Where I live, winter hits like a prizefighter (only meaner) and the
mountains are covered in snow and the temperature drops to numbers that
make penguins feel sad and anyone who is right in the head ought to be
indoors wearing a down union suit and covered in blankets and
heating pads, with the heat turned up to 80° and the oven on and
then move to Florida. But somehow I have stumbled onto a state full
of people who are not right in the head at all, and they are all very,
very interested in outdoor sports.
Sports! In the outdoors! Going outside, where there is snow and wind and ice and freezing rain and frozen snow and icy wind and playing.
For hours! Just going out there as if they’d never heard of central
heat or conserving energy or hot toddies, and frolicking in the weather,
singing la la la, we do not care if we lose all of our limbs to
frostbite because we are hardy and sporty and just a little bit damn
crazy, whee! It is enough to make you wonder how there is any
population left at all, here in Utah, where everyone should be actually
dead in the snow by early January instead of going about their lives
and emerging virtually unscathed in the spring.
Me, I will just
sit here wrapped in a blanket with a cat in my lap, sipping my spiked
hot chocolate and gazing romantically out the window, and pretending
not to care that I can go entire weekends without breathing a single
breath of non-heated air or that I am actually kind of jealous of those
people who throw themselves out of doors and off mountains, going
snow-blind and frosty and being all exhilarated and happy to be alive
instead of kind of sluggish and torpid.
This past weekend,
roommates of my boyfriend have gone cross-country skiing, sledding,
snowshoeing up a mountain to a waterfall inside a cave. None of them
died in an avalanche, and all of them came back with all of their toes
and though I turned down each of the invitations as they came through,
shuddering delicately and tucking myself closer to the heater, I regret
that a little now. Possibly not enough to actually emerge from my
winter cocoon and fling myself into the winter air, because I am
entirely clumsy and lucky enough to snowboard into an icy crevasse only
to be discovered perfectly preserved by explorers hundreds of years in
the future. Maybe I’ll just add more whiskey to my cocoa.