Saturday, February 15, 2014

Midwest Winters

Being a So Cal native, this is definitely the coldest winter I have ever experienced. When my husband and I decided to pick up our stuff and move to the Midwest so he could go back to school, everybody thought we were crazy. Why would we choose to leave sunny, warm, using-scarves-only-for-fashion California? I for one was anxious and excited to experience a real winter with a guaranteed cold Christmas. Everyone warned us that it would get cold, but last winter (2012-2013) was easier than warned. It did get below zero but only for a couple of days, and we got a few snow storms, the largest not hitting until March. This winter, however, is a whole other story. The first snow happened weeks before Christmas, and we have had snow on the ground for over a month, basically since New Years Day. The temperatures on average have been in the single digits (mainly because of the numerous below zero days) and we have had over 26 days of snow storms including 3 "snow days". This winter has been a world of difference for experiencing the cold. Don't get me wrong, I am still enjoying the winter, but I have a better understanding of why people/Midwesterners complain about said cold. This year is also an extreme case because of the "return of the polar vortex" that hit the Midwest. Anyway, my point here is to share some of our experiences this winter.
First snow came in November before the fall colors had faded
First big snow in December left 8 inches of snow
Our largest winter coats
Frozen stream
A result of the Polar Vortex. Campus was closed down for two whole days. Roads were closed and if you were caught driving around you would be charged with a misdemeanor.

We enjoyed our snow day
Our roads have been layered with packed down snow for over a month straight
The walkway to our house, it's been weird walking through snow everyday for the past month and a half

Snow on campus
So much snow, no room to swing
Snow blowing on the road, makes the road look like it's moving
View of the Indianapolis Speedway covered in snow
After our big snow storm there was a rain storm causing the roads to turn to slush, which immediately froze into solid ice once the temperatures dropped again. Eventually the snow got covered in more snow, causing some really unsafe slippery grounds.
Local news reports this has been the coldest and snowiest winter in West Lafayette, IN since the 1980's
We have had to dig our car out of the snow numerous times. The most recent time it took us 20 minutes to dig out and an additional 20 minutes to get out of our spot because of the ice.
Literally frozen hair from my walks to work caused by the moisture in my breath. Luckily I can take a bus most days, but for some reason I didn't this day. When I got to work, my legs were frozen. Another plus of walking in below zero temps are the instantly frozen boogers when you walk outside. You can tell I was miserable this morning.
Overall experiencing the winter in the Midwest has been a great and lovely experience. Everything is so picturesque when covered in snow. Living on campus has made our experience relatively easier than most because we don't have to worry about shoveling driveways or walkways, plus we don't pay utilities so we can use our heat as much as we want. Additionally, we don't drive to work, although sometimes walking in the below zero temperatures can turn out to be quite painful. However, we have been without hot water a couple of times, but no longer than 12 hours. I truly think I love snowy winters, snow is so much better than rain and the chilling temperatures allow us to expand our wardrobe and use all the scarves and gloves that we never got to use in Orange County. I enjoy the thought that if we settle down in the Midwest that we will get to experience this every year.

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