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The Slice: As winter nears, time to put on game face

I’ve been trying to think of ways to make converts.

I get a bang out of winter, but realize not everyone shares my enthusiasm. So what can I say to turn a few haters around?

We’ll get to that. But first let’s face facts.

There are aspects of life during winter that are simply not wonderlandy.

Driving on glare ice? Not fun.

Slipping and falling on a frozen-glaze sidewalk? Bad news.

Shoveling your driveway? In a truly snowy winter, the novelty and invigorating charm tends to wear off.

The list goes on. I freely admit it. There are features of winter that are a pain, sometimes quite literally.

But I would urge you to not let that stuff define the season. Consider instead the life-affirming drama.

You know that box you have that’s full of gloves and mittens? And the scarves, hats, coats and boots crammed in that one closet?

Well, what other season requires you to wear a survival uniform?

But here’s the thing. You did survive. And, with any luck, you will again.

Even if you are properly attired, certainly not a given around here, truly biting cold can be a challenge. But what about how marvelous it feels to finally head back indoors and feel the warmth slowly envelop you?

Ever watched dogs euphorically romping in deep snow?

Ever stood outside on a still, frigid night and looked up at the stars while wood smoke beckoned you back inside your good home where someone’s hair smells like homemade cookies?

Ever helped a little kid build a snowman and then stood back to admire your work?

That list goes on and on, too.

Yes, there are TV news people in Spokane who will suggest that you should be afraid of winter. They are scared and weak.

But you’re not. You can be a proud Northerner who takes the seasons as they come and experiences in full measure what the weather has to offer.

Moments before the U.S. Olympic hockey team faced the Russians in 1980, coach Herb Brooks told his players that this was their night.

Well, this coming winter can be your season.

You aren’t a whiner. You aren’t a crybaby.

You are an Inlander Northwesterner. You live your life in four seasons. And when the toughest one looms just over the horizon, you smile and say “Let’s do this.”

Today’s Slice question: When do you start to experience wooden fingers and frozen toes?

Write The Slice at P.O. Box 2160, Spokane, WA 99210; call (509) 459-5470; email What do you stack?

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