Monday, March 3, 2014

THE ADVANTAGES OF A LONG BITTER WINTER



OK, I know most of you out there are up to your armpits with the winter blues. It was even getting to me a bit especially since we are in the middle of an ice storm right now.  However since I don't have a dependable grumpy gene, I decided to look for the positives of bitter cold, being house bound, outrageous heating fuel prices  and going flat out bonkers inside the confines of our homes. 

Though Arkansas has not had any sense of what most of you have gone through, it was a taste that surprisingly, I tired of quickly. My heart goes out to those of you for whom Winter has become a never ending foe that has kept the bread winners struggling to get to work, the kids out of school and the rest of us falling gracelessly on our duffs.  

Still, there really are positives to be found. 

  1.  You have to admit that fluffy white is prettier than stick brown trees and burned beige lawns. Snow covers everything indiscriminately and smooths out the world.  Winter's masquerade ball really has "pretty" firmly on its positive side. 

  2.  A recent check at my local dealer for the price of Propane made me clutch my chest and declare aloud to my long gone parents that I was "coming home." Scared everyone in the store and startled my parents whom I am sure were hoping for a bit more warning.  

When gasoline prices go up, we can try to curtail our driving. It is hard to curtail being warm. However we actually can adjust how we keep warm a bit and here comes the advantage.  You can break out those ugly sweaters  you keep meaning to donate, toss on a down vest and lower the thermostat.  Also a half hour on the stationary bike periodically really warms a person plus burning unwanted calories. Biking also helps with the restless crazies. No bike?? Jog in place.   

  3.  The simple fact of  being house bound, even considering higher fuel prices, is a money saver.   I no longer zip to the store for coffee only and check out with a cart full of impulse buys. My gas credit card this month was 1/5 of normal. What a nice surprise. My grocery store  spending was minuscule. I actually only bought groceries.  My trips have been less frequent and 'need' only inspired. I just balanced my check book and was pleasantly surprised. On a whole, actually better than break even after heating fuel was included. 

  4.  Shoveling snow?? Yes annoying to most  Weird I know but I kind of enjoy it once my shoulder has been tamed by pain killers.  Shoveling does burn calories and lets us indulge in comfort foods with out guilt. Being guilt free at the dinner table is a huge plus. 

  5.  It makes you realize as you walk around on the fresh snow in the early morning that your area (no matter where you live) is alive with creatures. So many tracks, most unrecognizable to me, make me realize, night time is a very active time for Nature. Wish I had one of those wildlife video cameras. 

  6.  For those of you who feed the birds in Winter, what an entertaining and rewarding sight the feeders are.  True there is squabbling, bullying and shoving at the feeders but it is like watching a smaller and more colorful  version of why we will probably never have world peace-- but will  survive. Even with the bigger birds being pushy, the scrappy little guys still eat and prosper. Gives one hope and a smile. 

  7. Being forced to spend more time indoors, makes one appreciate all the methods we have today for keeping in touch with family and friends. As long as the power holds, we are just phone call or a finger stroke away.   The need to reach out intensifies yet is easily satisfied. 

Ok, I was hoping to scrounge up ten reasons but will settle for 7.  Perhaps the ice storm plus all day sleet has weakened my resolve. Maybe you have some of your own pluses to share?? Think hard, it does help.   

I will leave you with something my Florida friend Sue sent me. If you actually enjoy crying and smiling at the same time, rather the same effect Winter has on us--click on the link. What a lovely cry it was.    The best soldier-dog reunion ever.
             

40 comments :

  1. Oh I love it. I needed this. I may even decide that in spite of it all I maybe also be deficient of the grumpy gene....:)

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  2. The reunion video was so, SO touching. Wow.

    I refrain from commenting on the weather for my own safety.

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  3. Oh Patti, you made me laugh SO LOUD here "A recent check at my local dealer for the price of Propane made me clutch my chest and declare aloud to my long gone parents that I was "coming home."

    Too funny! I had the same reaction when I read my January electric bill!!

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  4. Good for you Patti. I can see all the positives you have pointed out but still the negatives are too great to bear. My grumpy gene is alive and well and extremely active. Mother Nature teased me with a week of Spring then pulled that rug right out from under me.

