Winter: one of four seasons
Utahns pray and hope for snowfall so they can get out and hit the slopes. Sledding, snowboarding, skiing, tubing, cross country, snowshoe and snowball fights. Every age group can get outside and build a snowman. Every child deserves one or two snow days of cancelled school.
Heavy snowpacks should help our drought-plagued region. As lakes and reservoirs reach capacity, creeks and streams start flowing again, and farmers plan to cultivate more land, we will all benefit. Bumper crops and increased grazing will affect each of us as prices drop, and supply matches the always increasing demand. The region is in need of a surging tourism boost.
We all benefit when visitors stimulate the local small businesses specific to the season. Winter provides seasonal jobs that give many local citizens the economic boost they have come to depend on over the years.
Traveling in harsh weather conditions takes some experience and a great deal of patience. Commuting in Utah and Salt Lake valleys may be easier with the opening of the Frontrunner line, but many still choose to drive. Individuals attribute their “right” to drive with a need to drive. Opting to allow a friend or family member with more experience is a simple decision few are likely to make.
Citing extra drive time and over confidence in vehicle safety features may prove costly. Auto repair and insurance premium hikes may be trivial when compared to physical injuries, disability and even death. Although these are the same risks we all take when driving at any time, the probability is heightened when driving conditions become hazardous.
We had a white Christmas and a frigid New Year. Temperatures have been well below freezing and outdoor pets have suddenly become indoor pets. Families are spending more time together indoors. Stressful situations can develop when close proximity puts an edge on personal space.
Setting a routine to brave the elements to escape and find some individual time will save everyone from added stress. Always remember to dress for the occasion and the unexpected. Cold temperatures sap energy and limit regular capabilities. Tell someone where you’re going and wear visible clothing. Don’t let the short days prevent you from outdoor experiences.
If you’re not interested in braving the chilly season, then look into the indoor activities. Board games and jigsaw puzzles are fun for roommates, grandparents and siblings, if they can work on opposite sides of the table. From Logan to St. George there are art museums, indoor miniature golf courses and a variety of sporting events.
Fun doesn’t always have to come in flip flops and tankinis, and learning to tap dance or join a quilting group may be more adventurous than hitting the half-pipe.
The most important thing is to enjoy the season. Don’t get crotchety and bitter. You can do that when you get old and have to glue your teeth to your gums every morning. Winter has enough challenges without your negative attitude, and has more to offer in the way of fun and excitement that resentment and frustration ever will.
Utah offers a variety of life experiences and changes, including the seasons. They don’t last forever, but the memories you make might.