Brain Clouds and Other Winter Phenomena

I went in to work three hours early today for no other reason than the schedule I had on my calendar was wrong. Not the first brain cloud of this winter, but certainly one that made me feel rather foolish. For a minute, that is. After all, I did get the morning essentials….shower, shampoo, work clothes and breakfast….out of the way. And I stopped on the way home for a triple berry scone to enjoy with my chai latte. I still have to get back in my car and drive the roads, but even now the sun and warmer temps are un-crunching those same streets on which I had to tread carefully just a few hours ago. And the parking lot at my store will NOT be icy, just slushy. I am prepared.
It should always be so easy to make positives out of negatives. I don’t know about anyone else, but these first two months of 2014 have produced more negatives then I find acceptable. I’m not just talking about the temperatures, although according to my memory this is the second coldest winter I remember in this city I call home. I’m sure my childhood had zero and below zero days, possibly even weeks, but as a kid you let your parents worry about that. Snow days? Really? I don’t remember any school EVER closing. Here comes that “I had to walk to school in the snow uphill BOTH ways when I was your age” cliché. But you know, I did. We lived at the bottom of one hill in my suburb and the senior high school was at the bottom of another hill on the other side of town. I missed being “bus eligible” by two blocks, so up AND down those inclines I went twice a day. Of course in the olden days, none of my friends had cars, and the school dress code was skirts or dresses for girls. No slacks. No matter. My coat was long and wool. The positive side? Extra time to spend with friends before and after classes…no bus fumes, and a chance to enjoy the local park on the way home. But I’m getting off track here.
Winter. Too little of it and we’re spoiled. No snow on Christmas? But I wanted a white one. Just a dusting really. Too much and we’re cranky. Snow days? One or two, not that bad. Especially since a lot of students around here rely on buses. Country roads can be hazardous even when city streets are not. Nine? TEN????? Even the kids get antsy, especially if the wind chills are minus fifteen and no amount of wrapping up can prevent the cold from seeping through to little bodies. Ice. Worse than snow in a lot of cases. There is NO traction on ice unless you have cleats on your shoes and studs on your tires (illegal most places, so let’s say “chains” instead). Bumps, bruises, breaks, traction but, in the same breath, ice skating on ponds that often don’t freeze. We had Thunder Snow yesterday…and lightning…and sleet. Snow fog happens as well although not to the extent it has in Sochi lately…poor skiers. Gotta love winter phenomena. But again, I’m sliding off course.
We’re all subject to brain clouds, to forgetting things we normally wouldn’t. Yes, even WITH a day planner. We’re more easily distracted in the winter. Blame it on recycled air in stores, the lack of humidity in the house, or the fact that we have to lug around more clothing and heavier boots. I can’t speak for those in warmer places, but I do know that an unexpected cold snap can throw them into a dither….no evenings on the lanai. It’s 40 degrees out! Walkers wear their down coats and woolen hats. And, freezing rain can do more damage to their cities than snow! We’re stressed. All of us. But….
The nice thing about Winter is that it leads to Spring. Green leaves, daffodils, April showers, and warmer temps. Brain clouds? Still there of course, but in much more pleasant surroundings.
Ah…time to go to work for real this time. Hope you have sun and warmth in your day.

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