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slogging to the midpoint

January 30, 2012

I mentioned recently that winter is my least favourite season.  I’ve liked my

Canadian ones alright, what with the waterfalls and robust streams  But the

ones I experienced in the Midwest as I grew up really put me off.  I’ll never 

forget a January in Kansas when it didn’t get above zero F. (-15 C.) for two



Further, life above the 49th Parallel means a lot of darkness to start and end

the year.  On the December solstice, our family and friends (and all others) in

the Bay Area and Kansas have 90 more minutes of daylight than we do.


So I inch through the cold, dark time by dividing it into manageable stretches.

The first one is from the time change in November until the solstice.  No matter

how much I prepare myself, the first week or so seems to me to have an hour

stolen out of the afternoon.  My despair is assuaged, however, by lots of football

to watch or look forward to.  And I could read a book if I needed to, I guess.


After the solstice, the light starts slipping back in.  Even at two minutes a day,

it’s soon perceptible.  The end of the second stretch is the 46th day of winter,

February 5th this year, the tipping point of winter.  From noon on, we’ll be on

the downhill side and coasting toward spring.  No wonder we mark this time of

year by exalting the groundhog.


By kick-off of the Super Bowl, my third, most manageable stretch will have

begun — the one until March 1st, the first day of spring in my cosmology.  I

realize that actual spring doesn’t start for another three weeks or so, but I need

a shorter winter and a longer primavera.  There’s still plenty of cold, nasty

weather left here at that time, so I came up with this to symbolically ignore it.


Too, March 1st was when I got married in 1966 for the first time, and when we

filed for divorce in 1974.  It’s also the day that the constitution of Finland was 

rewritten, plus the birthday of Canadians Alan Thicke and Justin Bieber.  One

does what one must to get through.             

  1. beth reed permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:39 am

    Awww you will make it thru but I understand the cause and effect of the seaons. I hate the time change simply because it makes me so sleepy and I feel that I dont have enough time in the day. Then in the summer I stay outside so late it is midnight before I really wind dow.
    I am so looking forward to spring this year. I need it. I need the rebirth of the birds and flowers. Night before last I was waiting for the dogs to come in and I could hear the bull frogs croaking o I am thing early spring. I just hope we do not have all the frogs that we had last year.
    did you hear about the migration of the artic snowy owl? T hey said that thousands have come down to the lower states. I read it on yahoo. news. I thought it was interesting.

  2. beth reed permalink
    January 30, 2012 10:43 am

    sorry about all of the mistakes. My phone is hard to post from.

    • January 31, 2012 7:25 am

      No sweat, Beth. Amen to looking forward to the frogs getting vocal again. I love frogsong as much as birdsong. I wasn’t aware of the arctic snowy owl coming your way. Would you please tell them to come back home?

      • January 31, 2012 10:33 am

        I will try, I would love to have a few of them out in my yard so I can take some pictures. Now that would be awesome.
        The can stand as tall as 2 feet and have a wings span of 5 feet. That is as tall as I am!!

      • February 1, 2012 7:50 am

        I just read a bit about them. They are some big ‘uns, aren’t they?

  3. January 30, 2012 3:54 pm

    It’s a bitch, isn’t it? And I think the winters get tougher and tougher to take each year. Scott keeps talking about moving south and he might be able to wear me down if he waits a few more winters. The thing that I look forward to is the day pitchers and catchers report to training. Then I know spring is just around the corner and if I can hold on just a little while longer, I might just make through the winter!

    • January 31, 2012 7:29 am

      I believe they get tougher because our bodies are quite possibly aging. I too am looking forward to pitchers and catchers returning. You get Mauer (and Morneau) back, and we get Posey. It’s gonna be a better year for both teams.

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