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  5. Yesiree, you are right! There are positives with the never-ending winter that most of the country is experiencing. Suddenly the endless rain we have in the Pacific Northwest looks a lot more tolerable! :-)

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  6. You are so funny!!! (clutching chest coming home)You are my kind of person!
    Snow is beautiful and I too like to see what tracks are left in the snow. I actually like to shovel snow. Ha! I use to tell my kids "the blankets are paid for, the heat is not so don't turn up the thermostat, grab another blanket!"

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  7. A great list, put a smile on my face.
    I have read a pile of books sitting around for weeks, probably months…And completed a couple of want-to-dos around the house I never get around to, like organizing pictures. Didn't finish, but made some progress!

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  8. It's always a pleasurable thing to read happy lines from a positive thinker. And when just the right touch of humor is added...viola it's you.....one of my favorite non grumpies on the planet.
    Our winter has been bizarre at best and odd at worst. Not enough moisture, too much wind and some really spring like days mixed in. That's my story and I'm stickin' to it.
    Glad you didn't decide to join your parents just yet (you are a hoot) and that you've weathered the weather. Happy Monday

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  9. Ever the optimist here, all your reasons are good ones. Oh so funny, about "coming home".

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  10. I'm getting a little tired of being cooped up...It wasn't bad till my best friend and her hubby went to Hawaii... Now I'm suffering...

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  11. Great reunion video!!! I do like watching the birds duke it out. Great entertainment.

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  12. My grumpy gene is alive and well and very active this morning as I realized that I don't have enough cat food to feed the brats after today. I'll have to get out in this oh-so-cold weather and go to the store. Would just as soon stay in today! We had a little sleet and only about an inch of snow, so traveling around here isn't all that bad, it's just so darn cold. At least I'll have something to chuckle about while I'm bundling up to go out when I think of your #2. Too funny!! Be careful on the ice and stay warm.

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  13. I feel a little bit guilty because we've had a mild and warm winter here in California until February when the rain started to pour. I got tired of it after a week. I like your attitude. We really do try to make the best of it, but snow is prettier than mud.

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  14. Yes, it's good to be positive. And we also noticed some good has come from being home-bound. Our gasoline bill has been low as we don't leave the house much, our OTE (out to eat) budget has hardly been used, and I've learned a lot of new crochet and knitting techniques due to being home 24/7... BUT we haven't gotten the electric bill yet!

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  15. Yes, Winter is alot of things to alot of people... Most don't like it. I have always enjoyed winter--but I am one who loves snow (since we don't get too much of it)... I do NOT like ice though --and we have it today!

    One thing I love about winter is that we don't have nearly as many things to do in the yard --which frees me up to do some things I don't usually have time for, like my Genealogy.

    I loved the video--and yes, it did make me cry and smile....

    Hugs,
    Betsy

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  16. I love the fact that I've got time now to read all the second-hand books I bought last summer following my wife shopping at thrift stores. Well, maybe not all. Buying books to read is my vice. Come on snow.

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  17. Love the video. Our Milwaukee daughter says that she has totally run out of expletives for the snow. Used them all up.

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  18. Awwwwwwww....That is the dearest Video, ever. Soooo very sweet and as you said, a crier and a good laugh, too....well,more of a smile, for me, really.....
    As to Confinement....that is my life...So I have had to find ways to not go stir crazy---it's been years! I'm glad I don't have to deal with the cold and the snow....Watching the Birds sounds like the Best thing to do! Another lesson in life on the Art Of Survival and fun, too.

    Patti---you have the most wonderful way of expressing yourself---Always with humor and a true understanding of the Human Condition, and always so positive.....Thanks for being YOU, my dear....

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  19. What snow?? We haven't had any this year. Can you come up with 7 positive things to say about non stop rain and wind storms? I can't think of one!

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  20. Thanks for putting such a positive spin on this cold, icy stuff! However, I'm more than ready for the Spring thaw!

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  21. TB,
    Oh thank you. It is so nice to know there are other deficient sorts out there.

