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It’s winter: Make room on the couch

Local columnist

Well that came out of nowhere.

Sure, they were predicting some wintry weather, but when you’ve gotten past Halloween without so much as frosty breath and the sweaters are still packed away, it can be a little difficult to gauge what, exactly, that might mean.

Now we know.

It means cold — really cold — which is extra not fun when you’re going from the upper 70s to the teens literally overnight.

And it’s not likely to get a whole lot better, because if forecasts are correct, the sun will return here and there, and a couple of mild days may come, but there are also quite a few freezing days and nights ahead.

That’s just the way winter works on the High Plains. It blows in out of nowhere, then spends the next couple of months toying with us, giving a glimpse of pleasant sunshine one day but coating the world in ice the next while a biting wind adds insult to injury.

Some people like the colder months and look forward to sipping hot cocoa beside a warm evening fire.

But there are also a lot of people who don’t like winter at all and have a hard time finding anything redeeming about shorter days, brown, leafless plants, freezing cold and snow and ice.

Even if you hate every minute of winter, there are still some upsides to be thankful for.

For starters, it’s pretty nice not having to pick your way through the snow in your bare feet, only to feel the cold wind on your tender bits every time you have to do your business.

It’s also pretty nifty that when the cold chills to the bone, there are comfort food options such as hearty stews and warm beverages to bring on that cozy feeling, rather than being stuck eating the same, cold food for every meal.

When everything in sight is frozen solid, it’s also pretty handy to be able to turn on the tap and get a glass of fresh, clean water any time you want, rather than having your tongue fuse to a huge chunk of ice that you hope is hiding a non-frozen sip underneath, assuming, of course, that you can lick your way through.

Warm blankets and heavier clothes aren’t bad either and boots, gloves, hats and scarves sure are a great alternative to noses, ears, fingers and toes getting so cold they burn on the way to going numb.

It sure is a wonderful thing to hear the wind howl through nice, thick walls, crank up the thermostat and watch the ice crystals glaze over the windows rather than freezing to your eyelashes or soaking you through to the skin because your quickly dropping body temperature is still warm enough to melt them.

Enjoying that peaceful feeling of floating off to dreamland, snuggled deep under soft blankets and knowing that morning will come quickly, is especially pleasant by comparison to the thought of curling into a ball against the frozen ground and falling into a deep, shivering sleep with the morning sun a long way off.

In all reality, for most humans, hating winter amounts to disliking the inconvenience, brief periods of exposure to cold and being stuck indoors to wait it out.

For critters, however, winter comes with a different kind of miserable.

But since misery loves company, go ahead and make room on the couch, ’cause there’s a pretty good chance they’d love to wait it out, and probably won’t mind being stuck indoors with you one bit.

Sharna Johnson is a writer who is always searching for ponies. You can reach her at:

[email protected]