February 26, 2015 and I have completed all 7 stages of winter in Cleveland. I’m done. See you next year.

The 7 Stages of Winter in Cleveland

1. Shock and Disbelief: This happens in November when I realize fall is really over and I have to find the winter clothes and put away the last of the deck furniture. Sometimes overlaps with…

2. Denial: The front swing may still be out there in hopes of that elusive “last nice day”. I don’t need a coat, I’ll just throw a scarf over my blazer, I’ll be fine.

3. Anger: Why me!?!? Gridlock, because, hey, its SNOWING!!! Sequoia’s & F-150’s that think they have magic powers so they put everyone else in danger. Driving in general. And this stupid, bulky coat!

4. Bargaining: It’s just cabin fever. I just need to get out and DO more! Go shopping! Go hear music! See friends! It’s not Winter, its me! If I just try harder Winter will go away.

5. Guilt: I shouldn’t complain about the weather. This isn’t Boston. We aren’t in endless days of darkness. I should try harder to be cheerful. I’m making everything worse by complaining. My poor family.

6. Depression: Winter will never, ever, ever end. Its true. Why bother cleaning the car, sweeping the salt off the stairs, mopping up snow melt, shoveling the drive, or wearing anything nice because it’s just going to be smeared with slush and muck and have to go to the dry cleaner anyway. I’m just going to sit on the couch with a blanket, a book and a cat until further notice.

7. Acceptance: I’ll just buy a lottery ticket and, hey if I win, we’ll take a two-week beach vacation and get spa treatments and learn salsa dancing and parasailing. But that won’t be necessary. I know winter is almost over because the garden catalogs have started to arrive.

Time to take my coat to the dry cleaner.


I live in a snowy place.

Also unpredictable in that it could snow anytime between October and April and last for any duration of those seven months. This is not because I live in Montana or Wyoming or any of these places where snow is a serious business, but because I live by a lake. Which means Lake Effect Snow.

The variability of the anticipated snowfall, can make it feel like a sport. People watch the weather reports, talk about the weather reports, speculate about rush hour and highway driving, make predictions and swear by their favorite weather forecaster.

I find that a persons Winter Driving Style usually fits into one of the seven basic writing tropes:

1. Man against Man (“Why am I the only one who remembers how to drive in the damn snow!)

2. Man against Nature (“I will conquer the snow with my F-150!” I believe this one is subconscious, but I can’t be sure.)

3. Man against Himself (“Oh s**t! Turn into the slide! Turn into the slide!?!)

4. Man against God (“Oh please, oh please, I promise if I make it to work on time I will replace these bald tires.”)

5. Man against Society (“I pay enough taxes! Why can’t they plow these f*****g streets!)

6. Man caught in the Middle (“Maybe I should go early & beat the traffic…or late when it’s clearer..”)

7. Man & Woman (“Will you just let me DRIVE!”)

Knowing your winter driving style, like AAA, can be handy. Accepting your driving style and trying to change it is more like AA.