It’s cold out there this Monday. A balmy 14 degrees as I write. It’s the kind of cold that makes your teeth and your face hurt, though that may also be because just the day before, it wasn’t that cold at all. Sometimes in Indiana I think I can feel the next weather front coming though inside my sinus cavities.
It’s cold, but I’m reminding myself that last winter this time was also the first day of the winter semester at the college. At least it was supposed to be, but yet another winter storm blew through (at that point last winter, I had already stopped counting which winter storm it was) and so classes were cancelled. This time last year, I was looking out the window and staring straight into the face of the polar vortex and it was ugly. Last winter was malicious. Hateful. I spent most of the spring and summer recovering from the trauma of last winter.
I don’t want to jinx us, but this winter is already better than last year. It’s going to have to work pretty hard to be worse (sincerely hoping Mother Nature doesn’t take that as a challenge). Whenever anyone complains about the cold this year, I laugh and think to myself, “It’s not as bad as last winter.” Maybe that’s the point.
Maybe the whole point of last winter was to make every winter after it seem like a breeze. Maybe it was a lesson in what winter could be, and if so, consider my lesson learned. I’ll take two weeks worth of days without sunshine. I’ll take snow before Thanksgiving. I’ll take this short plunge into frigid temperatures. I’ll take being able to walk outside, even if it’s cold, because the sidewalks aren’t covered with snow and frozen ice that lasts into March. I’m hoping that there is no winter worse than the one last year, and I hope I never have to find out any different.