A (Love) Hate Letter to Winter

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I gave in and went to the gym today. We’ve been staying in eastern New York on the border of Vermont and the nearest gym—we still have our Planet Fitness membership—is more than 30 minutes away. I have not been able to justify driving for nearly the same amount of time I’m going to workout, so for the past two months I’ve braved the wind, snow, and brutally cold temperatures to do my daily five-mile walk outside. Today wasn’t even the coldest day, that was a couple of weeks ago: a -14 air temp, -24 wind chill (nothing like the -110 windchill on the summit of Whiteface in Lake Placid) but this whole week was windy with negative air temps and so this morning when I saw that it was -3 air temp, -23 windchill, suddenly the drive was justifiable.

Frozen Morning WalkLight Snow CoverBlue Skies Over SnowLong Shadows in the SnowWinter WonderlandSnow Coated FarmSnow CoatedFrozen Skaneateles LakeBright Sun and Snow

When I set out to write this post last week I wasn’t quite sick of winter yet and so I had hoped to squeeze in a post about the beauty of winter before it slipped away into the February abyss of dreary coldness. Then I got busy with something else and now it’s too late: I’m officially sick of winter. But I will try to put aside my contempt and highlight winter’s value.

Stormy winter sky over Lake Placid

I have never been a fan of winter, so last year Pearson and I tried to skip it, though somehow almost three months of it found us—first it came early in the northeast and then the polar vortex brought cold, ice, and snow to the south—but we managed to ride out the end of it in the warm and sunny southwest. I thought I had seen my last northeast winter, at least for a few years, and we had every intention of leaving New York this year before the snow flew. But November was fine, no snow until the last week and temperatures that weren’t terrible. December too saw only a dusting of snow and it came overnight and looked magical.

Winter Snow at Night

January got cold, very, very cold, but it was sunny and for the first three weeks we could still see grass through the thin layer of snow. I was actually getting disappointed that there wouldn’t be good snow for skiing. Then in the last week of January the snow started, we laughed after the “huge” storm dropped less than four inches.

Quechee GorgeSnow Covered EvergreenWinter Hardware

The joke was on us though because it hasn’t stopped snowing since, almost every day a few more inches pile up. And it’s still so very cold. But the sun has come out most days and there is something about clear blue skies and sunshine on a bitterly cold day—the way it makes the snowy landscape glitter—that is more valuable than sun on a warm summer day.

Skiing WhitefaceChurch in a Winter StomSnow Coated BranchesIce Coated TreesSnowy Adirondacks

Now that cabin fever has set in, I realize that the value of winter is to make me appreciate all the other seasons more. I will have a renewed gratitude for spring this year, even for the allergies it brings!

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