by Katie Drake
Are you a winter lover filling Facebook feeds asking all your friends for snow prayers like my friend Boomer, who lives and breathes for snow? Or are you that guy or gal who winces every time those little white flakes start to fall?
Like it or hate it. It’s winter folks. One of eight seasons in Upstate NY. That’s right, forget what you were taught… there are actually 8 seasons. At least I think so.
1: Winter Act I
Snow blowing and shoveling season. It’s cold. It’s snowy. You are behind the 8-ball if you haven’t yet put good tires on your car, bought a new snowblower yet, or ordered your new winter boots. Stop procrastinating… because now you are going to pay top dollar for your lack of preparation. It is pretty, everything is white and glistening. It’s also icy and slippery and if you are like me you start to walk like a penguin for the next 3 months.
2: Mud Season
If you have a pet or a kid that plays outside or if you leave your house at any time for this seemingly long season, then this should need no further explanation. It’s too cold for flowers, things are still brown and the snow turns to cold rain. (Note to self… this season isn’t all far away… maybe I should double down on the mop situation.)
Ah, Spring. Flowers bloom, things turn green, you remember what your neighbors look like because we are all outside not snow blowing or shoveling for the first time in what feels like a decade. You can finally have a 5-minute conversation without worrying about frostbite. People finally start those New Year’s exercise resolutions they have been talking about for months. Without those big winter coats, boots, and hats, we all look like we lost 20 of those winter pounds. (Note to Self: Maybe I should just not wear a coat at all, like, ever?)
4: Pothole/Construction Season
This is for those of you who work in Utica. It’s easy to miss the buds on the trees the warm breeze and the flowers when you focused on the road in front of you. Because if you have ever driven there during this season, you have probably hit one of those enormous unavoidable gaping holes so hard, your car has needed an alignment… or a tire. Both have happened to me more than once. It seems that all those men and women wearing the yellow construction hats find the most inconvenient parts of your commute to set up shop and hold traffic for 10 minutes while I often wonder what they are doing because I don’t visibly see any work being done. (Note to Self: Be extra thankful for the Little Falls DPW because this isn’t a problem here).
It’s here… SUMMER!! The smell of fresh-cut grass. Otherwise known in Little Falls as the beginning of Festival Season. Or tank top season, which, depending on where you go grocery shopping, is not always a pleasant thing. (Note to self: tank top season isn’t that far away… maybe you should consider that using the remote to flip through channels isn’t perhaps the best arm workout.) If you have a camp at Pine Lake or Pisceco, we won’t see you until Labor Day, so enjoy. We can do all the things we dream about each winter like fishing, hiking, boating, swimming all those things. Except it’s hot. Like, I’m sweating hot. It’s gross. I wish it was winter. I had forgotten what sunshine feels like.
The leaves turn beautiful colors and as you look at them you almost forget how much raking sucks. Somehow people become obsessed with Pumpkin Spice. I don’t get it, in my opinion, it’s a crappy flavor. But whatever, get out your scarves and your puffy vest, it’s time to go get some fun decorative gourds while you sip your pumpkin spice latté and soak up those last warm rays of the sun. It’s almost time to hibernate and quit salad for a while.
Everything is dead and brown. It’s cold. It is also hunting season. I don’t hunt for anything except good shoe bargains and let me tell you my aim is on point. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not that I don’t love to be in the woods, I do… but I would struggle to be quiet that long. I also think it’s weird to wear deer pee as a cologne. But hey – do you – hunter friends, tag a big one. (I think that’s the right thing to say.)
8: Winter, Act II
This season begins when the cold turns into snow, and finally, that dead brown grass in front of my house that looks nice for the first time since… well, by that time, I usually can’t remember when it last looked green, but all that raking is still fresh in my mind. (Note to self: Pray for a storm to safely take those damn trees down next summer.) Anyway, it’s now the holidays and we are busy with the hustle and bustle of all that is festive trying to find the perfect gifts and remembering how much even the snow haters secretly like a nice white Christmas, although most of you that I know would never dare say that out loud.
Katie Drake moved to Little Falls in 2003 and fell in love with this city. She has always had a passion for writing but doesn’t think of herself as a writer per se. The opportunity to tell some stories about the great people of Little Falls, share her personal perspectives, and some humor from time to time piqued her interest and here we are.
Just ask her, and she’ll tell you that after growing up in Millers Mills, population 25+ (according to the sign), Little Falls was just the right size. Katie is the oldest of her two brothers and five sisters.
In 2020 Katie and her best friend Chris began their greatest adventure yet, with the birth of their sweet and sassy son Nolan who makes them laugh every day
In her free time, Katie loves to snowmobile, golf, hike, and travel.
If you have feedback on one of her articles or an idea for a story, please feel free to reach out to Katie at KatherineDrakeLF@gmail.com, she would love to hear from you.