I know what you're going to say..."It's only January...how can you have learned ANYTHING about winter in the Midwest?" Well, these are just initial observations. I'm sure as time goes on, there will be more lessons to be learned, however, here are five things that I've learned about Midwest winters...so far.

1. It's not cold until it's below 20 degrees.
If you describe the weather as "cold" to an Iowan and it's above 20, they will call you a derogatory name and throw snow down your pants.

2. It's not the cold, it's the wind.
In the swamp state of Louisiana, we tell people it's not so much the heat as it is the humidity that makes summers unbearable. Conversely, when it's winter here, the cold is only one problem. The wind will cut you into pieces if you aren't bundled in at least seven layers.

3. Snow stays around for a while.
When it does snow in Louisiana, it is on the ground for three or four days...TOPS! Here, you get it for weeks at a time just because the temp stays below freezing. That gives us plenty of time for sledding and snowman building. That is until...

4. It goes from "Winter Wonderland" to "Slushy Muddy Hellscape" in about three hours.
As soon as the temperature peeks above 32, the snow starts to melt. And there's a LOT of snow, thereby turning everyone's yard into a giant slush filled mudhole. And of course, that leads me to my final observation...

5. Own a car wash...retire early.
If you're in the car wash game, my road-salt-encrusted hat is off to you. There's a car wash in front of the Hy-Vee in Coralville close to where I live that NEVER STOPS! They have had cars wrapped around the building trying to get a scrub on for weeks now. Every time I pass by, I tell myself I'm in the wrong industry. Then I realize I don't want to be wet in 15 degrees...so I'll leave it up to them.