Sunday, September 23, 2007

My End-of-Summer Crisis

Every year since I’ve lived on my own, I’ve gone through a certain amount of mourning for the end of the summer. I am DEFINITELY a Summer-girl! I first recognized that I go through this several years ago when I lived in Las Vegas, NV on my own for the first time. I’d had a great summer, and the first time that the temperature dropped from 90’s to 70’s to 50’s in 2 weeks, I was grumpy, irritable, short with people, and just upset that it was “so stinkin’ cold”. I quickly realized that it was my “adjustment period” to the end of summer, and once I’d dealt with those feelings (ie…mourned the end of summer properly), I could move on with my life and hang in there for a few months until it started warming up again, and getting lighter longer during the day.

I’ve gone through some kind of adjustment period every year over the years, and so I’m used to it. This year, it kicked me in the butt. I guess I’d had a better-than-usual August, playing in the pool with the Felt girls several times a week, and just doing FUN summer things. So when it started getting cooler here and the Felts went back home, it all kind of hit at the same time. I was working one night, and got talking to one of the ladies at work. I was completely unprepared for what feelings surfaced as we were talking of the weather trending colder, and soon it would be winter, etc. I started saying over and over, “I canNOT do another winter here…I CAN’T do another winter here…I can’t DO another WINTER here…I can’t do another winter HERE…” You get the idea... I felt like I should have had my knees pulled up to my chest, rocking and hitting my head against the wall. Then I came to my senses long enough to look at the lady I was talking to and realize that I was scaring her… these things don’t come out of “nice, calm, controlled Wendy”. So I swallowed my thoughts, and carefully tucked them away for a private moment to do my “crisis time” alone.

At this point, all I was able to conjure up was my memories from last winter…
• Not knowing there was de-icing windshield washer fluid until AFTER mine was completely frozen in my car (full of course), with no way to replace it until it thawed out a couple of months later.
• Driving to work in the dark, and home the next morning in the dark.
• Stopping 5 times on the way home from work one morning to wash my frozen windshield…and that was WITH my defroster on! (This was in-part because my own windshield washing fluid was frozen inside my car, and every time I used my wipers to get rid of the precipitation or road spray from my windows, it froze it all across my windshield.)
• Having cold fingers all the time.
• Driving to work in fresh-fallen snow, and having to stop a few times to kick the build-up off of my tires so I could turn them.
• Kicking the build-up of snow and ice off of my car (especially around my tires) once I got home, and realizing one day that a small part of my fender was coming off with it.
• And finally, my proudest moment…freezing my car in the car wash. In my own defense, I should say that I waited for 3 cars to go through before I ventured in. I saw the HUGE sheet of ice frozen and bending off the side wall, but I decided to take my chances, I mean, it hadn’t fallen on anyone’s car yet, right? Luckily that never fell on my car. But as soon as the soap sprayed on and froze as soon as it hit the car, I knew I was in trouble. The water almost washed it off, but it was 19 degrees outside…it had a lot of chill to overcome! (Yes, I had already waited a week for the warmest day!) The kicker was driving through the dryer at the end. My car was shellacked nicely, with a fine icy-lace pattern over the entire thing. Thankfully, my doors still opened!

So these are the memories driving my break-down this year. I have finally taken the time to think about it, and deal with it. I’ve washed the pool towels and put them away, as well as the bathing suits. I’ve let the air out of the pool toys, and patched and put them away. As part of my “dealing-with-it” process, I started a list called “Good things about winter”. If this winter doesn’t go WELL, I think it might be my last one here in Utah. I’m already thinking of going back to Travel Nursing and heading south at least through the winter, even if I “Home-Base” here for the rest of the year. Here is the list, and I would ask anyone who reads this to PLEASE help me come up with some more good things about winter!

Good Things about Winter:
Tropical vacations are better in January!
More reading time
More family history research time
Network TV shows
Cute sweaters
Indoor swimming pools
Cross-country skiing? (I haven’t tried it, but want to)
Warm blankets
Hot chocolate
Sitting by the fireplace
Hot Cocoa from Starbucks!

Please help!!!