I Will Not Be Defeated

8:21 PM Edit This 10 Comments »
I loved living in North Carolina. It was a dream come true to find a new place on the planet to call home. I grew up in the Midwest. We weren't a super well-traveled family. Vacation was Northern Minnesota and once we went to the Black Hills - the five of us in a tent. It's just how it was. I went to D.C. and NYC when I was in high school. That was kind of a right of passage sort of thing. I vaguely remember choir trips in college - I think the most exotic place we went was to Chicago. Oh - and Denver. But we were only there for a quick concert and I slept through the mountains. Sad, huh? And we took about 30 people to Germany and Denmark when I was working for the church in my early 20s, but I was horribly homesick and the only thing that sticks out in my memory was the day we spent on the ocean in Kiel, Denmark where 16 year old boys made sand castles and frolicked (I never knew that frolicked could SO describe teenagers, but it fits) in the water like no one was looking. But still. Moving to the South was one of the biggest adventures I'd undertaken.

Until I realized that there's really no winter there. I wore shorts until November and they came back out in March. I wore my winter coat once - and not even the wool one. And that was when it snowed six inches over the ice and by the time I got halfway to the grocery store on foot, I was sweating buckets and unzipped it and took off my hat. (I did indeed, walk the mile to the grocery store and back on two inches of ice because we were out of liquor. Twice. In one day. Yes. I did.)

I missed winter. And that snowy, but icy walk to the grocery store was the only time I felt it. IT. The challenge of winning at winter. Yes. Winning. I must win. Against the elements. It's kind of why I wish for vast snowfalls and downed trees bending under the ice, power outages and forty below temperatures for days on end. Because I like to win. There's something incredibly satisfying about getting to work ON TIME, taking off my boots, settling in with a cup of tea and then walking to the window, raising my fist to winter and saying, "Fuck you, winter! I won!" And then wait the requisite eight hours to go back out in it and get home. I love it. It's exhilarating. My faceless nemesis. Winter.

So tonight, when I was sitting at Miss M's kitchen table playing cribbage, eating chicken chili, drinking coffee, then succumbing to brownies and cigarettes with my yoga pants and wool slippers on, I felt like I won. Because it's COLD! And it didn't matter. I went out in it anyway. I always will. I love living in the Midwest. The South was an adventure and I may someday return there, but for now, I love the snow. And the cold. And the wind. And the challenge. Because it excites me. This battle I have with the elements. I know it's in my head, but it makes me happy.

10 comments:

Jeff D'Antonio said...

I'm a winter person too. It rarely gets warm enough here to melt the snow between storms, so by April there's usually 4 or 5 feet on the ground, and huge piles of it everywhere that don't melt until July. I have fond memories of driving Jen to the hospital in a blizzard of epic proportions the night Laura was born. That was a "Fuck you, winter" moment for sure. We won.

MilesPerHour said...

I'm glad you enjoy it, many people do. I will stay in the south and avoid it, watching the snow on TV.

The Pollinatrix said...

I love this post! I grew up in Toronto then moved to southern Louisiana at age 14 and missed the snow so much. But I got so used to the lack of really cold weather, that it's taken me several years of living in northern New Mexico to learn to enjoy it again. This year I'm totally digging it.

ken said...

i'm such a winter person. love the snow, the ice, the cold, the breath, the cozy, the fire. all of it.

melissalion said...

Okay, now I feel like a pansy complaining about 30 degree weather. But, seriously. Where I come from, Christmas is 80 degrees.

underOvr (aka The U) said...

Hi Kate,

I grew up in the midwest (Chicago) but it wasn't until I moved to Texas that I appreciated the four seasons. My first winter in Austin, I walked around in short-sleeve shirts. Living in Virginia, I experience the four seasons again but the winters aren't that bad and snow is an afterthought.

Vacationing on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica has given me a perspective on winter now; I no longer miss cold weather and snow. I can always visit Chicago when the need arises.

U

GirlWithCurls said...

Hi Kate,

I think I've spent about three non-consecutive years in Brandon, Florida. The lightning storms are awesome, but the seasons....? The joke goes something like this - "Florida has four seasons: Almost Summer, Summer, Still Summer, & Christmas." And that's Christmas with a palm tree, folks. That's just something I couldn't live with. Haha!

~Lacey

Rebecca said...

I'm such a baby when it comes to being cold. I'm perfect for Southern California.......lows around 60 and highs around 85 sounds like a perfect life to me.

We've only had flurries but we've been down with wind chills around 2F......and it's only ONLY December.

I'd love to live near the beach. That's where I want to retire for sure. .....The Beach!

I was 21 the first time I left the state of Missouri......Drove down to Miami Beach on Spring Break!

Several months later I flew to New Orleans with mom. (First time on an airplane!)

A couple of years later......Los Angeles....

A bit later, Chicago.......and shortly after Pensacola Beach FL...

It's been about 5 years since I've gone ANYWHERE. Maybe when the kids get bigger I can go somewhere fun again....

buffalodick said...

Cold is OK, snow is a sloppy pain! I've lived in Michigan all my life, and always will...

Jules said...

I've never really thought about it before but I'm such a competitive person that I think I feel the same way you do about winter. You can't keep me down (or inside) mother nature!