Hey, Germany, sorry to let you know so late, but it is winter. It does come around every year, and every year it is cold and there is snow and ice everywhere.
Well… Surprise! It is here. It has been snowing continuously for a week or two now, just like it does all winter long. Every year. Probably for a few millenium or a few million years, depending on who you ask. Point it, it shows up on schedule every year.
But every year, you seem even more perplexed than the cat at the white stuff coming from the sky. She goes and checks it out, puts a paw in, and wisely heads back inside for the rest of the season. You, however, stare at the sky and say, with some amount of amazement, “It is winter!” every day. Sometimes you use it as an explanation when I say it is freezing and I hate it, but most of the time you say it and sound a little perplexed, as though we all lived in Tahiti.
We don’t live in Tahiti, Germans. We live in Germany. January is cold and terrible and filled with snow and car accidents and you pulling me over just to check and make sure I have the correct tires on my car. Right on schedule, we got snow. It will be here until sometime in late March.
Maybe between now and then you can figure out how you could have possibly encountered a road salt shortage before the middle of January in a country that always has a cold and slippery winter. Winter is roughly from October until March here. It was actually pretty reasonable in October and November this year, so there is no excuse why my road - well, to be fair, not so much the road but the snow layered on top of the road - is covered with sand instead of something that will make the hill a little easier to navigate. The only excuse you have given me is a road salt shortage. Pardon me? A country on the latitude of Canada cannot properly figure out how much road salt they might need in a given year and do a little planning?
Winter, seeing as how it coincides with the natural rotation of the earth as it swings its way around the sun on a very consistent basis, should not come as a surprise. It is not like it is showing up to a funeral in June with a party hat on wondering where all the chicks are at. It is not hiding behind your couch on your fortieth birthday waiting to pop up and blow an obnoxious noisemaker in your ear. It waits until at least a few of the leaves change color and then hits and sticks around for a few months like your mother-in-law who begs to visit and then constantly complains she would rather be in Florida. If anything, it gives you warning with those sudden absurdly cold days in late August or early September that remind you to buy a better hat this year. It’s actually rather polite that way, except for that whole sticking around well past its welcome thing.
Get it together, Germany. I will not be here next year to see if you made any progress, but I will ask my friends who are stuck through another tortuous season with you. I will give you a hint: start collecting road salt in April this time. Sand on top of snow doth not good traction make. Little tricks of the trade those of us everywhere outside of perhaps Fiji learned ages ago…
Winter is already here, and just to tell you, it will be back next year, too. Don’t say I didn’t warn you…