In the fall, when the days become shorter and shorter, the temperatures start to head down and lake effect snow becomes part of the weather forecast, we think about the winter to come. Is it going to be an easy winter, or one of those that goes down in the record books for truly grim? Once it gets below say, 40 F or so, we feel chilled and go looking for the woolly bits that get us through the cold season. Very few actually remember to make sure that we have shovels (sometimes they wear out) or that other snow removal equipment is up and running. We save that for the first "real" snow of over 6 inches or so.
Once winter sets in for good, which was quite late this year, we hunker down and deal with it. You wouldn't dream of leaving the house without gloves, mittens, hat, scarf and boots. Even if you are driving somewhere, all those items are in the car, just in case. The snow brush/scraper is always within reach to unbury the car. Many well-prepared people add jumper cables, salt/gravel, chains, shovels to the trunk. Even if you don't need them yourself, you might need the stuff to help someone else.
There are long stretches, weeks even, where it snows every day. You may not see the sun for weeks. It's often very cloudy around here. There are storms; there is wind; it is cold. It is a daily struggle to get to work, to the store, to the mailbox.
Sooner or later, every winter, there comes a day that seems quite nice. The sun is shining, there isn't much wind, you find yourself wandering around with your coat unzipped, no hat, no mittens, no scarf, and the window part way down while driving around. You say to yourself, hey, it's really nice outside, even warm. Then you look at the thermometer and find that it is 20F (-7C). Today was that day.