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Monday, January 13, 2014

Wisconsin Winter Fantasy vs. Reality


Above is one of the many beautiful scenes Wisconsin Winter has to offer. I was merely driving to work and at a stop light and snapped this Winter Wonderland scene through my dirty car window. Sorry, the cars were starting to move, didn't have time to roll it down. This is the idyllic scene we think of when we think of glorious winters and snow falling. 

This is not the reality of our winters. 



This ^^^^^ is what winter really looks like. 

Glorious glorious snow on the roads. And tires and roads are dirty. The snow turns this brownish nasty color. Those of you living where it doesn't snow might never understand the grossness of winter, but this image above is a start. 

Imagine it now. You're looking out your window and you happen to live in a house along the beautiful scene in the first picture. You sigh contentedly at the beauty that you behold. A warmth enters your heart (despite the subzero and -55 F temps with the wind chill) as you contemplate the scene before you. 

Then, you realize you have no milk, or water, or Doritos. You can't live without your Cheetos, so you have to go to the store. You bundle. Total face mask, check. Ski pants, check. Scarf (yes, even though you have a face mask), check. Thick, preferably lined, boots, check. Thick gloves, check. And make sure you have your wallet... and can actually get to it through all the layers so you don't have to take them off then put them all back on in the store. 

Get out to freezing car, but hey, at least the snow just stopped. Fumble with keys because of the ridiculously thick gloves. But hey, you can still feel your fingers! Drop keys...

Spend 2-3 minutes attempting to pick up the keys, give up, take off a glove, grab keys and open door. Now your fingers are frozen. You can't feel them, but your car, lucky for you, has started. 

Then you partake of the wonderful slushy nasty roads. You might even skid and slide unless you've been here awhile. And even then, no guarantee. Everyone is driving slow and you are too. But you make it to the store in one piece. YAY!!! You now have your snack mix. And maybe a soda and a frozen pizza for dinner because lets face it, good luck getting the pizza guy with a hundred other families staying in and ordering too. You'll be waiting hours. 

Photo credit for dirty snow pile goes to Teen Muddy.

Now a few days have gone by. The snow has been pushed aside into huge piles so people can park. NO, it doesn't melt. It hasn't gone above freezing for weeks, or months... 

These piles of snow accumulate the snow and dirt left in parking lots. They get all shoved and mashed together each new snowfall. At first, it might look sort of not dirty, but it will soon. 

If you're a kid, you might not care about the dirty snow and how it looks, all you know is you get to play King of The Hill!!! And that means you get a free pass to shove kids down the disgusting snow hill!!! These can have slippery paths, random holes so don't sprain an ankle, and big chunks of ice. It's not fun if you're the kid who gets shoved down and manages to fall head first in one of those ice chunks. They're very solid. And if you're an adult, you've grown accustomed to these big piles of poo looking snow. 

This picture, the dirty poo looking snow hill, is what you will see every block. Sometimes multiple times in the same block. And you'll see nasty snow lining the sidewalks of every street big and small. It's not pretty. The glorious snow scene, yes you'll see those, but you'll have to search for them. 

Dirty snow is what Wisconsin is. Not a pretty snow globe. 

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