Baby, It's Cold Outside

I’m so over winter.? We got two feet of snow the day after Christmas plus a couple more feet intermittently since then.? No ?January thaw? this year, so we’re still looking at it.? Even worse, the snow slides off the metal roof of the arena almost daily, even when we’re still below freezing.? I have no right to whine because I board, and someone else is doing the heavy lifting.? But, this is just no fun. Others on this blog slate aren?t going to relate.? Cindy lives near Syracuse, so she goes through this every winter.? But, she was raised there and knew what she was getting into when she moved back. John lives in central California.? He’s been gone from Virginia long enough to give up his snow-shoveling credentials. ?I’m originally from Portland, Oregon, where we got snow and ice but it would go away in a couple days.? We never looked out over a world of white for months at a time.? I live within shouting distance of NYC.? I just didn’t sign up for this. The worst was Monday.? It was minus 10 when I got to the barn.? Felt fine in the bright sunshine for the first five minutes out of the car.? The plan was to longe lightly, but it felt good enough to ride.? Then I realized I couldn?t locate my fingers.? The light longeing returned to the agenda.? We stopped when I realized Windy had icicles hanging off her face from just slight nose drips.? The next day it was 40 degrees warmer but still not quite back to the freezing level.? Felt balmy by comparison. Last weekend, I gave some talks at Lake Erie College, west of Cleveland, where the concept of ?lake-effect snow? resonates.? One student came to the Saturday session wearing her breeches and half chaps, and I asked if she was going to ride later (it was 15 above zero).? She said she was from Alaska, and she was happy to be someplace where she could ride year-round.? ?Where in Alaska’? I asked.? ?The middle,? she said. ?Fairbanks.?? Ohmygawd.? I’ve been to Fairbanks in August and I wouldn?t call it warm. ?Fairbanks is about a hundred miles south of the Arctic Circle.? Fairbanks makes Northern Ohio in the winter seem balmy. It is, of course, all in your perspective.? I used to free-lance for ?Chronicle of the Horse? when John was editor.? The first piece I wrote was right after I moved back to Virginia after living near San Francisco for three years.? The story was on the differences in horsekeeping between California and the East Coast.? I observed that people in most of California think it’s cold if they actually have to zip up their jackets. I saw a robin today.? Can Spring be far behind’? The 10-day forecast doesn’t show us above freezing even once, with lots of snowflakes dribbling down. Resolution report:? Another lost weekend, four days in Ohio.? Didn?t make my goal but still lost another pound.? At least I’m headed in the right direction.

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