So, 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.