Opinion

My favorite winter traditions

You know what they say. April showers bring May flowers. So what do December, January and February bring? Ice, snow and record-low temperatures. How exciting, right? Just like that Disney Movie with the talking snowman.

Today we’re going to be taking a look at some of my favorite winter activities. Yearly traditions that I get to enjoy every year, and that we’ve all got more than a healthy dose of in 2019. Things to look back on as the month of March approaches. Here are my five absolute favorite winter traditions.

1. Cleaning off your car — This one is the gift that keeps on giving! Nothing says February like getting up and walking out to your vehicle to see it absolutely covered in ice and snow. The best part of waking up is spending half an hour frustratingly scraping at ice that just won’t budge.

And maybe it’s just me, but another fun tradition is losing your main scraper and having to get that ice off with something different. I’ve tried to scrape ice off with everything from a KFC spork to my own bare hands, and I think it’s safe to say nothing is better than the real thing.

And here are some fun places to find your scraper later in the day after you looked everywhere for it that morning and just couldn’t find it: In your coach pocket; in between your seats; in the passengers seat; outside your car in the snow because you tried to frustratingly fling it into your car and it bounced out. Fun times!

And don’t get me started on foggy windows. I don’t know how many times I have taken off from my house only for my windshield to refreeze because of the wind and completely blind me. It’s not very fun to try and steer while you’ve got your head out the side window, no matter how cool Ace Ventura makes it look.

2. Slipping on the ice — Sometimes, you just don’t even want to deal with your car. I know I don’t. So what do you do? You get on your feet and walk in the snow, just like your grandparents say they did every day.

That means you get to brave the sidewalks, which are always a combination of straight ice, straight snow or deceptive snow that’s really sitting on ice.

Snow on ice is truly the devil’s work. It lulls you into that false sense of security where you think everything is good. You think you can walk a little faster ... take a few bigger steps ... maybe look ahead to see where you’re going ... or pull out your phone ... WHAM! Wipeout! Serves you right for trying to get a little exercise, now you’re laying on your back and looking at the sky, and your tailbone is in nine different pieces.

I’ve only slipped on the ice once this year, but it was a pretty degrading fall. I had just spent 10 minutes cleaning off my car to go get some lunch for my family and I dared to lift one leg so I could get in the drivers seat. All I was trying to do was provide for my wife and kid and instead I was laying on the ground half-dead like LeBron James after getting bumped a tiny bit during a basketball game. Mother Nature sure is a spiteful old bag.

3. Berating the sun — This one might just be me, but do you ever just stare at the sun and ask it why it’s not hotter? In high school I used to do that with mirrors back in high school when I had circle glasses and wore jean shorts in public. Wait, what?

Anyway, when it’s negative five outside sometimes it’s fun to let off some steam by yelling at that big yellow tease in the sky. Bro, I thought you were supposed to be like a million degrees? You can’t even warm up Mt. Pleasant a little bit?

The worst days are the super sunny days where it’s still six below. That cocky sun just hanging out in the sky, doing practically nothing. Being a straight poser while us humans freeze. If I refused to do my job for four months out of the year, I’d get fired, but somehow the sun still gets to be king star for another seven billion things. Sheesh. I can’t believe people used to worship that thing.

4. Letting the trash pile up — My wife would probably tell you that I do this in the summer months too, but I’m really bad at taking the garbage out when it’s snowy. It’s such a task to put on more clothes just to walk out to the front yard and throw a dirty bag in the trash can. Even if it only takes 30 seconds, it still just feels inconvenient.

And what if you slip and fall while you’re carrying trash bags out? Yikers. Added to the embarrassment of hurting yourself is watching all your trash blow around the yard through all the snow. I have a one-year old so there will be some dirty diapers in that pile. Gross!

5. Wiping your nose — Here’s another gross one, because winter is just dirty and smelly and gross. It’s bad enough that it’s cold outside, but Old Man Winter can give you the runaround even indoors. I can’t tell you how many runny noses I’ve had because of the cold.

I’ll say it. I feel like a real nerd walking around and sniffling all the time. Might as well bust out the jean shorts and Harry Potter glasses if I’m going to be walking around wiping my nose with my sleeve every five seconds. Shout out to the guy who invented tissue paper.

I’ll take smelly armpit sweat in August 10 times out of 10 over a stuffy nose and numb ears. What did people even do before over-the-counter cold medication?

You know Cindy Lou Who from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas? The cute little girl with the little red nose? That is totally unrealistic. The real-life Cindy Lou would have gross fluids streaming from her nostrils to her chin. Sneezing all over the roast beats. Disgusting.

I guess not all traditions can be fun ones, but these five things are what always stick out to me when the winter rolls around. Take your Christmas Presents and New Year’s kisses. I’ll settle for T-shirts and shorts. I’m ready for the sun to step up its game this spring, run that temperature up and put this whole gross, icky, no good, rotten weather behind us until Old Man Winter rears his ugly head again in nine months.