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  • Anne Hartley

Winter is Here

Hello everyone, hope January is treating you good. Winter can be a tough time for folks. Most everyone feels like Spring, Summer and Fall are the seasons when you get outside to travel, have picnics, go swimming or boating but Winter can be a lot have fun to.

Winter is here. You may not be surrounded by mountains filled with snow, but winter nonetheless has something whimsical to offer no matter where you are. Cold weather brings people together, we yearn for warmth, love, and connection. The holidays deliver big family meals, endless gratitude, and it just seems like time moves a little bit slower than usual. When the first winter breeze blows through the trees you can feel the magic in the air. People seem to be a bit nicer, and nobody can complain about a little vacation time! This winter season, I challenge you to be open and accepting to new beginnings, learn to love more, and allow time to slow down so you can appreciate each and every moment.

I don't know if “most” people like winter, that's debatable. But I can tell you why I love winter. It really can be so beautiful. The term “winter wonderland” is so true. There is nothing like being the first person to tread across freshly fallen snow. It makes you feel like you're the only person who exists in the world at that moment and it is crisp, clear and so peaceful. The winter outdoor attire is downright adorable. Coats, boots, mitts, scarves, toques (hats), headbands, earmuffs, vests, snow pants, everything you can imagine in every pattern, style, and color you can imagine. We have to live in winter so we may as well live it in style! Winter indoor attire is lovely too! Adorable sweaters for both men and women, matching family onesies just for fun. And all the other attire is still fun but just warmed up for the colder weather. Winter sports! Skating, skiing, sledding, snowboarding, tubing, curling, hockey, riding 4 wheelers, even just walking in the snow is wonderful to breathe in the cool crisp air. Snowmen (and women), snow angels, snowball fights, snow forts, and snow days! What's not to love?! I forgot one of my favorite winter pastimes: curling up in front of the fireplace! It's so cozy and warm, especially after a day out in the snow. Top that off with a hot cup of cocoa or a hot totty.

Not everyone likes winter, I get that. It’s cold. Wet. Icy. It’s awful, right? Wrong. As cold and wet and icy winter is, it is by far the best season of all the ones our bipolar state goes through. “Why do you even like winter?” is by far one of the most horrid questions anyone could ever ask me. What do you mean why do I like winter? I should be asking you why you don’t like winter. For the poor unfortunate souls that don’t experience winter like me, I am sorry you were seriously deprived of the seasonal experience as a child, and I hope you can get some glimmer of hope of winter fun for the future seasons to come. Coming out of the dreary season of fall when there’s nothing to do, we are presented with a season that provides a promising outlook for fun. To begin with, for those of us who are lucky enough to engage in winter sports, we can finally get out our snowboards and skis. Even if winter sports aren’t your thing, instead of being a grouch and complaining about how there’s nothing to do, pick up a sled or even a cardboard box, find a hill, and entertain yourself by going down it a few times. Maybe even build a snowman or have a snowball fight. So now, you cannot possibly tell me that there’s “nothing to do” in winter. Not only does winter open the gateway to fun in the snow, but it also even provides a cozy time for indoors. You cannot seriously tell me that sitting by the fire, drinking hot chocolate, and watching the snow fall outside isn’t relaxing. And if you try to, don’t think for a second I won’t call your bluff. We live in a place where we have the opportunity to experience the best of all four seasons. People need to realize the different things that we can do during the snowy seasons and take advantage them. The teenage years are considered “the best years of our lives,” so why not take advantage of everything we can and try as many new things as we can? So pull yourself away from the TV, cell phones and computers long enough to appreciate what the winter season can really bring and pick up that makeshift cardboard sled or grab a ladle and go help out at the soup kitchen.



Useless Facts:

1. During the winter, the sun’s rays strike the earth at a shallow angle. These rays are more scattered, which minimizes the amount of energy that strikes any given spot. Also, the long nights and short days of winters prevent the earth from warming up. Thus, we have winter!

2. When we are close to the December solstice, each solar day is about 24 hours and 30 seconds long. This means that it takes a bit longer than 24 hours for the sun to reappear in the same place in the sky from one day to the next.

3. Although the duration of daytime at the Equator remains 12 hours throughout the year in all seasons, the duration at all other latitudes varies with the seasons. During the winter season, the daytime is shorter than 12 hours; during the summer, it lasts longer than 12 hours.

4. In the Northern Hemisphere, the winter season generally starts on December 21 or 22. This is the winter solstice, this day of the year receives the shortest period of sunlight as the day is the shortest in the year. The seasons in the Northern Hemisphere are the opposite of those in the Southern Hemisphere. This means that in Argentina, Brazil, and Australia, winter begins in June.

5. The coldest temperature ever recorded on earth is -89.2 degrees Celsius (-128.5 degrees Fahrenheit) at Vostok, Antarctica, on July 21, 1983.

6. There is an insect in New Zealand known as Mountain Stone weta. It has a marvelous ability to survive in the winters. The insect turn frozen solid in the winter season and come out alive in summers.

7. Switzerland holds the world record for the biggest igloo ever built. A crew of 18 people constructed the giant ice structure measuring an impressive 10.5 m tall, with a vast internal diameter of 12.9 m (42 ft 4 in). It was built in just three weeks, using approximately 1,400 blocks of snow.

8. Austria is home to the world’s tallest snowman ever built. The snowman was nicknamed “Riesi,” which roughly translates as “giant” in the English language. It measured a gigantic 38.04 meters in height.

9. Each winter season, about a septillion (1 followed by 24 zeroes) snowflakes fall on the United States soil.

10. Every winter, about 10 million tons of road salt is used by United States. Salt is used on the roads because salt first breaks up the film of liquid water that is always present on the surface, thereby lowering its freezing point below the ice’s temperature. When Ice comes in contact with salty water, therefore it melts fast.

Local Events:

1. Gala – Scholarship Fundraiser at Johnson City Country Club Feb. 11th

Rallies:

1. 25th Annual Thunder by the Bay Feb. 17th – 19th Sarasota, FL

2. 25th Annual Thunder by The Bay 17th – 19th Sarasota, FL.



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