YEA WINTER . . .

So believe it or not, I usually like winter. Yeah, it’s cold but that just means it’s not 90 million degrees with 350% humidity causing sweat to gush out of my pores in a perpetual downpour of sticky, smelly acid rain. Winter is the time to snuggle in your cozy house and read and watch movies and eat anything with chocolate. Winter is calm and quiet. The air is crisp and clean. Snow crunches soothingly under your boots and the world takes on a mystical, peaceful air.

But not this year. This year, winter turned foul and evil. It’s as if winter got sick and tired of taking second place to summer and decided to teach us a lesson in who is top dog. (Think Snow Miser vs. Heat Miser.) Up here in the northern mid-west, where we are used to the cold, winter bit us in the proverbial ass. And our real asses, too. We had over 50 days of below zero temperatures and we’re talking 10 below. 20 below. That’s below zero. Fahrenheit! Fortunately, we are slogging our way towards the light of spring but spring is fickle in these parts and it could very well be May before all the snow disappears from those hard to reach areas where the sun just can’t reach.

I did get a reprieve when we went to Orlando for a week and it was like going to a warm, tropical island, minus the island. It was 80 degrees warmer than home and it felt decadent and daring to wear sandals and no sleeves in February. I didn’t have to wear a jacket, even at night, and it made me question why I live in the frigid, icebox called Minnesota when there is such a lovely place called Florida where you never have to warm up your car 3 hours before you go anywhere and the snot doesn’t freeze in your nose when you sprint out to your mailbox.

Florida, where the happiest place on earth is located (that’s Disneyworld in case you live under a rock) and the most magical and hallowed place in the entire world is just a $93 ticket away. (That’s the Wizarding World of Harry Potter.) Hogwarts’ castle looms over Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. There’s butterbeer and Zonko’s and Honeydukes. You can buy a Marauders’ Map and owls (stuffed toys, not real ones) and wands. Oh, the wands! I bought one because you cannot go to Harry Potter World and not. I’m convinced it would work, too, but alas I fear I am a squib or worse, a plain, old Muggle.

Why, oh why haven’t I packed my bags and scampered off to the Sunshine State or any state that has a median temperature above 50 degrees!? Is it because my job, my house, my family and friends are all here? Is it because the thought of actually moving makes my stomach curdle? Well, yes, not to mention the fact that I’m too lazy and set in my ways to pull up stakes and take on that kind of adventure.

But the real reason I don’t leave this place in the dust is because us folks up here take a kind of perverted pride in living where the wind howls and the snow piles up and the red in the thermometer disappears into the nether regions for half the year. We scoff at those wimps down south who can’t function if one snowflake flutters into their midst. We come from hardy stock and have no patience for those too delicate of countenance to withstand the character-building conditions we endure with hardly any complaint.

Yes, we’ve got the right stuff here and it brings a tear to my eye and a tingle in my heart whenever I think of this wonderful place and I can’t imagine living anywhere else in the world!

Okay, maybe Hawaii but that’s it. . .

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