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8 Great Things about Winter in the Midwest

Winter is coming.  The inevitability of the coming snow and cold hangs over the collective consciousness of the Midwest like a thick, smothering quilt.

People that live in the Midwest are donning their mantle of collective suffering, donning it like a proud badge of honor and discussing it at every opportunity.

Despite the melancholy that it brings, there are some really great things about winter in the Midwest to look forward to in order to stave off the winter blah’s:

1) Piles of warm blankets and flannel sheets:  My hatred for cold floors and whipping winter wind is almost equally matched by my love for crawling into bed at night on warm, flannel sheets under a heap of blankets. Nothing comforts the inner child more than hiding under a pile of blankets and not coming out.

2) Soup and Stew:  I have some great soup recipes.  Unfortunately, they usually get put by the wayside ad only pulled out when there is a nip in the air outside.  Once the cold comes, the soup is on and oh, is it good.

Soup is the ultimate comfort food, and paired with some good, crusty bread and a salad, it makes an idea dinner.  Chili, beef barley, chicken wild rice, here I come!

Midwest Winter 1

3) Hot chocolate and hot apple cider:  Ooooh, especially if it is some “adult” hot chocolate, if you know what I mean.  It is what I reach for when my fingers are frozen from digging an escape path through 3 feet of snow at the bottom of my driveway.  Some favorites?  Apple cider with a nip of caramel schnaps or hot chocolate with a dash of Baileys Irish Cream.  Yum. Just. Yum.

4) Fresh snow on the ground and that beautiful sight of frosty tree limbs on a cold morning (but only if you are looking at it from a warm, indoor location!)  Mornings like this give the idea of a “winter wonderland” a whole new dimension.  The world looks sparkling and clean, fresh and full of potential.

5) That wonderful feeling that you get when you come inside from the cold: Cold….shiver…more cold…nose frozen…fingers numb….hate winter….ahhhhhhh.  Blissful warmth radiating throughout my body.  Fingers returning.  All is well again.

Midwest Winter 2

6) A Real, Old Fashioned Christmas: Amidst the increasingly commercialized and tacky manifestations of the holidays that we see now days (yes, I am talking to you, neighbor with hundreds of lighted Christmas figures covering EVERY INCH of your yard!) it is still possible to find the trappings of a good, old fashioned Christmas.  The smell of pine boughs and the joy of stringing cranberries to decorate the tree may be a dying tradition in some parts of the country, but you can still find these traditions alive and well in the Midwest.  Perhaps because winter is bleak and cold and unending, it is more important to those in the Midwest to preserve these celebrations as something to look forward to.

7) The amazing feeling of accomplishment that you get once the driveway is shoveled:  For those of us who are young and fit and broke (ie: without a snowblower) shoveling is a fact of life.  Sometimes there is so much snow that it needs to be done just so one can leave for work!  There is a tangible satisfaction to clearing snow.  No matter now much snow there is, it is generally a finite amount (unless you are doing a mid-blizzard shoveling session while it is still snowing to make it less of a chore later on.)  Once it is clear, a feeling of peace and freedom returns.

AND FINALLY, THE BEST THING ABOUT WINTER IN THE MIDWEST…?

8) Spring!

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