Column: Sick And Dog-tired of winter

Russ Kent

Galion Inquirer

I’ve always enjoyed the change in seasons.

It was hard for me to pick a favorite. I liked them all.

Growing up, I loved summer and fall, because I loved being outdoors. I also liked playing in the leaves. In high school I loved Friday night football games. I remember walking at Heise Park and relaxing with my girlfriend and doing a little cuddling in the leaves before the game.

Winter was fun, because we had a lot more snow back in the day. Sledding and unsuccessful attempts at ice-skating were almost a weekly pursuit.


Plus, my mom’s family had a house in Florida and a lot of Christmas holidays were spent in St. Cloud. There were lots of chances to get away from Ohio’s harsh winters. And on a drive to Florida in December, you often witnessed a little bit of all four seasons in that 2,400-mile trip down and back.

When spring rolled around each year, that meant more baseball … Little League and Babe Ruth and some summer league stuff. I didn’t play high school baseball, I was on the track team. And to this day, I think the coldest day I ever spent was at a spring track meet in Bellevue, Ohio. That concrete stadium, with the wind blowing in from Lake Erie, made for one cold, frigid memory.

Living in the same climate for 365 days each year has to be boring.

Or so I used to think.

Now, give me a nice house near some sand and a beach with a nice southerly breeze and I’d be happy 12 months out of the year.

As I get older, the changes of season do less and less for me.

I only wait for the spring because I want winter to be over. Summer means golf, which I enjoy, but often times, spring, summer and fall kind of meld into one long season.

And then winter cames along. It’s not like the winters of years ago — I mean fun. it’s just … well … irritating.

This year, even with winter less than a month old — I’ve already had my fill of it.

I’m tired of snow, I’m tired of not seeing grass, I’m tired of chilling in the cold while my pitbull Beatrix jumps and frolics and digs and snorts and plays in the fresh snow that I grow to detest more each day.

I want to enjoy her joy in that fluffy white stuff, but 60 seconds of enjoying her enjoyment is enough. I can stand there shivering in my winter coat, boots, hat and gloves for just so long.

This year, I got the flu, for the first time in probably 15-20 years. It’s the type of flu that doesn’t want to go away. It hit me the day after Christmas and now, 20 days later, it is still hanging on, as a lingering fever makes an appearance every few days and I wake up at night with the sweats.

Is there something called flu in Key West?

I wonder?

There probably is, but only because we snowbirds from the north bring it down there when we visit.

If we had a memorable storm in Ohio, that would make winter no less enjoyable, but it would make it more memorable.

Early forecasts last week were calling for such a storm. But as do most winter forecasts in Ohio, this storm’s forecast was the best part of it. Don’t get me wrong. The north central Ohio version of Winter Storm Hunter was still a big pain, but it was far from memorable, and that was kind of disappointing.

But I hear there is warmer weather on the horizon.

Next week’s forecast is calling for several days in the upper 30s and 40s. And Groundhog Day is just 2½ weeks away, which by the way, remains one of my favorite movies.

I think I’m suffering from SAD, Sick and Dog-tired.

Experts in the medical field call it something else, like Seasonal Affective Disorder … potatoes, patatoes.

But when it comes to cold weather, the arthritis in my hands, back and knees is a lot more pronounced … that get worse each year.

Like global warming, lots of people — and more than a few doctors — don’t really believe in SAD

But I found a list of symptons, and I have more than a few of them.

OK, I suffer from all.

  • Lethargy, lacking in energy, unable to carry out a normal routine;
  • Sleep problems, finding it hard to stay awake during the day, but having disturbed nights;
  • Loss of libido, not interested in physical contact;
  • Anxiety, inability to cope;
  • Social problems, irritability, not wanting to see people;
  • Depression, feelings of gloom and despondency for no apparent reason;
  • Craving for carbohydrates and sweet foods, leading to weight gain.

So maybe next week’s warmer weather will be good for my mental health.

If not, Spring is just 10 short weeks away.


Russ Kent is editor of the Galion Inquirer. Email him at