Winter time to chill out March 9, 2013
It's nearly spring, and we begin thinking warm thoughts, if only in our minds. Even though it is March and spring is near, winter tends to continue to be in charge with its nippy temperatures and chilly winds.
I'm looking forward to the warmth of spring, but if the wind is blowing and the chill index is anywhere near freezing, I don't willingly venture outside unless the task has something to do with eating — like going to the grocery store. No warming up the car, long walks watching geese flying overhead or even standing in front of the open door of the freezer trying to come up with something different for the next meal. When it comes to lingering winter weather, I'm not interested in playing it cool.
It wasn't always so. There was a time when I loved the winter activities, the chill in the air that brought about rosy cheeks and an invigorated spirit. As a child, I built snowmen and laid in the snow, moving my arms and legs in an effort to make the perfect angel.
As a teenager, I went ice skating with friends on the lake across from the farm and kept warm by putting an old tire on a fire the guys had built. It wasn't until I looked in the mirror and discovered white eyes in a black face that I realized the tire hadn't been a good idea.
I tried downhill skiing in my 30s, but that didn't take the first time when I didn't want to get off the ski lift and heard the cruel comments by all the passengers on the seats behind me. Cross country went better until the leather strap on the ski pole had an unpleasant encounter with the thumb on the right hand. That thumb still talks to me today, often warning me about what can happen when one is getting too ambitious in chilling temperatures.
No longer can I find gloves warm enough to keep the tips of my fingers warm, or a neck scarf long enough to keep the wind off my neck, or socks bulky enough to keep my toes happy.
So spring may be listed on the calendar, but my mittens and woolen scarf are still close by.
Joyce Ore writes delightful stories about life with a dose of humor and sprinkle of nostalgia. Her column appears Saturday in the Tribune.