Ways I can tell that it's winter (other than the punitive temperatures and the inescapable snow) is the following:
- Toby begs to go outside. Then he comes in almost immediately. Then he begs to go outside again through another door, like somehow it's Florida out that one.
- My feet are cold. My feet will be permanently cold now until May, no matter how many socks I put on.
- People perform the "Cold Car Dance", wherein they get in the car, turn the ignition on and wrap their arms around themselves and rock back and forth muttering a word that starts with "f" and is not "fallopian".
- I walk gingerly. Usually, I walk in a full on stride, and sometimes have to tell myself that I should slow down because I probably look ridiculous. But these days, I walk with trepidation, and carefully scan the sidewalk for where I can put down my foot, lest I take a spectacular tumble and look even more ridiculous.
- I don't have to put the garbage outside in the big garbage can, because it will freeze before the raccoons can smell it.
- We put the van in the garage. One year we didn't manage to clean out the garage before the bad weather came, and we got a freezing rain storm that basically incarcerated the van, and it took us hours to chip away at the ice so that we could even open the doors. Now we would rather bring the van into the house than do that again.
- I get lazy. All I want to do is hibernate. The thought of going out of the house after dinner makes me crankier than a nap-deprived three-year old.
- The Clementines are out. They smell like Christmas to me. Also, the grapefruit are excellent right now.
- We go through kleenex like wildfire. Everyone is sniffling, and I'm pretty sure the Loudshoes family is singlehandedly responsible for the destruction of a couple of acres of rain forest.
- It takes everyone ten times as long to get out the door as it does the rest of the year. My family has a blase attitude towards leaving the house on time as it is, but this time of year they absolutely kill me. Not only does "we're leaving now" clearly mean "please, take as much time as you like before leaving the house, in fact, maybe you should start a completely new activity immediately", but in the winter it also means, "and start looking for that coat/other boot/exactly perfect mitten/non-scratchy hat about 10 minutes after your mother had left the building entirely".
Spring is only 4 months away.