Winter has never really bothered me. I’ve heard people say that as we get older, all we talk about is the weather. So, maybe that’s it. I am old now, and I talk about the weather.

This winter is really getting to me. On Halloween, as I was standing outside around a fire at a friend’s house after trick-or-treating, I went into a near fit of depression as my fingers went numb, realizing what was before me. Summer had lasted longer than we expected, and I had a spectacular summer. As I stood there freezing and suffocating from the smoke, I felt overwhelming sadness at the end of summer.

Given the fact that I’ve lived in the upper midwest for most of my life, I feel like a wimp. I’ve endured 4 Shasta winters, only one of which really tested me.

We had only been in Shasta a few weeks. It started snowing. Our friend had lived in Shasta for 0ver 20 years. I kept asking, “This cannot be normal, can it?” He kept saying, “Sure, it snows like this a lot.” Then it really started coming down even harder. I think we got about 5 feet of heavy, wet snow in a couple of days. As we sat in the dark huddled around candles and the wood stove, we heard tremendous booms that shook the house. Trees were collapsing under the weight of the snow. Mark, our protector, asked us to move to the center of the house to avoid any trees falling on us.

Four days later, we dug out. I headed to Motel 6 for the longest hot shower I have ever taken. A few hours later, we got power.

Even after that nightmare, I still consider a Shasta winter not that bad. In comparison to Chicago’s ice storms, freezing temperatures, and brutal wind, I’ll take the sporadic massive snowfalls.

Also, escaping snow in Shasta is a short drive south. So, yeah. I have nothing to complain about.

The other part of winter that has been awful is that everyone in my family has had at least 3 illnesses already this fall. A couple of colds, flu, stomach viruses, and some larger and more frightening health challenges that I’ve had to support. It’s not been pleasant. At least now I know definitively that I am not cut out for a career in nursing.

But everyone seems on the mend here. Claire kept her breakfast down. I’m keeping Airborne in business with my own personal consumption. And it’s finally Christmas. Of course, it’s a Christmas I am wholly and totally unprepared for, but it is Christmas, and we’re here together. The weather is not so bad, and the days will again get longer.

I’ve got a few new projects I’m starting for the new year, and I’m excited about them all. Bring it on, 2014. I’m ready.

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