anne mikolay 2012 120Dear Mother Nature,

Winter is my favorite season! I like the cold and very much enjoy snuggling beneath a toasty blanket or wearing a cardigan or argyle socks. I marvel at the twisted design of bare, brittle tree branches stretching toward the gray sky and relish the first snowflakes of each season. However, while I very much appreciate and thank you for the beauty that is the white blanket of virgin snow in my yard and the crystal gems of ice clinging to the trees, kindly indulge me when I say...knock it off!

Enough is enough! Lately, the only people gleeful at the sight of snow are school children anxious for a “snow day”. The rest of us are buckling beneath your wrath! Adults can't spend windy, snowy days safely at home, wearing pajamas and playing video games. People need to get to work and must navigate your slippery roads and slick sidewalks and shovel away your slush and ice. Mother Nature, you deserve respect, but there's no need for severity.

Of course, we've had our good times together. Haven't we? I well remember my childhood days when there was nothing more thrilling than pulling on my winter gear, my rubber boots and leggings, and playing outside in freshly fallen snow until my toes and my fingertips were frozen. Afterward, my sister and I retreated to the warmth of our house, set our mittens upon the radiator to dry, and enjoyed hot cocoa. During adolescence, I was much intrigued by the winter changes you imposed upon the world, the varying hues of a muted sky, the tinkling sound of sleet against the window, the whirl of drifting snow. Indeed, you've given me great memories, but for some reason I don't recall winter being quite as frigid or as snowy back then.

Do I dare say it? Mother Nature, yours is a fickle temperament. This month, you've dumped too much snow upon us and tortured us with unbearable temperatures. You fail to realize I am not as young as I used to be. Your cold pierces right through my bones; not even my favorite toasty blanket adequately warms me. Empathy is not your strong suit, obviously, and it's time you packed away your snow making machine and your arctic mechanisms and granted us a reprieve. I am well aware you tease Punxsutawney Phil each February with shadow games that keep us guessing, but I hereby formally request sunshine, warmth, chirping birds, green grass. Spring!

Mother Nature, old friend, consider yourself warned. If you want my friendship with your heretofore beautiful child, Winter, to continue, you had best heed my words. Back off, Mama! I've had enough!

Respectfully yours,

The Armchair Critic