My War on Winter

24Feb17

snow_mess

The older I get, the more I hate winter.

I hate Old Man Winter almost as much as CNN hates the President of the United States.

I have no proof, but I’m convinced that winter is a Russian plot to turn the United States into Siberia.

snow_pile2015I’ve decided turn my animosity into action and form a Resistance against this cold, miserable, heartless and white season. I have a “Not My Season” sign stuck in the snow pile in my front yard. I am organizing a “Stand Up for Summer” demonstration to be held in Copley Square.

But my Resistance is not just symbolic. My War on Winter is a pro-active, practical effort. Like any war, the War on Winter is fought on a number of fronts.

There is the immediate front, i.e., my driveway. I am determined to keep the enemy at bay and anything associated with it from encroaching on territory that I consider vital to my interests. That means any paved areas under my control.

I refuse to normalize this brutal season, so I don’t wait for a winter storm to end before I attack. I go out every couple of hours with my pink shovel and disrupt what has fallen so far. Once the final flake has landed, I immediately demand a recount. Then I set about the process of exiling any that remains to the other side of a fence that borders my driveway.

snow_piles021515

Even then, the battle isn’t quite over yet. As the sun re-emerges in the days following a blitz by Old Man Winter, I set about attacking any packed down spots of snow and ice that have stubbornly survived despite my best efforts. I chop through the toughest patches of ice to expose areas of pavement and let solar power do the rest. (I’m all about alternative energy.)

I also feed the birds. What has this got to do with my War on Winter? Simple. It’s based on the theory that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Birds hate winter too. It’s cold and food is scarce. Many of them go south to avoid it. Others, like me, refuse to cut and run. I cast my lot with the Avian Resistance and support them with food.

cardinal_pair-fx1

The other front is what I call the Global War on Winter. Here is where I do my part to contribute to the warming of the planet by consuming my share of carbon-based fuels. We’re told that this kind of human activity contributes to the warming of the planet known as Climate Change, and I am happy to do my fair share.

I could afford to drive a hybrid car or maybe even a Tesla. But I choose to continue driving my internal combustion Mazda. I also heat my home with oil. It’s the least I can do in the fight against winter.

fireplace_fxOf course, we are conveniently told that carbon caused climate change can also mean more frequent, more severe winter storms. What’s a Winter Warrior to in the face of this seemingly contradictory science?

Throw another log on the fire and stay warm, I say. Besides, I have reason to think I’m on the right track.

Go outside and look around. Most of the snow that buried us last week has melted away, thanks to the recent mild temperatures. And today, on Feb. 23, it’s over 60 degrees outside.

You’re welcome.

[This column originally appeared in the February 23, 2017 Wakefield Daily Item.]

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