Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Over the past few years I have developed an unhealthy dread of winter. Bitter cold. Brushing snow off my car (or worse, scraping ice off) every time I went to drive anywhere. Continually taking my boots on and off and carrying extra shoes in my big purse. Sliding through the occasional stop sign and feeling the pulse of the anti-lock brakes. What an annoying season! For a long time I was uneasy every fall, knowing what was ahead.

This year, though, I managed not to dread winter. Sure, it would be cold and snowy and annoying, but I'm a South Bend girl now and I know how to handle all that. I've polished my snow-driving skills so I am competent and confident traveling in the white stuff. I resigned myself to the four-times-daily brushing off of the car. I bought myself some cute boots and thought I was ready for winter.

But I wasn't ready for this winter.

It's been brutally cold, a lot. We've had BIG snowstorms, a lot. "Is it just me," I asked Anne the other day, "or are we having an uncommonly cold and snowy winter?"

"The weatherman was just saying that everything's actually been pretty normal," she told me. "The last few winters have been pretty mild."

My spirits plummeted and for just half a second I doubted my love for South Bend. I don't know if I can keep on enduring winters like this one ...

But when it comes down to it, it's still OK. Last night, driving home from women's group, I was reminded how much I love the way the South Bend sky glows during a snowstorm. Everything is quieter, too, and I felt surrounded by peacefulness. I might not like snow on my car, but I still love to watch the snow fall. And I got up today and remembered to budget five extra minutes for brushing off my car. And it wasn't even that cold. When it comes down to it, I really can manage to keep on going in the midst of all this.

I might just make it until spring.


Marge said...

I hear you, Sheila.
Well, here's three things that have helped me, a California girl, survive 30 winters in SB, including the blizzard of '78.
(1) birdfeeders. Simple but effective way to find the beauty in winter.
(2) gratitude. I use car scraping time to thank the Lord that I have two arms and two legs and the ability to use them.
(3)A quote from Camus: "In the midst of winter I finally found that there was in me an invincible summer."

uncle jim said...

you are invincilble [camus said so]
you are a storm-trooper
you are a st joe county survivor
you are insane ;)

uncle jim said...

where is jen torma these days?
is she in dinkytown?

got an e-mail address for her?

uncle jim said...

my friend Dawn Eden [the Thrill of the Chaste] is scheduled to be on the TODAY Show this coming Monday 3/3 at 10am est

book in the 6th printing; spanish edition sold out in one week. now also being published in polish and chinese, and a publisher in hungary is negotiating for rights to publish it there.

pray for her

Mike Z said...

These are the months that try your soul. In each of the months of January, February and March South Bend averages 3 days of sunshine. That is from data collected over the last 50 years. When the sun is absent for so long - spirits droop unless you are ready for it. Rorwarned is fore armed - so hang in there one more month (and this one has Holy week and Easter in it). Then the long winter's night will have (mostly) passed.