A week ago, I was in 80-degree weather in the California desert, and today I am looking out on piles of white snow and temperature in the teens. But to tell you the truth, I am happy to be back.
I know it’s a hot topic (no pun intended) in economic development circles about how many people have moved from New York to states like North Carolina, Florida, Texas and even good ole Cali. It was a topic of discussion at the conference I was attending and among colleagues.
What is the pull that people have when they decide to leave New York? Yeah, you can blame some of it on politics, taxes, availability of housing, jobs and even things like broadband and transportation but New York isn’t the only state dealing with these issues. While these things are part of the driver, I believe it also has a lot to do with the harshness of winter.
I was visiting a friend the other day and her house is on the edge of a hill that overlooks the valley. Throughout the year we enjoy beautiful views from her deck; sunrise, sunset, fall, and scenes that takes our breathe away. On this day the sun was high in the sky, and it was just a couple of days after the latest snowstorm; we couldn’t help but marvel at the gorgeous scene that lay before us. The trees and mountains glistened from the frost, ice and snow; it sparkled in the sunshine and looked like something in a movie or painting. Despite trying to take pictures, we just couldn’t capture the beauty of what we were seeing.
While I always appreciate visiting warmer climates (the beaches of the outer banks are my personal favorite), it would be extremely hard to give up the beauty of all four seasons and that includes winter.
Sure, it’s a pain to drive in snow and ice.
Yes, when the air hurts your face, you wonder why you do it.
But there is so much more to winter than minor inconveniences. There is real beauty and magic here and so many things we get the privilege of doing that you can’t do in other parts of the world.
Our youngest daughter was so excited about the recent winter storm. She made plans with a friend to go sleigh riding and they spent hours outside in the snow. It was great to see this teenager get excited about “playing” in the snow. Deep down we all become kids again at the sight of freshly fallen snow!
New York offers a variety unique winter experiences that those who enjoy colder travel here to enjoy.
For starters we have some of the best snowmobile trails anywhere. The amount of time, care and attention that snowmobile clubs put into the maintenance of their trails is mind blowing. My friend’s husband spends months before the winter season begins maintaining, checking, and fixing the trails. He does this so as soon as the snow falls, they can be used safely. This is a year around job for just a few months of enjoyment but that’s why our trails are so great.
Unfortunately, I am a bit of a klutz, so I have never tried to ski before. Probably a good idea as I don’t bounce like I used to. We have some amazing ski resorts and mountains in New York. I was surprised by how many ski resorts we have! And for those who may not enjoy (or feel safe) skiing, snow tubing is also a fun activity. While I could probably do safely, I am more of a “hang out in the lodge by the fire” kind of gal. Hot toddy anyone?
Here in New York state, we have thousands of acres of parks and land that are perfect for snowshoeing, hiking and even winter biking. Add to that ice fishing, ice skating, ice hockey, snowman building, snow fights, snow forts, winter bonfires and winter camping. Personally, I draw the line at camping in the cold, but I hear many people enjoy doing this. The list of winter-fun activities goes on and on. The point is you need snow and winter weather to enjoy them, and we have plenty of that.
I feel blessed to live in a place where I can enjoy four seasons, and honestly, I wouldn’t trade that for anything. Even living at the beach. Sure, I wouldn’t say no to an extra week at the beach, but I wouldn’t want to live there all year. I would miss the magic of spring, the warmth of summer, the beauty of fall and the renewed feeling you get after a winter’s snowfall.
The Italian in me can’t help but mention the food-factor of winter weather. As I write this, I have a very large pot of homemade chili on the stove, and I am about to go bake some homemade bread. When I think of colder weather, I automatically think about my favorite comfort foods like chili, soup, mac’n cheese and warm bread. There’s something great about coming in from the cold and enjoying food that warms your belly and your soul. Anyone else make chili this past weekend?
Anyway, if you are looking for some winter fun things to do, check out the “I Love New York” website as well as our own visitchenango.com site. If you are someone who headed south for warmer climates, be sure to visit us soon. You won’t want to miss out on the magic of winter and according to our friend, Phil, we only have six more weeks.
Be well (and warm),
The views and opinions expressed in this publication do not necessarily reflect the views and positions of any entity that this author represents.