Honey, it’s cold outside

by chuckofish

“Winter hung in there, like an invalid refusing to die. Day after grey day the ice stayed hard; the world remained unfriendly and cold.”*

I’ll say.  It was so cold earlier this week (-14 with wind chills down to -30) that after walking to work, son #2’s normally red beard had transformed into a hoary white.

slightly cross-eyed from taking a selfie

slightly cross-eyed from the selfie

Even the poor boy’s cheeks were ice-covered, but at least he was wearing a hat.

January, the bleak midwinter, is a hard season: house fires are common, driving is perilous, and people have heart-attacks shoveling snow. Maybe I’m just a cowardly old lady, but I find severe cold unsettling and kind of scary. If something unexpected happens — you fall and break your ankle or your car crashes — you may freeze to death before help arrives,

john03just like the mountain man with the broken legs in Jeremiah Johnson.

Still, if we spend all our time inside, we are apt to fall prey to cabin fever. Too much alone time can bring out the crazy in anyone (especially Johnny Depp).


If it isn’t one thing, it’s another. How do we get through the dark days of winter?

Keep busy. Aside from the obvious reading and movie-watching, try something new. Be creative:  knit; sew; paint; draw, or cook. Get organized: clean out your closets; plan summer projects; catch up with paperwork, or arrange your bookcases, family photos, and mementos. Use your brain: learn some exotic language like Gaelic or Mandarin; write letters to your favorite people; research your genealogy, or study some new topic that interests you.  Attend to your body: exercise (as if); give yourself ‘beauty treatments’; learn to meditate or pray. Actually, there’s no end of wonderful things to occupy your time until spring arrives.

I realize that none of those suggestions is in any way novel, but sometimes it’s good to be reminded of the possibilities. Whatever you do, do something.

*Neil Gaiman, Odd and the Frost Giants