Winter is (Coming) Here.

Elena Tucker
3 min readJan 14, 2024
Photo by Annie Spratt on Unsplash

I was watching the dark, heavy, slate-gray clouds beginning to boil over the view to the west of Denver, over the Rocky Mountains, when I felt that familiar prickling of happy tears. It was the return of euphoric joy, what I and about 2 to 3 percent of the population have when inclement weather rolls in — the opposite of Seasonal Affect Disorder (SAD) otherwise known as nSAD.

OK, full disclosure, I’ve only read one article that called it that particular thing, and I could never find this nSAD again, but I liked it so much, I’ve used it ever since. Can’t find the source of the term since.

This euphoria is my response to the weather prophets’ forecast for the next three days: today’s high is a mere 11 degrees Fahrenheit (which is coincidently about -11 degree Celsius), and tonight’s low of -6. Sunday’s high is 10 degrees, low of -2, Then Monday’s high is 2 degrees, low of -6 with a 70% chance of snow. Tuesday we’re going up to a balmy 31 degrees for the high (which is still wonderfully below the temperature water freezes). So, it makes sense that it looks like Canada’s frosty weather is moving in for a few days.

I know this is dangerous weather. I get it. But I am incapable of feeling anything but happiness in my dark, and cold cold heart. It is my biology. Like Jessica Rabbit, who is not bad, but is just drawn that way, it is just how I am made. (If you don’t get this last reference, you’re too young, but this will be remedied in time. Go and watch the movie “Who Framed Roger Rabbit?” and you’ll thank me later.)

I live in the wrong place for my temperament. I should be living at either the northeast or northwest coast of the United States, or in Minnesota (I how I do love Minneapolis), or maybe Buffalo, New York. Colorado, however, is known for its 300 plus days of sunshine. And, sometimes, this high desert state becomes so dry, it feels to me as if my soul shrivels to the size of a tiny raisin.

It also happens that I work this weekend. There I will be, in a Russian store that sells Russian books and a few tchotchkes, and mails packages to Ukraine and a few other countries (We used to mail packages to Russia, too, but not since the war. Up yours, Putin!). Think anyone will come when it’s this cold? Yeah, I don’t either, but then again, many of these folks have endured the winters of Moscow, St. Petersburg, and Minsk. I will make the store as warm as I deem fit, wear a turtleneck under a thick flannel shirt and heavy sweatpants, two pairs of socks (one thick, one thinner, but softer). I will bring the book I’m reading, and a thermos of sweet tea. And I’ll set an alarm for every hour, to get up and walk around, to stare out the large windows into the beautiful grayness outside and to shiver with joy.

This is my weather, and my happy place. These frigid days, with a dusting of crunchy snow beneath my feet, complete me. No rolling around on the beach for me, getting carcinogenic tans, no worshipping the sun. This feels the same inside of me as outside of me. Psychoanalyze at your own risk.

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Elena Tucker

Writer and storyteller, immigrant, wife, mom, knitter, collector of jokes, lover of cheap, sweet wine.