So many people hate winter, and for good reason. It's cold. Snow presents oodles of inconveniences from slippery roads to shoveling. I myself cursed the Old Man as I endured a long bonus workout with a shovel and large drifts that piled in my driveway earlier this week during our first notable snowfall. At the end of the day, we choose to live in this climate. I grew up in Minnesota, so I know no different. It was not until one year I spent Christmas in Florida and found it disconcerting to hear carols while wearing flip-flops did I begin to appreciate the variety of the seasons. And, as much as it can be hard to admit, there are many wonderful things about winter, and my top five are described here.
Number Five: Outdoor activity. I am not a serious outdoors woman even in the best of weather, but the winter has yielded us with one half of all Olympic games with a variety of athletic challenges that cannot be sought above thirty-two degrees. In sticking with what I know, I do enjoy a good run in the winter. Today I ran nearly six miles in fifteen degrees, sunshine, and just enough wind to cut through my clothing. The cold pushed me in a way warmer temperatures cannot, and upon completing the run I felt more refreshed than I had in months. Not to mention the same old terrain has a totally new look: a sparkling, white blanket.
Number Four: Hockey. I realize this may also be considered an outdoor activity, however, these days most hockey is played in a heated arena where little more than a hoodie is required to stay warm. I am referring to hockey as a spectator sport, sheer blood lusted entertainment. Ever since I went out with a boy who played junior varsity hockey in high school, I have been hooked on watching it, the bulk of which is played in the winter.
Number Three: Hot beverages. In my gene pool, coffee is year-round mainstay. But only when the temps and snow fall do other hot beverages creep into my diet. Hot cocoa tastes so good when coming in from the cold, and green tea warms the soul on weekend afternoons. Even the occasional spiced apple cidar can hit the spot, and let's not forget the Bailey's in our coffee on Christmas morning.
Number Two: Cooking anything in the oven. Cooking in the oven is tolerated when it's warmer simply because of one side effect: it warms the house. So in the winter, the oven can turn into an auxillary heater that also creates wonderful smells and nourishment. For further elaboration on this thing to love about winter, refer to my entry on chocolate chip cookies.
Number One (drumroll, please): Snuggling. Hands down. Whether you have a significant other, a child, a teddy bear, or like me, cats, snuggling is simply better when it's cold.