It’s inevitable when you live in Maine. Come January and February people start grumbling about winter (the black sheep of the season family), and some of your favorite people trek on down to sunny Florida.
I see their Facebook status popping up like postcards from heaven. Bronze faces enjoying poolside pleasures, long walks on the beach and endless buffets. But there is a downside to this bohemian lifestyle, and I felt it was time I spoke up about why we should stay home.
- Embrace your indoor self: Winter can give you the courage to come “into the closet” and declare yourself an indoor person. What a relief to stop beating yourself up for trying to be something you are not. No more flimsy excuses for lack of outdoor recreation, e.g. I can’t find my skis, or I’m trying to decide which snowmobile to buy. How can you be your authentic self in the midst of a perpetual summer?
- Snow days: There is an air of celebration when “historic snowfall” is in the forecast. Neighbors gather at the grocery store stocking up on essentials like boxed wine and Oreos. Can a beach day be as much fun as a candlelight indoor picnic, or a day at home with rambunctious school aged children?
- You can eat more: Scraping windshields, shoveling, pulling on coats and boots, shivering. These are all calorie burners. You can increase your caloric intake all winter without gaining all that many pounds. And you can hide your modest weight gain under layers thanks to LL Bean, grateful that your revealing bathing suit is securely packed away.
- Cleaning is easier: There are months of darkness when dust is completely invisible. And with all the dirt frozen and covered with snow, how much dust can really get stirred up anyway? I hope the winter migrants can afford a cleaning service in that sun drenched dust bowl.
- Creature reprieve: Winter provides a truce from battling creepy, crawly, flying creatures. Someone is always looking on the bright side of a below zero day by declaring, “At least there aren’t any black flies!” As far as I know, alligators, scorpions, and barracudas do not hibernate during Florida winters, and can strike at any time. Oh my!
- Men keep their shirts on: This is the ultimate reason to enjoy winter in Maine. I’m no prude, and I can appreciate a muscled chest and washboard abs, but that’s not what I see on the first forty-degree day in March. Spring has inevitably arrived when I see a spider in the bathtub, and a shirtless man who desperately needs a manssiere. I can only imagine the psychological damage that occurs by being ‘exposed’ to this visual year round.
Let’s start a grass-roots effort to make Maine a winter destination for Florida residents. I’m sure if they fully understood the benefits we could make ‘Sunbirds’ a household word.
What are some other reasons to winter in a cold, northern climate?