The Measure of Winter . . . . .

So, I’ve decided that winter is like childbirth (and having never been through childbirth, it’s perfectly acceptable for me to be flippant about it, right?).

Somewhere in the twilight of summer evenings flitting with fireflies, you forget how bad it is.

I remember that last winter was cold, but I don’t remember how it felt.  And as such, as we marched down our inexorable path toward winter this year, I found that I was lacking the mind-numbing panic you’d think I’d feel at facing down -30 again.  Even as all signs pointed to this year being a red-letter year for winter.  Multiple foggy August mornings, 6 inches of snow on November 1st, and below zero temperatures well before winter even officially began.  As I’ve found myself often so far this winter saying, ‘Oh good, it’s going to get up to 25 today, I can wear my light jacket!’ I wondered if I’ve adjusted to life in the mountains.

Or if last winter has just irretrievably broken my brain.

So I’ve decided I need a different method to determine the severity of winter.  Going by temperature is unreliable, as it can feel so different depending on a number of factors (though I will say there’s an intense feeling of being cheated when it’s perfectly sunny outside . . . . and 17).  Almanacs and foggy August’s are only educated or capricious guesses, and snow seems to follow no reason whatsoever.  I need hard, solid evidence.

I found it.

Holy Ice Wheel Batman!

Holy Ice Wheel Batman!

Normally, when I pass this pastorally spinning wheel every morning, it is gently cascading water into the pool below.  However, it’s been many mornings now since it’s actually been spinning.  So I’ve decided this is my new measure of winter.  The number of mornings with a frozen wheel will tell me exactly how bad winter is.

Of course, being a data person, I recognize that it only matters in context, so it won’t be until AFTER next winter when I’ll have comparison data with which to make my determination, but even then, having a third year’s worth of data would be better, and if I want a full trend, I’d need five.  So in 2020, I’ll let you know how the winter of 2015 was.

I’m sure everyone will be waiting with bated breath.

Stay warm, y’all!

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