I know I wrote a piece some time ago about how much I love the autumn, but I have to come clean about how no matter how much the fall is amazing, the winter will always occupy a special place in my terrible brain. This, especially because I live in Spain and in this here peninsula, the winters are none too epic. I grew up in Massachusetts, and there the winters are brutal like death metal (and fantastical like a wonderland), so the mild semi-winters here fall short. Many would say I’m crazy nuts, complaining about a lack of freezing commutes to work and shoveling, but I guess being away lets me reminisce about the remarkable things about winter.
For one, winter brings (at least, before the world melts) snow, and sometimes lots of it. Snow is ridiculously rad, as its appearance is artistic, and its presence inspires both excuses to stay indoors and childhood architecture/warfare (igloos and epic snowball skirmishes). Sure, you have to shovel the stuff, but it’s glorious in almost every way, totally worth the late winter drudgery of industrially-poisoned dark sludge. Remember being a kid getting to enjoy your first snow day? Kids here wouldn’t even know what to do with a perfectly sculpted snowball, and that hurts my heart.
Also, winter cold can be lovely. Living in Spain has made me realize how much I enjoy certain levels of cold (not just because I’m used to it and can giggle at Southern Europeans and their inability to deal with temperatures that don’t phase me). A little bit of cold can mean hot chocolate, hot alcoholic cider, hearty stews, ballin’ sweaters, and stompin’ boots. And, if you’re a badass, a sweet fire. Sitting by the fire with a mug of booze and a reliable hound beats tanning on some garbage beach any day. I know what you’re thinking, Internet, and I know it’s unfair of me to miss winter when I only get a few days of rain a year (Spain wins) and the cold’s weak, but what kind of asshole would I be if I didn’t find something to rail about?
For those of you who’ve never experienced a proper winter, you’re missing some epic business. Beyond the snow and manly cold, there’s Christmas and Hanukkah. Christmas is ok I guess, but Hanukkah is awesome (eight days of chocolate, gambling, potato pancakes, and fire? rad!). There’s also skiing and snowboarding, but if you’re not able to partake in those activities, then find a hill and a sled (and some beers) and enjoy the madness. See? Winter is insane!
But yeah, Internet friends, winter can be a brutal time. You have to scrape ice off your cars, freeze your asses off, and pay way too much for heating, but you don’t have to think about it like that. Be a Viking if you must, and imagine yourself hunting the mighty moose. Swig dark beers and whiskey, sing holiday songs between belches, and enjoy the dark months, because climate change is whisking these good times away. I’d like to tell my future children about a blizzard or two when I’m a grumpy old man, especially one I’ve experienced as an adult, and I believe you, Internet, want to be able to tell the same tales.