    Olga,
    Ha ha, smart move to lie low.

    Keith,
    So glad you enjoyed and can relate. Those heating bills are real eye openers.

    Grannie Annie,
    We got that tease also. Not nice to treat us that way.

    Djan,
    Well neither is fun but you can at least get out of your house. So glad your neighbors are finally getting some of that rain.

    Aunt Betsy,
    You bet and so are warm clothes paid for.

    Meryl,
    Hasn't it been great for snuggling under a throw with a good book?? I also could have done some useful things but never seemed to get around to them.

    Linda W.
    Aw thanks so much. I don't think anyone has had an "average" winter--world wide. Being one of many is kind of comforting.
    Ha. Pretty sure my parents aren't quite ready for that either.

    Brighid,
    Really, the price they quoted was knee buckling. Glad you are on the plus side also.

    turquoisemoon,
    I know that hurts. All my family and a chunk of friends are in Florida. I feel your pain.

    islandwonder,
    That video got to me. Her vocal joy was just amazing.

    Cheryl,
    I know the feeling about being out of animal food. I have 100 birds who are about to get cranky and I can't get out my driveway for probably a few days. Hope none of them saw "The Birds."

    robin,
    I am so glad you all finally got rain but wish it could have been spaced out a bit. Do take care.

    Rian,
    Be sure you are seated and sedated when you open the bill. I will probably be ugly.Try to remember how nice it was to be warm.

    Betsy,
    Glad you enjoyed the video. Such joy is just a pleasure to watch isn't it? I love snow also but this year all we have gotten the white, really slippery concrete type like you are getting. Be careful. Sure would like to make a snow ball once this year.

    William,
    Thank you so much for stopping by. Yes, it has been a wonderful time to catch up on reading. That is the attitude to have.

    NCMountainwoman,
    I can't blame anyone in that area. It has been unending for them. It is easier to be positive when you have only had 3 snows all year like Arkansas has had.
    Glad you liked the video.

    Naomi,
    Thank you so much. I just am a lazy person and find it so much easier to find the humor.
    Birds do entertain. I felt so badly today for my first Robin of spring arrived and all she could do was walk around on the hard crust we call snow. Wish she liked seeds.

    Joey,
    Ok, I will have to think about that but it may be hard. Rain is one thing but you all have really had the winds. At least you aren't having wild fires. I know-weak.

    Pat,
    I agree about Spring. The ice topped with 4 inches of sleet has boxed me in once more. Good thing I have a full Kindle.

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  22. I confess to loving the snow, but I am now ready for spring.

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  23. I knew you could do it, Patti- find great reasons to love winter. Also, don't forget the pretty icicles, the fact that the urge for hot chocolate doesn't have to be denied, and a roaring fire feels so good - esp since we have the heat turned down to save on fuel costs. Still plenty of snow here, Patti - I skied today at Vail. Hope your shoulder is feeling much better.

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  24. That was a very touching, heart warming video.
    Good job on being positive about the endless winter. We have not had a bad winter at all so far here in Seattle, and yet I'm thoroughly tired of it too.

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  25. A great list for certain! Since my mom always told me if I couldn't say anything nice I should say nothing at all, I will refrain from saying anything more about winter weather. Sigh...

    On the other hand, the video was priceless. I have a cat beside me as I watched it...he was curious what was making that noise!

    Have a great week!

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  26. I usually love winter but now that I'm back from steamy Thailand I can't seem to warm up.

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  27. And here's something my daughter sent me from Chicago:
    http://morningnews.wgntv.com/2014/03/03/dans-hilarious-frozen-inspired-parody-let-it-go-chicago/

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  28. Ok, now that I have mopped up my tears after that video....

    We had MORE snow this morning. Only a couple inches, but it is bitterly cold now. This is NOT Cape Cod! I'm ready for sun and humidity; had enough pasty white, dry, itchy, flaky skin!

    I DO like winter, truly, but I have a half marathon trail run coming up in a month and REALLY need some outdoor training time.

    Soon, Patti! SOON!

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  29. Welcome spring!! Positiveness of winter!!

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  30. joeh,
    Me to Cranky, me too. I have lived too many years with out snow.

    Barb,
    Oh how I wish I had that roaring fire. I had a fireplace in Florida, none here. Something wrong with that statement.
    Shoulder is 70% and improving slowly, thank you.

    Linda R.
    Wasn't that dog sweet and so vocal?
    Yep, I am back house bound again for a while and positivity helps keep the BP stable :)

    Eileen,
    That happy pup really was vocal in her delight wasn't she? Funny about your cat. My cat slept through it.

    Stephen,
    Ah, the blood will thin. You sure adjusted quickly to the warm. Hope you get some relief soon.

    Kay,
    Hay, that guy can sing. Funny and true, we just have to "let it go".

    Barry,
    I had a feeling you would really feel that video also.
    It really can wear on us as there just seems to be no let up. I am locked in my yard right now with beautiful white concrete hard sleet pack and slick roads.
    Hope you can get in some training in time. This too shall pass.

    Weekend Windup,
    Well March came in like a lion so there is hope for the end of the month. Spring will make it.

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  31. Dear Arkansas Patti, thank you for the link to the reunion video. It was so touching. I've always lived with cats and they don't really welcome me like this when I've been away. But after I sit down, they do come, one by one, to be held and to purr their relief that I am home.

    As to the reasons winter can be enjoyed, I applaud your seven. I'd add only that the "confinement" leaves us time to meditate and consider the goodness of our lives and so we live in even more gratitude. Peace.

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  32. Good ideas. Concerning snow: I've always loved the story that Garrison Kealor tells about what Lake Woebegone looks like when all that lovely white snow starts to melt, "unearthing all the brown gifts that our dogs have left for us over the winter".

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  33. It's true, our backyard does look prettier under a couple feet of snow, still...won't miss it when its gone!

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  34. You've made some excellent points of looking on the bright side. I haven't had your ice or snow, but I'm over tired of seeing 70 degree days followed by threats of ice and then the low 20s. It's March for Joe's sake...come on spring! Have a great weekend Patti! Too funny!

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  35. Dee,
    Had to chuckle about the cats. They are not known for their exuberant greetings. Minnie will give me a noisy greeting in the AM but when I was in Florida for 10 days, she kind of gave me a "who are you" look upon return. We still love them anyway don't we? They are great lap warmers.

    Ginnie,
    Ah yes, Garrison, my favorite story teller. I think of that episode when I go to my mail box after the snow melts and find it has been the local doggie bathroom. The yellow snow was obvious but the warm brown gifts don't appear till the thaw.

    bookbabie,
    Welcome to TNS and thank you for commenting. Can't wait for the thaw either though am all ready working on why 100 plus temps have a positive.

    Terri,
    We sure have been teased this year haven't we. Finally got out of the yard yesterday. Calender spring is almost here. I'm ready also.

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  36. It hasn't snowed here yet in England, plenty of rain though!

    Thank you. Love love, Andrew. Bye.

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  37. A very refreshing and positive post sweet Patti. Since I can no longer start the lawnmower because of injuries and have to wait for someone to start it for me I am glad I have not had to do that during the winter. You made me think of the TV show Sandford and Son when you said you were "Coming home". lol I can always know there will be a smile and/or a chuckle waiting for me here at your blog. Love it! Hugs for you and nose kisses for Minnie.

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  38. I love that you are grumpy gene deficient! I love winter and didn't get one. Just that brown/beige dry landscape that one does tire of really fast.

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  39. I've never lived where it snows a lot in winter. I'd like to trade houses for a year with someone who lives where the precipitation in winter falls as snow.

    That said, I leave Washington State for Arizona right after Christmas and don't go home until April.

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  40. WPW,
    You all have really had a mess Andrew. I saw some of it at Joey's Pad. Hope you all get a break soon.

    Maggie,
    Ha ha, I was channeling Sanford. He use to crack me up with that chest clutching plea.

    Inger,
    I know what you mean. No snow really does lack beauty. I always say if I'm going to be cold, let it be pretty.

    Linda M.
    You have mastered the fine art of chasing sunshine. Enjoy.

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