How to Do Winter

Monday, November 10, 2014


  1. Bundle up.
  2. Wear long underwear.
  3. Wear lots of layers.
  4. Buy good boots.
  5. Wear good socks.
  6. Hold a hot water bottle.
  7. Or a water bottle filled with hot water.
  8. Wear a hat.
  9. Wear woolen slippers.
  10. Go outside.
  11. Breathe in that chill air.
  12. Move -- do jumping jacks, go for a run, a walk, a very cold bike ride.
  13. Move -- closer to the equator. 
  14. Buy a good coat.
  15. And wind-proof gloves.
  16. Take vitamin D supplements.
  17. Do a session or two of tanning in a stand-up booth, to warm your chilled bones and the surface of your skin. There are worse things you could do.
  18. Use a good skin lotion.
  19. Use a shower oil (different from bath oil), like Eucerin, which smells repulsive--a small price to pay for magic.
  20. Rub a thin, thin layer of vitamin E oil onto your face before moisturizing at night. It may clog your pores, but it may also keep your skin from turning into a wintry flaky oily dry nightmare.
  21. Rub a thin layer of sweet almond oil onto your arms, legs, everywhere when your skin is still damp and warm from a shower. 
  22. Exfoliate your feet.
  23. Take hot Epsom salt baths, soaking soreness out of muscles and warmth back into your frigid soul.
  24. Exfoliate the rest of your body.
  25. Sleep under an eiderdown, or two. 
  26. Eat a hot breakfast.
  27. Eat red meat and root vegetables roasted in plenty of olive oil.
  28. Drink heavy cream in your coffee.
  29. Read all the books in a series.
  30. Start watching a TV series that's been on your list.
  31. Look forward to reading or watching at the end of the day.
  32. Listen to recorded books.
  33. Or podcasts.
  34. Listen while making something, while working on some project also on your list. 
  35. Watch the sunset, noticing its movement across the horizon, southward, and then, later, northward.
  36. Watch the sunrise. Notice it. 
  37. Let something go dormant.
  38. Invite people over.
  39. Invite someone out for coffee.
  40. Say yes to things.
  41. Say no to things.
  42. Stretch out.
  43. Pull in. 
  44. Rearrange.
  45. Put the piles in boxes, to be sorted in spring. Or never.
  46. Cut yourself slack.
  47. Take yourself to a movie.
  48. Drive with the windows down for as long as you can stand it.
  49. And then roll them up and relish the heat. 
  50. Remember that the ground will not always be frozen, and the heat of the sun will come again.




Photo: Sunrise on the Mississippi, late October, 2014, above Lock and Dam #16. 

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