Monday, January 28, 2013


I'm not dumb enough to complain about the weather. The weather is what it is, will be what it will be. But I know for sure that this whole month (January) I have been drastically affected by the weather, not in a good way. It kind of came to a head yesterday when I happened to look up out the window after spending too much time looking at the computer screen, and I just burst into tears because it was snowing AGAIN.

Come summer we will all be glad for the snow that we have gotten. It probably will help to keep the water supply up so that we might be less affected by the inevitable drought.  And no way do I want to live in a place with perpetual warm weather. I like the change of seasons. I have lived most of my life in places with bad winters and been happy about that. I'm happy that I live here, and I'm willing to take the bad with the good.

But this winter is proving very difficult for me to cope with. This winter is different. Climate change in action? More severe weather of all kinds, cold as well as hot? Have I developed SAD?

We haven't any kind of break in the bad weather this month. Early in January we started with the constant air inversions. Then we had a really big, difficult snow storm that lasted over 2+ days. Since then the temperature has not gone anywhere near  the melting point so that all the snow has lasted, and a lot has turned to ice. The air inversions continued. We had a freezing rain storm that caused lots of accidents and even shut down the airport. The air inversions continued. It has stayed cold. It snowed again. The air inversions continue. It's going to snow again tonight into tomorrow. The 5 day forecast shows some snow for 3 days in a row. No end in sight.

I'm having an especially hard time coping with all this because I'm having a hard time getting around town now. I don't drive in bad weather at all, so my car has been garaged for quite some time. Except for that big storm, the public transport does seem to be running all right, but I'm having a really difficult time getting to and from the buses and trains.

Walking in the city is really difficult because many people do not clear off their sidewalks. I believe that this is a violation of some city code or another, but if it is, there is no enforcement.  During an actual storm, it is very cumbersome to walk because the snow is deep or the rain is truly ice. After the storm when people don't clear their walks, the space turns into a lumpy, deep ice road. I can't walk at a normal pace at all. I stumble. I get really worried about falling. Even on seemingly clear spots I don't walk fast because I don't trust that there is ice I cannot see.

And don't get me started on people who don't clear off the corners so that at the end of each street there is an ice dam that requires mountaineering skills to surmount. Or the same at the  bus stops caused by the snow plows.

I get angry while walking, and I don't like being angry. It doesn't make me feel good at all, and doesn't make anything better. I just feel angry.

Sometimes I just say the hell with it and go out into the street to walk because it is a bit easier. I stand out in the street at bus stops rather than have to do the mountain climbing thing to get from the curb to the bus. I'm sure that drivers, especially the bus drivers, don't like this, but I gotta do what I gotta do.

This is all made more difficult by the cumbersome layers of clothing I wear to try to keep warm and dry because I'm walking. It takes me longer to get dressed, and when I'm really all bundled up I have that Michelin Tire man look to me with the (lack of) agility to go with it. Oh, yes, and there is the heavy back pack I wear because I have to carry anything I might need or want while away from home.

To make matters worse I think I'm becoming (have become) anemic again. This would be the third episode of this. I'm getting so I can recognize the symptoms, the biggest one being the inability to walk without getting totally out of breath. I have an especially hard time getting to & from the TRAX station. I now even label this the TRAX symptom. The TRAX station is 4 blocks away...not very far when the weather is good, and I can walk at a normal pace. The TRAX station is all slightly uphill when coming home. I lose my breath coming home from the TRAX station after just half a block of walking. The trip takes me about 4 times longer than it should. Sometimes I feel I can't make it.

But the buses stop being convenient at 1900 or so, which means that if I'm going out in the evening I end up using TRAX. By the time I do eventually get home, late, cold, out of breath, I am just done for. And I don't want to have to do it again for as long as I can manage. I don't have cabin fever. I have cabin desire. I want to just stay home as much as I possibly can get away with.

I'm going to see my doctor in a couple of days. I take vitamin D. I have a vacation on the coast of California planned for the end of February. I will live through this and be OK. But I do long for at least a little break as soon as possible. A couple days of sunshine. Enough time above freezing to clear off the sidewalks, for awhile anyway. That's not too much to ask, is it?

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