What I’ve Learned in 3 Real Winters, aka Winter Outside the South {part 1}

by GfG on March 17, 2015 · 3 comments

0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Pin It Share 0 Email -- Google+ 0 0 Flares ×

So, I am nearing the end of my third winter outside of the South.  Not to be confused with the Southwest.  Or Florida, which is its own gig.

Winter in the mountains of New Mexico.  Not to be confused with the Northeast.  Or Boston, which is its own gig.

Nope, I am about to complete, sorta like running a marathon, my third winter.  Real winter.

Real Winters B

I’ve learned a few things being exposed to temperatures below sixty and even below forty and twenty for extended periods.  And more than a rare dusting of snow, nay feet of snow.  Yes, I’ve braved the actual season of winter three times and lived to tell about it.  So, naturally, I’m telling you.

First of all, I want to thank those of you who willingly shared tips, tricks, and sympathy when I was first transplanted here and cried for help.  You helped.

Secondly, I want to thank my family and friends who tolerated, often with smiles and even more so with smirks, my wails, whimpers, whispers about going back to Texas while I dealt with winter.

Lastly, I want to share my new found wisdom.

How to Deal with Real Winters:

Nestle your neck.  Scarves are necessary.  All kinds.  Thick, thin.  Soft, fluffy.  Wear one every day or have it at hand.

Find a cuppa.  When I moved here, not liking hot drinks really was a stumbling block to getting warm.  I dislike coffee. I don’t like hot chocolate. I hate hot tea (I tried, really really hard the first winter here, but it all still tastes like hot water to me… which leads me to) and I really hate hot water.  Ugh.  I did walk around cupping a mug of hot water, just to feel the warmth. And you know what?  It really helps.


Thankfully… my life was forever changed when a friend introduced me to chai latte.  Paul calls it Mindy Crack.  I would recommend trying to love sugar free cuppas, if you can.

Clean hair is overrated.  I tried the “no poo” rage that was popular a couple of years ago and it was terrible. Turns out, if you live in a really dry climate, it’s not so bad.  I go about three days in between washing my hair, washing only my bangs in quick showers.

Clean bodies are subjective.  I occasionally skip showers all together.  This is rare because I get grumpy if I don’t shower.  Weird but true fact.  I guess it’s like making the bed for some women, having it made makes them feel ready to start the day (I don’t have any semblance of that).  So my body doesn’t have to face “post hot water into winter air shock” on days that I am especially not a fan of the temperature, I skip the shower all together.

Embrace your home.  Some days, leaving the house just shouldn’t happen.  When the snow is deep and the roads aren’t safe, stay home.  Liking your home is pretty much key to the success of this tactic.  And humility.

Make friends with snow drivers.  No, I don’t mean the snow plow people, though that’s a brilliant idea.  I mean pray for friends that know how to drive in snow, have cars that drive in snow well, and are willing to do so.  This will really come in handy on days you look out the window and wonder how people live in Canada much less get out of their houses ever and someone in your family actually  needs to leave.

Sorta strip.  I have as many cardigans as I can now and actually use them.  Just like scarves, you can’t have too many cardigans.  I’m not kidding.  If you see a quality one on sale, buy it.  Layers of clothes is the only way to really do winter, taking off and adding layers as needed.

Buy real clothes.  Ok, so winter clothes in the South aren’t really winter clothes. No.  They are summer clothes with long sleeves or long pants.  That’s not the same as winter clothes.  Sweaters, fleece, wool, down…. all of these words actually mean something when dealing with a real winter. Turns out, there is a actual reason for Lands End and all of those companies.

Coat is king.  One can’t be caught in real winter with a coat that works in winter in the South.  No ma’am.  That’s like serving instant tea.  Won’t cut it, baby.  I knew immediately I was in trouble because while I love coats and jackets, most of mine were for aesthetics or fake winter.  Aesthetics and fake winter in Louisiana, Central Texas, or Mississippi.  Once I received my shin length down coat from my dear friend ,Mel, I knew I could survive winter.  I’m telling you that coat keeps my whole body warm.  Lands End wins again.

coat WEB

This was even before my first real winter set it, really.  Still, I knew it was love.  And three winters later, that coat is the reason I can snow shoe, sled, or really… leave the house when it’s below forty.

Humor is helpful.  You know, a sense of humor can help us through most things.  Including low temps, snow up to our waist, and a serious change in climate.  Laughing is good for the soul and I have laughed a lot October through April.

Remembering your place.  My knowledge of my God sustains me daily.  And it sustains me as a transplant to a place with real winters.  I trust my God and His plan.  He made it abundantly clear that we were to move here, so I seek to bloom where He plants me.  When I shake my head at this Southern Girl snow shoeing just a skip from her house, I am assured and I find rest (and beauty) because I choose to remember that I chose to trust and follow.  Even past the Mason Dixon Line.  Remembering why you are where you are is important.  Always.

ok… more tomorrow!

If you have lived through winter, do you do these? 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
0 Flares Twitter 0 Facebook 0 Pin It Share 0 Email -- Google+ 0 0 Flares ×

Previous post:

Next post: