Grattitude for this miserable freakin’ Winter…

Posted: February 7, 2014 in Sometimes...

Well, here we are.  February 7, 2014.

I don’t think this Winter has been remarkable in terms of snowfall, or frigid temperatures. I don’t think it’s been remarkable in any way.

Which is exactly what’s made it virtually intolerable.

Every single gray and cold day bleeds into the next from the last in an endless procession of below average mediocrity. It’s maddening. Any energy I may have built up, any excitement for living or sense of wonder and adventure had been beaten out of me with such lightening rapidity between the months of December (when I last had an opportunity to ride my bicycle and be outside) to now that it’s made my head spin.

Everyone I know is a miserable husk of their former, Spring through Autumn selves.


Now, with only a very little bit of luck, folks will be elated and joyful and thankful in few short weeks from this decidedly bleak and miserable day! When the temperature rises into the forties, we’ll be dancing in the streets! The fifties, shouts of joy! The sixties…you see where I’m going with this.  Most likely the celebration will be vastly less obvious that that, but you’ll notice.

There’ll be some extra politeness when conducting transactions, smiles with the “Thank you” at the supermarket. A few more doors will be held open, a few added wave-throughs at four way stops.  Maybe nothing that seems Earth-shaking on the surface, but all of this collective awesome adds up.  Moods lift, attitudes adjust, kindness is in much greater supply- think about it.  Summer RULES, right? But why?

Is it the blue skies, warm breezes, brilliant green everywhere you turn? Is it the golden sunlight, or the opportunities to be outside and DO things that said sunlight affords? Yes. It is ALL of those things. But the primary reason that Summer is so gloriously bitchin’?


So, thank you, Winter of 2013/2014. Thank you for sucking so badly.  Thank you for your overt dullness and infinite nondescript average-ness. Thank you for your dry, cold days that contain only about four minutes of actual daylight, and for nights that appear to last about seventy-eight years each. Thank you for appearing to be the season that will  go on without end, so that when you finally do shove off and let Spring take over, we can all go- “Ohmygodfinally” in that sort of half sigh, half whimper thing that people do when they find out the don’t have to pull jury duty.  Only on a more epic, cosmic scale.

Thank you, you miserable freakin’ Winter. Thank you for sucking so bad, so we can realize just how awesome it is when it’s NOT Winter.

Now, let’s get a move on.  My bicycle is getting fat.


  1. Maybe part of the problem is that we’ve been so programmed to think that we have to do something or be somewhere ALL THE TIME.

    Before the gloriously messy and horribly inefficient process of internal combustion came along and transformed us into the road-eating, free wheeling, trans-world party animals that we’ve become, the idea was that winter was used for taking stock, telling stories, and expanding into our big boy pants.

    Truth be told? I used to push myself by seeing patients round the calendar. And that wasn’t all. There was also my day job, my school work, sweat lodges, and trying to fit in a marriage in between it all.

    Where did it lead? Me being sick and worn out.

    This year, I took a vacation from the world for December and January. No patients, very little school work, lots’a bad for me party food, and some much needed catch up with my wife and people I haven’t seen in a while.

    And the result has been that I feel a whole hell of a lot better at this point in the year than I used to before I pulled the plug on two months out of ten.

    Maybe if we all started looking at Winter in the same way Bear does (i.e. crawl into a hole, live off our own resources, and rest for a while), we’d actually begin to look forward to the downtime as a way to charge up before the green stuff starts poking through the dirt…

    • Agreed, sir. However, I do think the recent upturn in my activity levels, especially through the strenuous activities of cycling and yoga, although not directly affecting my ABILITY to hibernate, they have lessened my tolerance for doing so.

      I As you’e well aware, my activity level has fluctuated wildly through the past twenty or so years (an aside- do you remember us digging in for our first massive conversation in my front room in Carbondale? A lifetime ago!) however, now that the distractions of a Rock-N-Roll lifestyle have gratefully fallen away, my focus upon these activities has sharpened to a laser-like intensity.

      That said- I simply am to tolerate long periods of inactivity. The very stuff I LONGED for a mere 10 years ago! I so enjoy the endorphin release of intense exercise as an obvious replacement for intoxicants, I am intensely aware.

      Cycling, in particular, has re-kindled some long neglected comradeship with some straight-up bitchin’ dudes and honestly, as a single guy balancing household chores, raising a little guy, working a job and planning a career- I need the outlet or I get cosmically backed up.

      EVERYTHING takes longer! It takes longer to get dressed to go out, and undressed when you come in. You can’t just jump in your car and adventure- first you must scrape, warm-up and THEN drive off. All of which (and other things, not excluding the pervasive gray color of our beloved NEPA in Winter) adds up to not an intense dislike for, but rather a persistent longing for the end of the season. I just want to blow off some steam!

      All that said- when I lived on the West Coast, what I missed most vividly was the changing seasons.

      I have never taken them fro granted again and, as my original sentiment stated, it’s the season before that makes me appreciate the season after. If not for Winter, Spring would have no luster to loose when Summer came to replace her.

  2. Jayzus…I DO remember digging in for that. And another digging in session over a chess board in the attic of your place on Garfield, where you rattled the plates off the downstairs neighbor’s walls with a heavy duty 80’s metal boy Strat I picked up from a guy who looked like Geddy Lee..

    Been some times, boyo.

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