Is winter meaner?

I told my friend the other day that winter seemed meaner than it used to be — colder and snowier and blowier.

“It’s a 7-year cycle,” my friend replied.

Apparently, this means we still have five winters of snow, snow, snow before things calm down a bit. If, in fact, my friend Bob is right. It’s hard to say, because someone else told me it was a 10-year cycle.

Either way, winter is meaner. It’s strange to be writing this today, because it’s quite nice out at the moment. But last weekend was very cold. That wind had such a horrible bite!  Even with the sun out, my fingers hurt with the cold when I was trying to video-tape some stuff outside. When they started to thaw, I wanted to cry. And it wasn’t just me. My husband was whining about his ears being cold.

But when I was a kid, we spent so much time outside — winter, summer, spring or fall. No matter how hot it was in the summer, we got up every morning and headed for the great outdoors. According to my husband, when he was a kid, outside was his favorite toy.

In the winter, I remember being bundled up like Randy from “A Christmas Story” and spending hours sliding down the hill across the street from our house or building snowmen or having great snowball fights, complete with forts and teams. By the time we were done, we were soaked to the bone and exhausted, but we sure had fun. Mom had to peel snow encrusted scarves and facemasks off us when we went inside to dry out or warm up, but she generally whipped up a batch of hot chocolate to chase away any lingering cold.

Now, I step outside of the house or the fish house (our weekend home) and after two minutes I’m ready to whine. Of course, I grew up farther north, where it wasn’t constantly windy, so maybe that makes a difference. I know it makes a difference on the road.

That’s the other thing! There’s a section of road between Worthington and my house that is trying to kill me! Seriously!

I drive to and from Avoca every day, and for some reason, the section of U.S. 59 between Fulda and Avoca is always the worst part of the route when the weather is being disagreeable. The road dips through a small valley and around a bend, which changes the wind direction. On the days when the ground blizzarding makes things tough, I can manage the chunk between Worthington and Fulda with no problem. But the next section, only six miles long, is like driving through H-E-double hockey sticks. The wind swirls around and it is easy to lose all sense of direction. I have whimpered on more than one occasion during that part of the drive.

Was that section horrible three or four years ago? I don’t remember it being that way.

But I could be wrong. Maybe it’s a sign of age — faulty memories and less tolerance for bad weather.

Or, then again, maybe winter isn’t meaner. Maybe I’m just more of a weenie.

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