winter in the midwest

Unless you are young enough to not have to drive, or wealthy enough to have someone else drive you around, winter in these parts often sucks. It can be dangerously cold, we get rain that freezes and gets topped by snow that is sometimes measured in feet, and in spite of it all there are still people who insist on driving like they’re competing in the Indy 500.

I am particularly NOT FOND of driving when it gets like this, and right now it is very much THIS. Partially this is because I once ran into the back end of a sheriff’s cruiser in bad winter weather (while on my way to meet my soon-to-be in-laws for the first time, on Christmas Eve) and partially because there’s no way for it to just be me on the roads. There is always some jerk who thinks that 4-wheel drive means something different than “all 4 of these wheels will slide at the exact same time when I hit a patch of black ice hidden under the snow while I’m driving 65mph on a surface street.” No, I am not exaggerating. This is the land of the pick-up truck and while not everyone who drives a truck is like that, many of them are.

If we get lucky, and this is “luck” as defined by me and most school aged children, we get a snow day. For those of you not living in a climate like this, a snow day is where the school districts, and sometimes the universities and every now and then a whole city, waves the white flag of surrender and lets all of us small children stay at home where it’s safe. This keeps the kids from standing outside waiting for buses and possibly slipping on ice, keeps the bus drivers from dealing with nasty roads, and makes it easier for the snow plows to do their jobs.

There’s typically junk food, movies, and non-stop pajama time involved. For me it usually includes some amount of time working on a craft project. It’s found time and it’s a beautiful thing.

Unless you’re sick.

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