Sunday, December 10, 2017

Things I DO like about Winter

For the most part, Winter can bite me. I don't like being cold, the days are too short, snow and ice on the roads means dangerous driving conditions, and an overnight snowfall means a glitch in our carefully coordinated morning routine because one or both of us has/have to go out and shovel. I grew out of winter sport enthusiasm at about age 17, and basically now from the first snowfall until Spring, I'm just gritting my teeth and waiting it out.

Winter in Wisconsin (overnight snowfall)
Just today on the local Blaulicht Report (a Facebook group informing residents of various perils and where temporary Blitzer [speed traps] have been installed) someone posted that one of the roads leading up here from Horb was totally blocked because cars were just not able to make it up the steep hill. The problem reportedly started when a young woman's car got stuck, she called another friend of hers for help, the friend's car also got stuck, and then they called the ADAC (German AAA). They both still had their summer tires on, according to one commentor.

As long as I don't have to drive in it, I don't suppose I care much if it snows, but sooner or later we're going to run out of wine and food, which means a drive to the store. And of course I have to drive to and from school every morning.

So, yeah. Winter is just not my thing.

However, I realized yesterday morning after our first real snowfall of the season - which happily fell on a Friday night - that there are a few things I do like about winter, and I should focus on the positives. So here we go...

What I DO like about Winter

  • Weihnachtsmärkte, at least until Christmas

  • Tübingen's ChocoArt festival - it only lasts for 5 or 6 days and I usually go only once, but it's so worth it!

  • fires in the Kachelofen
I really need to reupholster that bench cushion!

  • The Advent season, our Adventskranz, the Adventskalender (You're obligated to eat one piece of chocolate a day when you have one of these; it's tradition!)

  • Wild on the menu - namely wild boar and Rehrücken (venison) 

  • white wine and water stay cold in the garage; I don't have to schlepp them to the cellar

  • I can leave the butter out on the counter in the kitchen

  • my pillow is always cold

  • there's no weeding to be done in the garden

  • the Biomüll doesn't stink in the outside bin

  • fewer fruit flies and other winged critters flying about

  • nice photography opportunities

Clearly if I force myself, I can come up with some positives about winter. There's no doubt I love the Advent season here in Germany, and admittedly a little snow at a Weihnachtsmarkt can create a nice atmosphere. After January 1st, though, I'm  ready for Spring.

It is true that winters in southwestern Germany are far milder and better (in my opinion) than those in Wisconsin. It is unlikely our car would get buried overnight like my daughter's car in the first photo above, and it's not nearly as cold. The roads are better and it's rare that they stay icy for more than a day. In Wisconsin the roads on my way to school were essentially a bumpy sheet of ice from January through mid-March.

I should also fess up and add that I did bring our snowblower from Wisconsin, and M doesn't actually mind snowblowing - except when the weather is really shitty. He even goes up and down our whole street, clearing the snow for grateful neighbors. 

Am I alone here? How do you feel about winter?


  1. Wild! Yummy! I don't mind snow for a week or two, but winter always seems to drag on foreverrrrrrr!

    1. Exactly. In Wisconsin it covered November through end of March and often into April. Here in Swabia at least the worst of it is only 2 months, but for those who like it, it's a short drive into the Black Forest or to the Alps where there's plenty of snow to keep one amused. I am not one of those. :-)

  2. Normally I actually don't mind winter so much because I'm so busy with indoor activities (taking German classes, working, studying) that the time passes quickly. I also enjoy some of the outdoor activities, such as wine hikes. This winter is going to be a bummer, though, because I'm injured from slipping on ice, there are no German classes left, and I'm stuck inside for a while.

    Oh well. I am thinking about getting an Instant Pot and giving that a try. It's like a stripped-down version of a Thermomix. Do you still use yours? Do you still like it? The IP doesn't do so much prep work but combines a crock pot, pressure cooker, steamer, etc. My cooking skills continue to develop so I thought it would be fun to get a useful, fast tool to help them along.

    1. I'm sorry you're trapped inside! It's one thing to stay inside because one wants to, and quite another when one is forced. Ugh. Gute Besserung!

      We still use our Thermomix, though we are not groupies (there are many who think the sun rises and falls with the appliance, but for us it's just one of many appliances we are glad we have in the kitchen). It's brilliant at certain tasks. I hadn't ever heard of the IP, but I like the sound of crock pot, pressure cooker, and steamer. Sounds really good! Even though the Thermomix can chop onions in no time flat, I chop them by hand anyway because I want them neatly cut. A lot of the prep work (schnibbling) is stuff I like doing - so I could see the IP being a perfect addition to the kitchen (if one doesn't already have a Thermomix; probably don't need both).

  3. I do love winter and miss the fact that British winters are a bit shit, just wet and grey, I love snow because it makes everything brighter! Obviously after a little while it becomes old