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11:20 a.m. - December 16, 2005
Itís the winter time here in BFE Indiana. (Note: I KNOW itís not technically winter. But this is not the season to nitpick. Nitpicking time comes in February, after youíve blown all of your resolutions and before the NCAA basketball tournament.)

What does that mean?

It means the snow that fell a few days ago is now a dingy gray color.

It means that slush all over the parking lot.

It means that when you see a shimmer on the pavement, you donít know if itís ice or just wet pavement, so you creep out onto it gingerly.

It means that the high temps will be over freezing, so there will be more slush made, but the low temps will be in the teens, so everything will freeze up, so in the morning when you go out to get the newspaper you have a 30% chance of falling on your kiester.

It means the snow that the snowplow moved to the side of the road has hardened into igneous rock formations that no human can move.

It means instead of ďitís not the heat, itís the humidityĒ, one thinks, ďitís not the cold, itís the wind chill.Ē

It also means that the idiots come out of their cave, and get behind the wheel and try to drive like he-men in the snow and ice. Or, the meek get behind the wheel and drive no faster than 9.6 MPH because theyíre skeered.

(The funniest thing for me to see is when thereís a big olí Ford Subdivision SUV in the ditch. Hah! The second funniest thing is to see the Firebird / Trans Ams of the world in the ditch. Mo-rons. Those are rear-wheel drive! I guess thatís one jam the Bandit couldnít get out of, now wasnít it. )

Of course, those of you in the wintry climes like The Lap or Krissy will scoff at the Indiana winters. They will say, ďYou call that winter down there? Heh!Ē

And of course there are those folkíll in the south that get all panicky and whatnot when thereís an inch of snow on the ground. We scoff at them, here.

I donít mind winter, per se. As a concept, itís nice.

My favorite Olympics are the Winter Games. I really enjoy the ski-jumping, the downhill and cross country skiing, bobsled and luge, hockey (of course) and curling. Who doesnít like curling?

My favorite Calvin and Hobbes strips are when Calvin creates the snowmen. Those are too hilarious for words.

I donít like being cold, though. I like looking at snow, but I donít like being out in the snow. But with Katie, I have fatherly obligations to perform, so off I trudge into the snow making snow angels and the like. (But thereís always cocoa to drink after those excursions, so it all evens out).

When the snow is flying in the air, half of me thinks that itís just so peaceful and serene to see the white snow fall to the ground, and the other half thinks about what time I have to wake up to clear the snow from the driveway and sidewalks before I go to work.

Thatís when I like it when itís just flurries of snow that donít stick. I get the neat visual without the messy after-effects.

(We have to clear the sidewalks in front of our house in this town, or the city will nail you for it. Thatís great, but I live on a corner lot and thus have a tremendous amount of sidewalk to clear.)

And itís easier to heat our house than to cool it, thanks to the magic of thermodynamics. Heat rises, and the upstairs world is happy. Downstairs, I just put on a hockey sweater (this week, the old Quebec Rafales of the IHL).

In the summer, in our house, thereís no escape. It cools down, but itís still kind of toasty, and you canít peel off that many layers of clothing, otherwise the bay windows will attract a crowd (and not a fun crowd, either).

So I cope and I deal with winter. I wouldnít exchange Christmas cards with winter, but Iíd say ďHiĒ to it walking down the street.

As long as the sidewalks are clear.


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