I hate being outside. Quite literary. It is an abhorrent enterprise, if you ask me, but I do it when I have to, when there is no other alternative to being outside. Getting married and having kids will do that sometimes, but I still try to avoid it when at all possible. This morning I had no way of avoiding it.
Heidi came into our living room and said, “Go out and shovel around our cars,” so I went out and shoveled around our cars. I learned a long time ago that my wife trumps all of my issues, even if I did still hem and haw before heading out into the tundra to do as she said.
Winter is my favorite season. I make no bones about it, but until a little while ago, when a friend asked me why, I hadn’t made the real distinction between the idea and the actuality of winter. What I love is watching the snow fall down… from the warmth and comfortable confines of the indoors. What I enjoy is sipping hot cocoa by the roaring fire and letting whatever happens outside stay outside.
Because I hate being outside. I’ve always hated being outside. There’s just something about nature that has never quite sat right with me. In summer it was the insane number of bugs that poked and prodded me, leaving welts, bumps, and bruises that were itchy and destructive. In fall and spring it was the uncertainty that each day brought. Would it be achingly cold or surprisingly warm? Would the need for layers force me to be wearing sweaters around my waist by day’s end? And of course there was winter.
I was definitely not a ‘free-range chicken kinda guy.’
Maybe it’s because I am a city boy, through and through. Which is of course ironic considering I live half an hour away from anything remotely resembling a town right now, and because both of my children are country to the core, going through the house barefoot more often than not.
Heidi was talking about possibly raising free-range chickens sometime in the future, and I told her I was definitely not a “free-range chicken kinda guy.” I’m not. I can’t even imagine walking out my front door and being swarmed by those pesky birds. I’m good seeing the claymation figures from Chicken Run on my TV.
So I was outside earlier… shoveling around the cars, and I could see the steam from my breath rising into the wintry air, and I began wondering if someday there would be robots who could be remotely started who would go out and shovel for us. If there are remote car starters, surely there will be a robot sometime soon who can do the yard work, who can shovel the snow, and who can do the various other tasks related to the “great” outdoors.
I long for that day.