Since moving to Michigan fall has also become the season that I start worrying about winter. In Columbus winters are fairly mild compared to Grand Rapids. It's typically 10-15 degrees warmer down there and snows about half as much. During winters in Columbus you're more likely to experience nasty gray skies that pummel you with sharp bursts of icy cold rain than the endless mountains of snow we get in GR. Unpleasant as that may seem, in Columbus you also are likely to get week long stretches of sunny 60 degree temperatures in the middle of January or February. It's weird weather, but that balance always worked for me. I didn't like winter, but I didn't hate it either. Maybe I was just used to it.
I've come to hate winter since moving here. This year I want things to be different so I've devised list of tactics I'm going to try to do to make our life here more tolerable. I don't expect to suddenly love winter, but I'm hoping this year I won't want to crawl into a hole and die.
- I will open the drapes every day. In previous years I have kept them closed because the sight of all the muddy snow was depressing and having to see my neighbors and be seen (no foliage between our yards) was uncomfortable. So our house was very gloomy. This year underwear sightings be damned - Lady needs some sunshine.
- I will buy and decorate a Christmas tree for the holidays. Due to the combination of not being Christians and having busy travel schedules , we've gone the last couple of years without one, but there's something quite cheerful about the smell of pine and the sparkle of the lights. There won't be any presents under it, and it could turn out to be either a big giant cat toy or big giant litter box as Turtle is quite young and has never seen a Christmas tree before. It's worth a shot. (This kitty looks kinda like Turtle.)
- We will use our fireplaces. We've got two, one upstairs and one in the basement. I'm a little afraid of them because, well, it's lighting a huge fire in the middle of your home. Plus I used to work for a fire restoration company. Fireplaces are dangerous and I'm not sure we are smart enough to operate one, but we've got to try. They are cozy and cheerful and I will need as much of that as I can get. If things go awry maybe a week or so in a hospital burn unit will break up the monotony and at least I will know we made an effort.
- Diet be damned I'm going to bake cookies and things. I'm thinking it'll keep the house smelling nice and our badly insulated 1948 oven will help keep the house warm too.
- I will wear appropriate footwear when going outdoors. I've got to just break down and buy some honking big snow boots. In previous years I could be seen tip-toeing daintily down the driveway and across parking lots in soggy suede flats. Idiot.
- I will wear hats that cover my ears when going outdoors. I look fabulous in hats anyway.
- I will try not to be too upset or self conscious if I get hat head.
That's all I've got for now. There is one big issue I'm not sure how to tackle - so send me your suggestions if you've got any:
- Cold toilet seats. What can you do? Previously I just hovered but that gets tiresome. Plus unless you are an Olympic gymnast, a Yoga Instructor or some other kind of person with amazing balance how can you read in that position?
In my own home I dread having to pee and that's just crazy. Once I even went thru a phase where I tried pre-warming the seat with the high/hot setting on my hair dryer but that's a bit noisy for those middle of the night visits and the cord doesn't reach all the way. MDH also pointed out the danger created by the combination of having a plugged in appliance so close to water and my underdeveloped motor skills. I don't want to burn the house down, but I also don't want my heart to stop when I sit down.