It seems that I’ve been fooled. My first winter in Indiana, 2011-2012, was incredibly mild. Not only was there not one single large snowfall there was not much snow at all. Additionally, the temperature, while cold, was not consistently and continuously bitter. Oh, and I lived in an apartment with a garage. So, I never had to encounter snow directly: no shoveling, no sweeping, no cleaning off the car. All I had to do outside was walk the dog.
The Eel River frozen up to the falls.
Everyone I’ve talked with about the weather (which is nearly everyone) told me not “get used to it.” I am afraid I did.
This winter is different. There have not been any giant snows, but we have had more snow and the temperatures have been way (at least it seems to me) colder. Days and days of temperatures under 20 degrees. Wind. Constant, cold wind with wind chills repeatedly below -10. Oh, and I now have a driveway to shovel, a walk to sweep, and neighborhood streets to try to navigate safely.
Geese walking on water.
Where is the salt?
The partially frozen pond.
I have prided myself on the fact that I can handle cold weather and drive in the snow. I was raised in the mountains! It does snow in the mountains and it does get cold. However, it doesn’t stay this cold for this long, the snow doesn’t hang around for weeks from one storm, and it doesn’t snow this often. And, there is no wind there, at least not constant, extremely cold, and sustained winds.
This has been much more of an adjustment than I am comfortable admitting. It is not in my nature (or raising) to concede weakness or discomfort. Every time I walk out into the piercing cold wind I cringe. I long for some mountain cover. The question – why do I live here crosses my mind. Regularly. If I missed home when it was warm here, I miss home 1000x more now.
Luckily, I had the chance to escape the Midwest winter briefly. I spent part of the last week in Puerto Rico, where it was sunny, warm, and, like Fort Wayne, windy; there the wind blows warm. It was a much needed break even though I worked most of the trip. But that trip taught me a very important lesson. I now know the key to surviving a Midwestern winter. Take a break.
Seasons change and I have access to airplanes. So, my new vacation window is going to be January to March, just in time for a nice break from the Midwestern winter.
Puerto Rican sunsets are somehow different from Midwestern sunsets.
At 7:00 a.m. you get the beach to yourself.
La Mina Falls Hike
View from the Tower in the El Yunque Rainforest
It is a rainforest, I guess that explains the wet.
A tribute to my Dad, who had taken many a picture featuring his feet.
My favorite shot from the PR trip.
The rainforest is the greenest thing I’ve ever seen.