Winter on my mind

polar vortexSo, is everyone warm? Are you sipping hot cocoa laced with whiskey? Are you bundled up to your eyebrows? You did get your best, warmest knit cap—yes, that one, the one that makes you look like a demented elf—back out of the hall closet where you chucked it after the last polar vortex?

Believe me, I feel your pain. I feel your pain as I gaze out the living room window at my quiet neighborhood street, watching a girl in a powder-pink parka walk her French bulldog. The parka looks… um… ridiculous. Because this is California. We’re having a drought—Scott Pelley, the anchor on the CBS evening news actually said we were, so it must be true—and we’re in our 48th day of what we so fondly call “the rainy season” but there hasn’t been a drop of rain. The girl in the parka looks ridiculous because, though the calendar says it’s winter, it’s not cold.  Sure, it’s cool early in the morning, like it is right now, but no self-respecting world traveler—such as myself—could call it cold and hold her head up. Why, I remember (she adopts an old crone’s trembly-but-petulant voice) when it was so cold in Germany that ice formed on the cobblestones and stayed for a whole week! We had to dress in so many layers that it took ten minutes to get them all off! A cup of hot gluwein (spiced wine) cooled right down in mere minutes, so you had to drink it fast. Such a hardship! I remember my fingers would get so cold they went numb, and then it hurt like a you-know-what later, when I was back indoors and they started to warm back up.

And here, at this moment on a droughty California morning, a girl is walking in the bright, 61 degree F sunshine  and wearing a parka over her pedal-pushers. It’s enough to make a crone cry.

To all my friends suffering through 34 degrees below zero windchill and shoulder-level snow: my thoughts are with you. I’m worried about you. I know how painful your RA can get when it’s that brutally cold. So I’m mentally sending you visions of California sunshine and warmth and dry, clear streets without ice. I wish you shorts, sandals and sunglasses.

Please stay warm. Please stay safe.

And remember: this, too, shall pass.

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7 responses to “Winter on my mind

  1. “best, warmest knit cap—yes, that one, the one that makes you look like a demented elf”

    Love it! My daughter (the one attending college in Colorado) requested yesterday that I knit her a hat with earflaps. I’m headed to the post office now to ship her the hat I knit two months ago that nobody here will wear because they don’t like how it looks. Now that dd is facing below-zero temperatures, she’s decided that the hat doesn’t look that bad after all. :)

    And I can just picture a parka and 61°. Oh my!

  2. Hi, Socks! (girns) it’s good to hear from you!
    I’m glad your daughter changed her mind about the hat. Warmth trumps all! And a hat knitted by someone who loves you is warmest of all.
    I haven’t worn a coat once in the three years since I came “downhill” to care for Mom. Up in the mountains, I only wore one when it snowed. Life-long Californians get cold as soon as the temp drops below 75–and I’m not exaggerating about the parka. It’s … well. Wow. ;)

  3. Wren, that was great! My whole family is suffering on the east coast and they don’t want to hear about our 70 degree weather! I feel like it is Groundhog Day every time I hear a weather report. Another day of 68 degree weather and it will be the same all week. It is getting boring!

  4. Hi Wren, I was thinking it was cold out today, but while it is compared to California, it’s laughable compared to parts of America at the moment! I remember going to South Africa and seeing women in fur coats because it was ‘winter’ – about 65 degrees!

    What I want to know is, given this is California, was the poodle dyed to match the colour of the parka?

  5. All I know is I’m glad I don’t live up north any longer. Miami weather is more to my liking, even though we’ve had our share of chilly days. I worry about my daughter in NYC. Every day I check the weather and wish her warm!

  6. Thanks. It has been cold. Our winter started cold and affected my joints initially, but I think they have finally just gotten used to it. Stay warm yourself.

  7. So glad we live on the west coast where we’ve managed to avoid the extreme cold weather. At times like these I’m thankful for the calming influence, albiet cloudy/rainy influence, of the Pacific Ocean.