The winter of 2019 has taught me several important lessons already, and it’s still only February.

While thinking too much about ice, snow and rain, I wrote down a few of the thoughts here:

It’s important to dress appropriately for winter –Here in Athens that means a heavy coat, hat, gloves, umbrella and sunscreen. You never know if it will be minus-10, rainy or in the 70s.

I would not want to be a snowplow driver –I don’t like driving in the snow or shoveling snow, so thank you to all of the snowplow drivers out there.

East State Street is much better this winter compared to last year –I don’t want to jinx things, but whatever they did to East State Street over the summer seems to have worked fairly well for the potholes. Last winter, I spent half of the time driving way to the left or right of the lanes just to avoid as many potholes as possible. This year, I just worry about snow or flooding.

I would not want to be a school superintendent –Not only do they have to go out early in the mornings and study the roads in order to determine if it’s safe for school buses, now they also have to come up with poems and even songs in some school districts to announce snow days. Have you seen these snow day announcements online? It’s a lot different than listening to the radio in the 1970s and 1980s and just hoping they would announce the school closing and delays after the next awesome Air Supply song.

I don’t understand the reminiscing about the blizzards of ’77 and ’78 –I was growing up in Northwest Ohio when those blizzards hit and I remember them well. It was an amazing amount of snow, and we were stuck at home for quite a while. While it is astounding to think about how much snow we received, I also recall getting super bored being stuck at home while the roads were extremely dangerous. I certainly don’t want to see another winter like that. 

It was so cold outside that my face hurt during our recent cold spell –Yet, I still chose to go for a walk to buy pop and junk food.

Groundhogs are stupid– Where does this whole Groundhog Day idea come from anyway? Groundhogs are pests, and they don’t seem all that smart; why would anyone think they can predict the winter? 

How can I get some of this Executive Time I keep hearing so much about? –I would like to use Executive Time and stay home more often to watch television and look up old Air Supply videos on YouTubein order maximize my time and help me to think more clearly.

I may be the only person who has not yet eaten at the new Steak and Shake restaurant on East State Street –It’s always busy, no matter how cold it is or what the roads are like. I like steaks and I like shakes, but I’m just not sure if they should be combined.

Maybe we should reminisce about the old Great Steak and Fry restaurant that was in the mall in Athens not too long ago –It rarely had any lines! I wonder why they didn’t stay in business?

Winter clothes today are much better than the items we had in the 1970s –Our coats were huge and they had those fur linings that went around your face and were covered with nose drippings, the gloves never kept you warm enough, and we had to wear bags on our feet underneath our winter boots that took about 15 minutes to lace up and tie. Today, winter coats can be very warm, yet they somehow also can be folded up so they can basically fit in your pocket, gloves are awesome and work with cell phones, and boots actually keep your feet dry without plastic bags. It’s a whole different world.

I am getting through winter by focusing on basketball and waiting for the next superhero movie –I love basketball season, and it’s a good way to get through the winter, even if some of the teams I follow haven’t won as much yet as I had hoped. They still may turn the corner, so I am focusing on that during the cold days. And if they don’t do great by the end of the season, well, the weather will be warm then anyway, and the next superhero movie will finally be out.

I would not want to be a superhero in the winter –I don’t see how those uniforms keep them warm enough and I am sure Spider-Man would have trouble with his webbing in the snow. I wonder if it’s more difficult to fly in the winter if you are a superhero.

We’re nearly halfway through February already! –And that means that we’re not that far from winter being behind us. Before you know it, our basketball teams will be winning playoff games, people will be eating outside at the restaurants on East State Street and other spots around town, superhero movies will be playing in the movie theaters, and I’ll be cruising around town with the windows down, enjoying the smooth city streets and even smoother sounds of Air Supply as I maximize my executive driving time.

Nick Claussen is a freelance writer with too much time on his hands. To read more of his work, please visit nickclaussen.com.

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