I think West Virginians forget every year that we live in a temperate region.
Every year, I hear grunts and grumbles as temperatures rise into the 60s and 70s in December. “This is nuts,” people say. Or my favorite, “The world’s gotta be ending because this is not normal.” Funniest thing about these comments is that the same people usually grumble when temperatures drop into the 30s.
I love living in West Virginia for the simple fact that most of the time, the weather is consistent. In the late fall, you can expect cold mornings and mild afternoons, with the occasional snow burst or cloud cover that cools and holds temperatures down a bit more.
So it must be surprising to my neighbors when I step out on my front porch in the mornings, bundled up in a lambs wool sweater and knit hat, a warm cup of coffee in my hand, to watch my breath puff out of my mouth or listen for early morning critters scuttling around on the hillside.
Or maybe it shocks them even more as the afternoon warms when I shed my boots and socks and walk around barefoot in the yard, relishing the cool feel of the grass and the squish of damp ground.
I welcome winter and colder temperatures. I always have. Although, like most people, I don’t enjoy driving in snow/ice, there is just something special about wintry weather that is unmatched in any other season. A good, heavy snow covers everything with a mute stillness that calms my nerves. While I’m not crazy enough to shed my boots and socks, the child in me still enjoys a tumble and frolic through the snow, lying on my back with the sting of snowflakes falling on my face.
As the weather gets colder, I get antsy. A good snowfall makes me long for a quiet hike, alone time on the porch with a mug of coffee, and peaceful nights under warm blankets. I pray for snow days this time of year so I can actually stay home and enjoy it, rather than watch it fall from a classroom window.
I saw the weather forecast for this week. It’s supposed to snow Friday.