The month is January. The temperatures are in the mid 60’s. It is supposed to be Winter but it feels more like late Spring. I am still trying to determine how safe it is to push the sweaters back to the end of my closet. I feel a little guilty in complaining. There have been some very beautiful days in the last few months, but my internal self says, it’s still January – it’s supposed to be cold, it’s supposed to be winter with the hope of snow in the back of my mind – at least until February.
I grew up where you had to “prepare” for Winter. It sometimes came earlier than you expected. My mother called it “winterizing” and usually took some planning and a few trips to the local store. It was one of those times you were again glad to be the girl in the house, leaving the dreaded chores of wrapping plumbing pipes, adding extra insulation and such to the males of the house. I imagine the chore of “holding the light” underneath the house for Dad brings back some literal “chilling” memories for my brother. I can tell you how much of a headache it was if you did not winterize before it snowed. Although I dodged the manual labor part of it, I assure you that having your water frozen for days was gruesome. Packing water to heat up for washing dishes and getting a bath was even more gruesome. I don’t miss these parts of mountain winters for sure.
The most worthwhile feeling was knowing that you remembered to “leave the water dripping” in the early morning. Our water may have been rusty, but we sure missed it when it was all frozen up and you were trying to get ready for school. You were also pretty appreciative that your Mother had made sure to take the chill off the bathroom with the space heater. It was waking up to a warm house, realizing that yes! your little brother DID remember to bank the fire before he went to bed. It was hearing Dad crank the car and being thankful that he remembered the anti-freeze. It was the little things in winter that were colossal in keeping you warm.
When the seasons seem to be a little off.. I think it makes me out of sync. I anticipate the changing of the seasons, only to be fooled by a 70 degree day. It’s just weird. I so much wanted to wrap up in a blanket every evening in January and just be “cozy” – since I am hot natured? Please! just give me my space.
It’s still too cold to be sitting on a NC beach somewhere, but not too cold to still see the classic sweat shirt and shorts here that I have come to understand. It’s not uncomfortable outside like our 110 heat index during summer, but it still doesn’t feel right. Several weeks ago, we had an actual cold front. Arctic air, I could finally smell my January. I anticipated my blanket wrapped evenings and fuzzy socks that have never been worn. I was ready to show off my “winterization” skills. I was ready to venture to the parts of my closet that actually contained winter coats. Within three days, we were back to 70 degrees and flip-flops.
I am still looking for January. I hope it doesn’t pass without at least a few chilly days, maybe even a snowflake or two..okay- maybe a few inches? I am dreaming big here for the South. Maybe we wish for seasons to change as usual, only because they are how we mark our time? our memories? The habit of being winterized is a hard one to break….Yes, I’m ready. Bring on January, as brief as it may be.