Winter in Midwest USA is super cold.
Late last year for example, several states had snowfall up to about the height of a person in just a few days.
Most days are cloudy, and day in day out it’s just snow, snow, and more snow! It’s enough to make you grateful for the existence of big heart-warming events like Christmas because without them, I think I might find it difficult to get through winter in good spirits.
Some days it doesn’t stop snowing and the temperature stays below zero, so the snow just doesn’t melt.
Being born and raised in Osaka, I have very little experience of heavy snow falls and the rare days when snow fell and didn’t melt were exciting for me. But now that I’m living here in Findlay, every morning when I look out the window, everything’s blanketed in white snow. Aaah! More snow! Sometimes I do find it a bit tedious...
Snow makes lots of things more difficult.
Normally if you want to go somewhere you have to drive, but the roads sometimes get icy, which makes driving very scary. If you don’t have a garage at your home, your car will be covered in snow every morning, so first you have to get the snow off and then warm the car before you can start it. Of course, it’s not just driving that gets more difficult. You have to be very careful walking on icy roadways. School starts late, and sometimes there’s no school on snowy days.
And if you have a house, shoveling the snow is hard work. (In summer you mow the lawn, and in winter you shovel snow... House maintenance demands a surprising amount of work!) I’m very impressed when I see the snow-plows working in the early morning and the people diligently shoveling snow in a workmanlike way. I suppose they must just be used to living with a lot of snow.
Some days it even gets below minus 20 degrees. It gets so cold I can hardly stand being outside for even a few minutes. Rather than “cold,” it feels “painful.” I dress up properly against the cold with a hat, gloves, muffler, ear muffs, sweater, down jacket, and boots (and in my case, even Japanese pocket warmers), but still, it’s cold.
Although I still can’t get used to, or bear, long spells of very cold days like that, the beauty of snowy landscapes really is spectacular. If I’m inside a warm house or car, my eyes just get transfixed by the snowy scenery. The low temperatures mean the snow here is soft and powdery like a cushion. Even I, an adult, enjoy leaving my footprints in new snow.
The snow on the trees and houses looks exactly like powdered sugar, in one go making everyday scenery look very pretty. On days when the sun comes out for a little while, all that piled up snow glitters in the sunshine creating a dazzling, dream-like fantasy world. I have discovered only since coming to Findlay that the sun is more dazzling when it shows its face in a cold winter sky than when blazing in summer.
You do get such beautiful snowy scenery, as I mentioned, but when day after day the clouds never part, my mood tends to darken too. At times like that, my very interesting Happy Light, comes into play. My Happy Light gives me the feeling that I can get through winter and the lack of sunshine in good spirits! Effectively it’s a light that takes the place of the sun for you.
I found out about them for the first time last Christmas when I got one as a present. They are actually being used as light therapy. Of course, natural light is best, but that presents difficulties in winter when sunlight hours are short. Sometimes I use the benefits of technology to balance my biorhythm, which is very important don’t you think?
Well, that’s what a cold winter in the Midwest is like. Spring may be a way off yet, but I am looking forward to those warm days coming soon.