Where I come from, winter has always played a little coy with us. Sure, you’ll get the occasional nippy day in fall here and there but it’s only ever enough to make you think “Gosh! What a gorgeous fall day!” In fact, a check of the weather, thanks to the wonder that is the internet, reveals that Belleville, Illinois is enjoying a breezy 70 degree evening. It is, in Belleville, warm enough to grab a light jacket and eat on a patio somewhere. You can drink a sweet tea and sigh over how lucky you are that the weather’s held out this long.
Not so in Omaha! I work in a subterranean call center and, somewhere between one and two o’clock, it went buzzing through the center – it’s snowing. Did you hear that it’s snowing? It’s snowing right now. Mr. J sent me multiple texts on it (multiple, unprompted texts!), the callers from the area wondered at it, I popped up on a break to look at it through actual windows. And there it was. Snow, drifting down from the sky, lightly swirled by a bemused breeze. Ha, ha, Omaha. Winter is here. I am here.
I am, to put it lightly, not prepared for this. I took one look at my gym bag, packed for my triumphant return to the elliptical, and decided this wasn’t that day. I didn’t have my inhaler and the air was cold. I was wearing a thin jacket. I had on flats and not closed shoes and – gasp! There aren’t tunnels to the gym, I would have to walk outside. Mostly, it was that I didn’t have my inhaler and I’d definitely need a hit of that post-exercise and pre-freezing air. Either way, it was a little bit of a disappointment but baby steps to a better erin, people. Baby steps.
So instead, I’m home with a cup of tea and these here internets and I’m fighting the weird feeling that comes with the first snow. There’s always a part of me that panics the second the first snow starts to blanket the ground and I’m struggling to swallow that down. It’s only snow, it’s only cold, it’s only dark. I have coats and slippers and lamps to combat that. This will not be another winter spent half-mad or even a little tetchy. It’s going to be much, much better than that.