Sunday, August 10, 2008

Winter in Wisconsin

Welcome, Camp Candid Carrie's travelers! I know that it's August and the middle of a hot, humid summer. But what does everyone do in summer? Everyone tries to cool off. And how better to cool off than with some WINTER? Especially a good old Wisconsin Winter.

If you live in Wisconsin, you have to come to terms with snow and ice and below zero temperatures. But I know people who have never seen snow in person, let alone experienced those wonderful -20 temps that freeze your nose shut when you take too deep of a breath outside. Seriously. It freezes tight shut. And the cold makes your eyes water, then freezes the tears to your eyelashes and cheeks. It's great. Going anywhere with your children takes 30 minutes of pre-planning so you can put on snow pants, mittens, hats, scarves, boots, and jackets--in my case, times 3. Your vehicle now has a stash of granola bars, blankets, extra hats and mittens, and hand warmers. You need these things in case you slide off the road, into the ditch and can't get out. Survival mode, people.

Speaking of sliding off the roads, let's talk about driving in the winter. You have 2 primary kinds of drivers--the morons and the meatballs, as I like to call them. The morons are the people who still go Mach 500 and fishtail all over the place. They have no regard for the other people on the roads because they need to get somewhere and aren't going to let 5" of new snow and ice stop them. The meatballs are the people who go 10 mph because of said 5" of snow and ice. They are so overly cautious that they end up causing accidents because people going more than 10 mph can't stop on the ice and snow in time to avoid them. Of course, there are the normal people who drive for the conditions, not too extreme in either way. And yes, if you learn how to drive in Wisconsin, you learn how to properly brake, steer and accelerate on slippery, wintry roads. It is different than driving on bare roads. Trust me.

So why do we put up with these winters, year after year after year? Because it's magical. There is nothing like sitting in your comfy chair or on the couch, cuddled up under a blanket with a good book and some hot chocolate (sometimes with a little peppermint schnapps or Baileys in it...) and watching the snow fall. Or the silence that envelopes everything while it snows or right after. The snow-covered trees and buildings are beautiful and look just like a Courier & Ives painting. And the excitement in the kids' eyes is enough to make it all worthwhile, even if you just got them all bundled up to go out to play and then they say they have to go to the bathroom.

There's also plenty to do outside, as long as you are bundled up warm enough. There are endless trails for snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and snow-shoeing. Resorts are scattered over the hills for down-hill skiing, snow tubing and sledding. And if you aren't near any of those things, there's always a good old snowball fight or constructing a snowman. Snow angels are always fun, but make sure someone can help you get up. Otherwise, you get a hand print and foot prints in the middle of your angel and that's not cool.

I love this picture. Andy picked up the girls and just threw them into the snow!

So if you've never experienced a Wisconsin winter, give yourself a few months and then come on over. It's great, even if it gets irritating and really old after 5 months of cold and snow. And in case you can't make it, I hope these pictures helped to cool you off.


Candid Carrie said...

Oh my gosh, you chilled me all the way to the bones! I need a hot chocolate with mini marshmallows. STAT.

Carol said...

Those snowy photos are so beautiful! You're making me crave winter (but not too much because I'm enjoying this last month of summer!)

We so rarely get snow around here...and when it does snow, I've learned to just stay off the roads entirely--not because I can't drive in snow because to the contrary, I do know all too well after my years in MD, NY, & MI--but because a lot of people here have ZERO experience driving in snow and it's those people who make it so dangerous! You seriously take your life in your hands if you venture out here in the snow. (It doesn't help either that the local officials here refuse to use salt on the roads..."environmental" reasons).

Jennifer said...

Those pics made me long for snow! The cat pic was great!