John Grindrod: Bring on winter

First Posted: 1/2/2015

Really, for me, winter never seems to be a big obstacle early on, provided, of course, ice and snow keep themselves off the roads I travel. Otherwise, the excitement of Thanksgiving and Christmas and New Year’s pretty much takes my attention off the cold in late November and December. So, to this point, I haven’t really needed a pep talk to take on the oft-formidable foe, winter.

But, this January and February and even beginning of March thing, well, that can be a vastly different story as all of us know who don’t fly south with the rest of the Buckeye snow birds. So, now that the final renditions of “Auld Lang Syne” have subsided and I gear up for plunging temperatures and seek as much light as possible during days when I rise in darkness and retire in darkness, I thought this would be the time for my annual winter motivational talk.

First, allow me to weigh in a bit on the joys of shoveling. Now, I know, I know. It can be annoying, a cold, drudgery-inducing task. I get it. I really do. But, unlike its irksome fall cousin, raking, when I can guarantee you, there’s always another leaf or three you either missed or haven’t seen because they haven’t arrived yet with the next gust of wind from your neighbor’s yard, with shoveling, upon completion, there is indeed satisfaction and a sense of great accomplishment upon gazing at the fruits of your labor. Barring an occasional aberrational sustained wind that might blow some snow back onto the drive from the walls you’ve crafted on both sides, the cleared driveway remains intact until the next dumping, allowing clear passage to roads that hopefully have also been cleared.

Moving inside to the joys of the dead of Midwestern winters, I’ll take you into my kitchen. Isn’t cooking far more fun in the winter, especially our comfort foods? I mean, seriously, is there anybody really making soups and stews and chowders in warm-weather months?

But, you put me inside on a day when winter bares her teeth and wreaks her havoc and allow me to stand before the ingredients for chili or chicken noodle soup or clam chowder and watch a masterpiece coming together, and I’m a pretty happy camper. Of course, the leftovers are just as anticipated for me as the first dipper full, and with some comfort food, like chili, I actually think it gets better in the ensuing days.

As far as my ablutions, during warm-weather months, I’m definitely a shower guy when I’m home or, of course, on the road, where only the intrepid would ever fill a hotel bath tub where so many sets of feet have stood. However, when the mercury dips and chill settles into my aging bones during a day when I’m out slugging it out, there is absolutely nothing to which I looked forward to more than a hot bath.

A good DVD becomes even better in the winter, and even the ones that aren’t so good don’t seem nearly as bad when winter is raging outside.

Finally, at the end of the day, when it’s time to fold myself into the arms of Morpheus, nothing feels better to me than crisp sheets recently washed and an electric blanket set on 2, providing just enough warmth to mix with my own body heat for nourishing repose. A little reading of a good biography ensues before I succumb to drowsiness and slide the book under the bed and snap off the light. As former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Jon Lovitz would say, “Yea, that’s the ticket!”

So, there you have it, my friends, my winter pep talk for all of us still here after the others beat their cowardly paths to the Forts of Florida, as in Myers and Lauderdale. Really we’re the lucky ones, right?

Right? Right? Yoo-hoo, right?