Saturday, December 14, 2019


I wasn't waving. I was shaking my fist at winter.

There aren't many songs written about winter. Maybe that's why Christmas tunes hold a place of honor for about twelve days each year. Humans like to pretend. Face it, nobody walks in a winter wonderland unless they're forced to, either because their car breaks down on an icy road or they own a dog. And trust me, the wonderland gets old after approximately one block. A one-horse open sleigh might be tolerable with plenty of blankets and a thermos of brandy. Even then, one will freeze one's nose off unless they've donned a knit mask that causes everyone to peg them as bank robbers with a not-well-thought-out means of escape.

If I hate winter so much, why do I live in Minnesota? Why does anyone live anywhere? They just do. Life happens. Either they grew up on the cold tundra or a job opportunity sounded too good to dismiss. "Well, the summers are nice," they mumble to themselves.

I've lived in a cold hemisphere for six-plus decades and it never gets any better. It, in fact, only gets worse. I used to laugh at winter ~ well, not exactly laugh, but rather flout it. I never wore boots or, God forbid, a hat. Gloves were stuffed inside my coat pockets just in case my car engine died and I had to hoof it. In Dakota where I grew up, it was a badge of honor to sneer at winter. We were tough! I once slipped on my ass and into a snow bank right outside my work entrance because I insisted on donning high heels. My only concern was whether there were any witnesses.

The local morning TV weather report makes me yearn to smash my screen with a claw hammer. "There's five inches of heavy wet snow out there so far, but the skiers will love it!" First of all, I don't know any skiers ~ no one does. And secondly, fuck the skiers. Get a job! You still gotta drive to your stupid ski slope, so good luck, buddy. I, on the other hand, only have to worry about the insignificant task of getting to work without being rammed into oblivion by a speeding pickup truck.

The other myth is, there is no cozying up by the fire. I don't own a fireplace, and if I did, it would be far too much effort to bundle up and skid down glazed roads to purchase tinder. I'll just sit my butt on the heat register.

It took many years, but I've finally surrendered to winter. This year I bought a pair of snow boots. They're awesome! What traction! Where have these babies been all my life? I am on board with hats ~ the more, the better. I love hats. A knitted scarf feels cozy tucked around my neck. For those minus twenty-degree wind chill days, I dig out my Cuddl Duds. Nobody knows I'm wearing these silky thermals, but they bathe my chapped skin in warm radiance. Tonight I clicked on my Amazon Prime site and ordered up a matching undershirt. I look like I weigh 200 pounds with all these accoutrements, but I WILL BE WARM, DAMMIT.

Yes, I surrender. I've decided to accept the things I cannot change.

But it really is cold outside.

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