Manners Matter: Braving Winter Weather

Dear Mary Pat,

I’m not a fan of winter. For the past 24 years Wisconsin has been my home but I have never adapted to the cold or the snow. My husband shakes his head at his “crazy Southern gal” when I start shivering when the temp drops below 50 degrees. Now that we are both retired, our opposite feelings about winter are even more obvious. He’s outside any chance that he gets whether it’s hiking or snowshoeing or cross country skiing. I would much rather sit in front of the fire with a good book versus exploring the frozen tundra. He claims that we spend too much time apart and he really wants me to be outside with him. Come summer, I’ll be at his side again hiking through our favorite trails. Until then, I’m staying indoors. Am I being too stubborn?


Hibernate Versus Freeze

Baileys Harbor, Wis.


Dear Hibernate Versus Freeze,

Not everyone is a winter person. It sounds like your case is incurable…you’ll never join a ski club or do the Polar Bear Plunge. And that’s okay. However, you do live in a state where winter is around for what can feel like seven months of the year. That’s a big chunk of time to not venture outside. Relationships work best when compromises are struck. You don’t need to spend all day outside, but for the sake of spending time with your husband and getting some fresh air, take a walk with him for 30 or 40 minutes. If you hit your limit, you can get back to reading in front of the fire…and he can continue on with another outdoor activity. After he’s done, you can encourage him to relax indoors. When the winds are howling and the snow is falling heavily, I can appreciate that you want to stay in. However, when it’s 30 degrees and sunny, you might find that being outside isn’t so bad after all.

Good luck,

Mary Pat