If you did anything before the sun rises, or even in the first couple hours after daylight broke earlier this week. Winter let you know it's knocking on the door of West Central Missouri.

The first sign I noticed was the ache from the cold in my hands as I walked our dog around the block. it's that throbbing pain in your hand that says I want some gloves. The second was the pronounced layer of frost on the grass. It was a little crunchy as JJ and I walked on it so he could do his business.

The next sign I heard before I saw, and it made my heart sink just a little bit. The sound of someone scraping the layer of frost off their car. There might have been two or three neighbors doing that as we walked around the block. That persistent scrape, scrape, scrape sound that's unmistakenly someone removing the frost from their windshield.

Arriving back at the driveway I had to touch the frost on my windshield. Yep, if I didn't want to sit there for a few minutes with the defroster on full blast, I was going to have to scrape the windshield.

Yup, winter announced it's here. Of course, if you left for work an hour later you completely missed all that. And at worst walked out to your car to find some beaded water on the windshield which could be flicked away with a click of your windshield wiper buttons.

Soon enough it'll be dark around 5:30 or before that. I'll be in my winter "uniform" of dockers and sweaters. And we'll be dealing with all kinds of sleet, freezing rain, ice, and snow. Still, I'm here to tell you winter in West Central Missouri is still better than winters in Chicago, or Iowa. At least, that's the case most years. It's still cold, but a little warmer than those places. And there's less snow. At least that's my perception.

My advice, enjoy the end of autumn. Enjoy the 60-degree temperatures this weekend. Take a walk. Stroll downtown. Take a drive with the windows rolled down and the sunroof open. Get a head start and get those Christmas lights up on your house while you can do it in jeans and a T-shirt.  Winter is coming.

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