Saturday, December 14, 2013

GETTIN' UGLY EARLY!

I just returned from four "slow in the snow" miles.

Here in northeast Pennsylvania, we are in the middle of a storm that's predicted to dump 4 to 8 inches of the white stuff on us before the ordeal ends with a glazing of ice, just to make things interesting.

It isn't even the middle of December yet.  Winter is still a week away!

So far, in December, we have endured single-digit temperatures, an ice storm that produced my first fall of the season, along with stinging winds, and now this, the second pre-Christmas snow event. And, don't forget, the days keep getting shorter...for another week.

Now, I know I seem like a whiner, especially if you are a reader from Green Bay, Minneapolis, or Buffalo, but for those of you who live in warmer climates, let me tell you, winter is no Normal Rockwell painting.

Oh, I had fun today. I ignored my watch. My wife ran a couple of miles with me, the snow was pure white, and there were few cars on the roads. Who would be crazy enough to drive in these conditions?

Now I'm sipping green tea, looking out my deck window at the pine trees, with the fireplace blazing. All the living creatures in my house have a day of relaxation planned.

By the evening, shoveling and plowing will commence. Ice patches will form, creating treacherous footing. Wind will whip the snow into drifts, and cottony white stuff will be transformed into piles craggy, grey mush.

Today's idyllic run will be tomorrow's nightmare. Cranky snow shovelers will chant, "You should be doing this," as they dig out. My reply will remain the same as it has been for over three decades: "I already have. YOU should be doing THIS!" Snow piles will border every parked car, streets will narrow, icy patches will appear, and outdoor running will be challenging, to say the least.

But, for today, I'm going to kick back and enjoy the conditions.

However...

It's gotten ugly real early this year, and the worst is yet to come. January will be an ice box, and February is, statistically, our most snowy month. By April, we'll finally emerge of the wintry funk.

Now's the time not to get out of shape. Run slow and safe. Stay vertical and warm.

We've got a long way to go.