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Thursday, February 21, 2013

On being cold

Hey, how's it going?  Me?  I'm freezing.  

I've been this way for about four months.  It's great (this is 100% sarcasm).  Winter in the north is quite the experience.  Now, I'm not going to try to compete for the complaining of snowfall because I'm not in Minnesota or northern Wisconsin - the snow is just fine - continually snowing and continually melting and continually everlastingly forever grey in the sky type of fine, but the snow (although it is sometimes heavy to shovel) is just a symptom of the real problem: the freezing cold.

Inside, yes, I've got heat.  It's about 71 degrees in here (but it feels like 40 somehow).  But outside, it's a different story.

The trees are branchy, pokey, crunchy, leafless statues against the greyish white sky - except for the evergreens, who just seem to stand still in their long coats of dark olive green.

The snowflakes fly upwards, downwards, sideways and in circles like confused mosquitoes, landing and covering the closest victims.

The wind blows sharply and cuts through your clothes and coats, burning your face or anything that is unlucky enough to be exposed.

Winter has arrived and comes to stay for about five months (November - March plus crazy days in October and April).  

Are you freezing too?  Well, here are some tips for you as you suffer through it for a few more months:

1.  Sometimes, after drying the clothes in the dryer, as I'm kneeling down and pulling clean, warm clothes out, I picture myself climbing into the dryer and having a very cramped, but personal, sauna.  Instead of actually climbing all the way in, you can just stick the top half of your body in and throw hot clothes over the top of your head.  Note: try not to fall asleep.

2.  Besides wearing your shirt, sweater, long pants and tall warm socks, add a few layers - leg warmers, snow boots inside the house and perhaps your down coat or a scarf.  

3.  Drink your water boiling hot throughout the day.

4.  Bake anything that comes to mind so after you are finished, you can hover over the slightly opened  oven door and have your hair blow upwards on a hot draft.

5.  Similarly, as you are cooking on the stove (boiling water, etc.), hover frozen hands and face over the steam.  (Bonus: facial.)

6.  Since you cannot fall asleep when you are cold to your bones, prepare for bed by taking a hot shower, then immediately coming out and wearing long socks, flannel pants, a long sleeved shirt and a sweatshirt.  Wrap in a robe to avoid freezing as you make your way over to your bed.  As you climb in, stick your ice feet in the cracks of the back of the knees of your beloved to warm them up.  (It works better if they're already asleep because they won't pull away in death shock.)

7.  Always volunteer to hand-wash the dishes - it's a chance to get your hands into steaming water at least three times a day for an extended period of time.

8.  If all of these fail, take a moment to daydream of spring - the most glorious feeling in all the world (besides laying on the cement of your driveway at 3:00 p.m. in the middle of the summer when it is 100 degrees F/ 37.77 C) as it signifies the death of deathcold and winter's half-year reign.  Imagine the ground not being a solid chiseled diamond-hard mass anymore and it smelling of spring rain, puddles and the color green comes back to the world.  Imagine the feeling of being able to go outside without a full-length goose down coat, boots, gloves, a hat, scarf and double insulated stainless steel mugs of hot drink.

Do not, however, attempt to steal your gym's sauna heater even though you think it would be perfect in your living room.  Do not climb into a boiling pot of soup.  These things, although they seem like a perfectly reasonable idea while you are frozen will only bring you negative consequences and pain.  Do not, under any circumstance, climb into your oven while it is on.  

I hope this has been helpful to you.  I've got to let you go now, I've got some laundry and baking to do.

Peace, love and great news: today's high is 24 F/ -4.4 C,
Ms. Daisy

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