It has been crazy cold in my neck of the woods since the beginning of December. I am talking about face slapping, lung burning cold that freezes nasal cavities and petrifies bone marrow. And if cold temperatures weren’t bad enough, the wind has been a regular fixture on the weather scene, whipping recycle bins and small children around like pieces of fluff.
The only thing that makes these conditions worthwhile, in my opinion, is a pile of snow. Old Man Winter has been very stingy in this regard. The so-called snowstorms that have passed through the neighborhood have been pathetic, to say the least. Of the few inches of snow that fell to the frozen earth, most of it blew away before touching the ground. I’m overcome with disappointment.
I don’t particularly like being cold. And the older I get the less I like it. As you can guess, pumping gas today was an extreme test of endurance for me. The Arctic tundra conditions just about did me in. To take my mind off the fact that my watering eyes were freezing shut, I began making a list of those things that make the cold more bearable for me. By the time the gas tank was filled I had come up with a sizable list and had truly forgotten that I could no longer feel my face.
The list below contains my top five picks for chasing away the chill. Some of the items are indulgent luxuries. Others are simple pleasures. They are listed in no particular order (so no feelings are unintentionally trampled).
Top 5 Chill Chasers
1. Heated Car Seats. I could kiss the engineer or designer who dreamed up this little perk. When I start the engine, my body is almost instantly enveloped in warmth. The design is so effective that I often don’t need the regular heater. No hot, dry air blowing in my face and the bonus of a warm backside. What more could a chilly girl ask for? And yes, this falls in the luxury category. I do not apologize. I embrace it wholeheartedly.
2. Faux fur throw. Admittedly, this blanket is complete and total decadence. Again, no apology. I did not pay the ridiculous retail price for it. Because I purchased it for CHEAP, the indulgence feels all the sweeter. This blanket is soft and heavy, perfect for snuggling under while reading a book or watching TV. And because my hubby insists on keeping the temperature in the house at slightly above freezing, this throw is a necessary accouterment for survival in our family.
3. Hot chocolate. Hot, creamy drink of the gods. As much as I hate the cold, I do look forward to winter just so I drink this deliciousness. A tall hot chocolate with whipped cream from Starbucks chases the chill from body and soul. And I indulge regularly. Or at least I did, until my newly calorie-conscious soul mate informed me that 300 calories are packed into each cup of bliss. (No wonder I can’t seem to shake these last five pounds.) Now I no longer sip with abandon. I’m finding, however, that the restraint only makes the occasional cup all the more precious.
4. Scarves. I am not talking about the flimsy fashion wraps that everyone is wearing with everything – even in the heat of the summer. No. I mean the thick, wooly things created for the sole purpose of protecting neck and chest from the creeping fingers of Old Man Winter. Such a simple concept and yet so incredibly effective. I can easily go outside without a hat and maintain some degree of warmth. Send me out into the cold without a scarf and I feel naked.
5. My husband. I cannot say whether my husband falls into the category of luxury or simple pleasure. He’s probably a little of both. But he does something for me that, in my opinion, is beyond luxurious. On especially cold evenings, he jumps into bed a few minutes before me and warms up my side. I don’t know if he does this simply because he loves me or because he doesn’t want me to get into bed while wearing five layers of clothing. Whatever the reason, I appreciate the gesture AND the warm sheets. And then I get to enjoy the added bonus of a warm husband to snuggle up to all night. Snuggling is highly encouraged as long as I don’t touch him with my cold feet. That is strictly forbidden.
There it is. My personal top five chill chasers. It really is just the tip of the iceberg. I’m sure you have chill chasers of your own that I haven’t mentioned. Feel free to list some of your favorites. I’d love to hear how other people are weathering this deep freeze. And maybe, just maybe, we’ll get a good snowstorm out of this yet. In the mean time, make sure to indulge regularly in those activities that keep you warm, both inside and out.