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Saturday, February 28, 2015

Down with Winter

As readers of this blog probably know, I am not a fan of winter and cold weather.

I have not liked cold weather since I was a kid growing up in the Chicago area. My long-term dislike of cold weather, however, does not keep me from visiting cold places for the right reasons. As a former Russian major in college, I jumped at the chance to visit Moscow several times on business. Nearly all of those trips were in January or February. More recently, I have journeyed to cold climates to search for wolves and the aurora borealis. I tried my hand at snowshoeing. I recently made another winter trip to Yellowstone, I went dog sledding, and I'm going back to Churchhill, Canada, later this year to watch polar bears up close. For the right reasons, I will put up with below-freezing and even below-zero temperatures.

Although I don't like being cold, I do enjoy some aspects of winter. I have taken some very pretty pictures of snow scenes. I like stew and chili and a hot bowl of soup. I like putting on a cozy sweatshirt, sweater or flannel shirt in the morning. My daily  cup of hot tea is especially welcome on cold mornings. But most of all, I love being snuggled in my warm bed between flannel sheets and covered with three or four blankets. I turn the thermostat down at night because I sleep better when the house is cool. This makes being in my warm bed even more enjoyable.

There is something so comforting about soft flannel pajamas, flannel sheets and a stack of warm blankets. Yes, it's chilly in the early morning when I get up and before the house warms up. No, there is nothing sexy about flannel. But I don't care.care. The important.

But make no mistake. I hate winter. I don't like snow, whether walking in it or shoveling it. I don't like cold. I don't like the short days and long nights of winter. I don't like the risk of falling on snow or ice. I hate wearing so many layers of clothes I can barely move. My knee-high, fleece-lined boots and long, down coat help keep me from freezing, but who wants to dress like that?

For me, the best part of winter is, always has been, and always will be, its end.