Friday, January 27, 2012

Blissfully mild winter (so far)

I no longer try to hide my contempt for winter. It is my least favorite season, and its primary purpose to me is that it is a bridge between my two favorite times of year (autumn and spring).

Yes, winter can be a bleak time. It is a time of little sunshine, cold winds, and prolonged periods of time indoors. I know going through times like these help us appreciate better parts of the year, but I think I have learned enough lessons and would like the warmer weather to arrive.

Unfortunately, we are only a little over one month through the season. Though I could look at this in a pessimistic way, I will not because we have been blessed with a relatively mild winter so far. Of course, this could all quickly change, but like I just wrote, I want to look at this positively.

Perhaps we are due an easy winter. The last two have been cold, and last year, it seemed like snow was in the forecast every few days. As a child, this would have been a wonderful occurrence, but as adults know, we can not just sit at home every time the weather is bad.

The best aspect of this is that we are only a few weeks away from exiting the portion of winter that typically has the worst weather. The coldest and snowiest part of the season is from early January until mid-February. So, we are roughly three weeks away from leaving our best opportunities for awful conditions.

But does this mean we are totally out of the woods? Of course not. In fact, the worst snow storm I can remember did not happen until mid-March. Known as the Superstorm of 1993, it was a weather system that paralyzed most of the eastern part of the country.

In Manchester, we got around 10 inches of snow. It was a remarkable storm. Though it was difficult to do, I can remember driving around town.

The hotels were packed with college students who were stranded here during spring break. The interstate was closed for a period of time so they had no place to go.

In an odd way, maybe they were foreshadowing the arrival of Bonnaroo years later. If young people could have fun here during a snow storm, I can understand why a music festival would succeed here on such a grand scale.

Still, I am anticipating the arrival of mid-February and the gradual turn of the season toward spring. The turn is a gradual one, and if a person is not looking for it, he will miss it.

Even now, daylight is lasting a little longer. By mid-February, this fact will be more noticeable. We will begin to notice that we are not driving to and from work in the dark anymore.

Also, cold snaps will be less frequent. If winter continues on the mild trek it is on now, maybe we will not notice this much either. Still, it is something that is noticeable if we will only pause to do so.

However, I am only speculating at what will happen. Just because things have happened in the past does not mean they will happen again this year. Predicting weather is often like a sophisticated form of gambling where the experts guess at what is most likely to happen. Meteorologists often do a good job of it, which is why they get to make a living out of telling us what the weather might do.

As for me, I will be patient. I will pray for an early spring and do so earnestly.

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