“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.” ― Sinclair Lewis

Here we are, faced again with that time of year that elicits a range of sentiments from us. Some love it, others hate it, and many simply tolerate what they know cannot be changed. Oh, we complain and voice our angst on social media and on the phone. We look outside on a snowy morning and our spirits sink if we know we will have to go out in it.

We drag out shovels, put gas in our snowblowers, and put the snow brushes in our cars where we can handily reach them. We don jackets and hats where, not that long ago, we were in shorts and sandals.

It’s winter again. And no matter how we feel about it, we have only two choices: move to a warmer climate and wait for spring to return to this part of the world; or, resign ourselves to whatever nature sends our way in the form of frigid temperatures, precipitation, and just plain misery.

It appears to be a human prerogative to criticize all that occurs in nature that’s beyond our control. Sure, many of us do have to brave the more extreme elements in order to go out each day to earn our daily bread. And if we’re not lucky enough to have a garage to house our vehicles in during a storm, that makes that whole undertaking all the more challenging and exhausting.

There is, of course, also the ever-present specter of outages caused by icy branches falling on power lines or cars skidding off the roads and hitting telephone poles. And, cars not starting due to dying or dead batteries that no longer hold a charge is another all-too-common occurrence, especially when the thermometer reads in the minus column.

Do vestiges of our forebears’ experiences still lurk in our own genetic makeup from an era when children really DID have to walk miles to school in a blizzard and they had to anchor themselves to buildings when they went out for firewood or food from the root cellar? Is complaining the new survival tactic? Do we feel better because we can at least imagine that we have it as bad as our ancestors did? Or deep down inside, do we secretly wish we could go back and experience what a really bad winter was like so we can justify all the lamenting?

We whine, we rail, we curse, sometimes under our breaths, other times out loud. But who among us has ever caused one less snowflake to fall or one less molecule of water to freeze for all our efforts? Why not just grin and bear it and set our sights for what comes next in just a few weeks?

Oh, I’ll sigh and rant like everyone else, and I’ll grab my broom and go clean off my car so I can move it out of the way of the snowplow. But as premature as it may sound, my mind and heart are already set for that day when I will once again step outside, armed not with broom, shovel, and snow brush, but with a garden spade and a packet of seeds. That is just 12 weeks away, and yes, I’m already counting the days!

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