Staff column: It's winter time: Love it or leave it
For those of us that are baby boomers or older, we remember the turmoil our country was in during the 1960s. At that time a well known bumper sticker was placed on many vehicles across the land and it stated "America: Love it or leave it."
The connotation was that if you were a citizen, you should support our country and its decisions or you should go somewhere else where you thought things were better. It was a black and white statement with little gray in it. It was an iconic message of the time and it made some people's blood boil.
Now I have come up with a derivitive of that statement; Winter: Love it or Leave It.
I have created this statement for those I hear that tell me how much they hate the wintertime in eastern Utah. The minute the snow starts to fly they complain how much they wish it would go away. They complain about the cold weather, the ice on the roads and how the winter season stymies their sunny dispositions.
Personally, for a lot of reasons I like winter. But it wasn't always that way; there was a time when I was in my 20s and 30s that I hated getting up in the morning and scraping the windshield of my car, clearing the snow from my driveway and maneuvering the icy streets. I swore that someday I would move somewhere where the snow didn't fall and the temperature seldom fell below 50 degrees. Then I got my wish.
In 1987 I was hired to be the managing editor of a business trade magazine and to take the job I had to move to southern California. I moved in July of that year and only spent about a year there, but that was enough. There was a lot of things I missed about Utah, but the main thing that changed my mind about living in California was the weather. Spring, summer and fall were almost all the same; during the winter I lived there the grass changed its color slightly and we had a little more rain. What a bore.
I found I missed the changes. I missed the warm spring days with snow melting under my feet as I climbed a hillside. I missed a warm afternoon fall breeze that rustled the trees with colorful leaves that covered my lawn. I missed the cold clear days with snow glistening on mountains and mesas. And I missed walking out of my house at two in the morning, watching snow fall and taking in the quietness of the landscape.
So when I moved back to Utah I took it all in and loved it. While my favorite time is still the fall, the winter has taken on new meaning to me. And to enjoy those cold days more, I have taken up sports and activities that tie in with them. It makes them special. I know that special things can be done whether the trail before me is dry as a bone or is filled with white fluffy snow.
So if you really hate the winter, leave it and try something different; maybe you'll find warm sunny skies aren't all they are cracked up to be. You can do it if you really want to. It's one of the things in life we can change. We couldn't pick our parents, we can't do anything about how tall we grew to be as an adult and we certainly can't help the fact we have a screwy Uncle Louie.
But with winter, we can love it or leave it.