number at 4.1 percent.

To me, those percentages indicate that recessions, again like winters, aren't what they used to be. However, I'm old enough to realize that things could still get worse on both fronts.

At the risk of sounding like a fogy, the worst winter I endured was 1960. It started snowing in February and continued through much of March.

I remember missing so much school we had make-up days on Saturday. Snow drifts were taller than my 9-year-old head. We would have tied to our desk until the middle of June had not a tornado destroyed the school and much of the rest of the town of Meridan in May.

Winter is not my favorite season. To me, its best days are those that put me in mind of other times of year. I know not all people agree with me, but there is a reason the Sunbelt is booming.

Because the season can be depressing enough without dwelling on its bad aspects the cold blasts of wind from the north that make you gulp, figure skating or short gray days corresponding roughly to our work hours I've made a (short) list of the things I enjoy about winter.

It is:

Basketball. My father was once a high school coach, and I have a serious basketball jones. My enthusiasm is tempered by the fact that I'm a K-State alum.

Books always good for taking us to a different time and place.

Bugs. There are none.

Care-free lawn maintenance.

Chili and hot soups for every meal there is a season.

February a month that deservedly has only 28 days (most years).

Fireplaces or wood stoves. Mindlessly warming yourself in front of a roaring fire on a frigid day can be a transcendental experience.

Hobbies. I probably wouldn't have them if it wasn't for winter.

Pablo. He's my dog. and his daily walks are probably the only reason I get out much in the winter. The summer heat makes him miserable, but he can take anything the winter throws at him.

Snow provided I don't have to drive in it or shovel it.

Spring. We wouldn't really enjoy it without paying the price of winter.

Videos. Winter is the time to watch all the summer blockbusters.

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