Watch out for winter

Hello BB&N and welcome back from break! Yay! As my fellow Game of Thrones enthusiasts will surely understand, winter is coming! (OK, technically, winter has already come.) The temperature has dropped, the snow has fallen, and our cars grow colder each morning. With this new season comes plenty of new, winter-oriented “don’ts” to discuss and add to the never-ending list of things not to do, as exemplified by me.

Number one. Do not go on a “double black diamond” ski trail unless you are extremely confident in your skills. Skiing is great. I cherish the thrill of speeding down mountains, but last winter, my ego got the best of me. My brothers and I were skiing together as usual when they set their eyes on an expert trail that apparently looked too good to pass up. Not wanting to disappoint them, I didn’t protest as we embarked on the perilous journey. It was OK at first, as I half-slipped and half-pizzaed down the mountain, but it took a drastic turn for the worse when I lost all control and nose-dived into a pile of powder. With cold snow stuck inside my jacket, gloves, helmet, and face, I slid slowly down to safety on my butt and finally made it—freezing, shamefaced, and disappointed.

Lesson learned: I should always stand up to my brothers, oh, and not risk my life on unnecessarily hazardous trails.

Number two. Don’t take spontaneous ice-skating trips without planning ahead. One afternoon last year, I was bored of sitting inside and watching YouTube videos all day, so I decided, spur-of-the-moment, to go ice-skating! How fun! Unfortunately, when I stepped onto the rink, ready to have some fun and skate for hours, I was greeted with an unwelcome surprise. It seemed I had just stepped into a men’s hockey league practice. Dodging the old men as they zoomed by with their hockey sticks, I swiftly turned and bolted from the rink as fast as I could. If only I had simply called ahead or checked the schedule…

Number three. Don’t drink hot chocolate immediately after brewing it. One of the absolute worst feelings is burning your tongue with a hot drink. Not only is it painful, but it also ruins all future eating plans because of the blister it leaves behind. It can be hard to resist a warm, freshly brewed hot cocoa, but please, give your hot drinks time to cool.

Number four. Don’t forget about black ice and its sneaky, evil ways. Slipping and falling on black ice in the morning is a quick and easy way to ruin your day. Last year, I was rushing to my car, running late as always, with a crate of t-shirts in my hands for the t-shirt sale I was hosting at school. I had almost made it to the car when, out of nowhere, my legs slipped out from under me and I slammed hard on the ground. The t-shirts spilled everywhere, and my butt was painfully bruised—the black ice was to blame. It seems the only way to avoid slipping on black ice is to maintain constant vigilance.

Number five. Don’t forget to open the flue if you are building a fire. You know, that duct in your fireplace that opens or closes access to the chimney? Turns out, if you forget this tiny detail, all the smoke will filter unwanted into your house. Last year on a cold, windy winter day, a brilliant idea came into my head: I was going to build a magnificent fire and then watch TV snuggled up on a nearby couch. How wonderful, right? It was all fine and dandy until smoke started to fill up my living room and I neared suffocation. Luckily, I realized my mistake and opened the flue just in time, but to this day I am still haunted by my mistake.

Number six. Definitely don’t stay inside the house all weekend. The snow can be a pain in the butt, but it can also be super fun to venture outdoors in the winter to ski, sled, build forts, the whole shebang. Flash back to that string of consecutive snow days last year where I stayed in the house, in the same clothes, for four days straight. Besides finding the ultimate cozy spot on my couch, I accomplished almost nothing during those days and now look back on that time with major regret and dismay.

Well Bucky, I hope you all take these small pieces of advice and make the most of your snowy winter, one of the many benefits of living in wonderful New England. See you all next month when we discuss misadventures in love!

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