In the mornings, I pad around the house in thick wool socks. Shoes make my aching feet hurt all the more, the cold playing havoc with my arthritic joints. Flannel pants keep my legs warm long enough to make it to the living room couch where fleece blankets wait for me to wrap around my freezing extremities.
A thick hooded sweatshirt, the sleeves long enough to pull over my blue-tipped fingers, covers an oversized thermal shirt, tucked snuggly into my pajama pants. The hood is up, keeping my exposed ears from the sharp winter winds.
My family taunts me for my excessive bundling. My husband, dressed only in basketball shorts and a tee, reclines in his favorite chair in front of the television. No shoes, no socks, his only concession to the cold weather is a ball hat sitting cavalierly on his shorn head. I quail at his hearty constitution, wary that it doesn’t bode well for my hibernation comfort.
He asks if I turned off my heated mattress pad. The beloved electronic marvel a consolation for bowing to his demands to leave the ceiling fans running, circulating icy air through an already frigid domicile. I’m loathed to do so, knowing I’ll have to wait for my bed to warm up to a toasty degree later that night.
A shrill whistle alerts me that my hot cuppa is ready. I plead with my unaffected child to fetch me my heated mug, longing for the ambient warmth to thaw my numb hands.
It’s January, the dead of winter. Brilliant blue sky belie the falling temperatures. White, feathery cirrus clouds brimming with ice crystals, scud across the horizon, chilling me to the bone.
Needing yet another blanket, I shuffle my way back to my room. Still cocooned in fleece, I pass the dreaded thermostat in the hallway. Tapping on the casing, I notice the internal temperature. Turning to see if I’m being watched, I reset the code ~ 66° Fahrenheit is far too nippy for my blood. It’s almost that cold outside.
For Story Dam, an online writing community offering weekly and monthly writing prompts. This week’s theme is: Dead of winter
I live on the Gulf Coast of Northwest Florida. Winter here lasts, at most, six weeks. By mid-February the risk of ground frost is over and Spring planting begins. In the 15+ years I’ve lived here I’ve never seen it snow ~ it did hail one Christmas ~ and there is hardly ever a frost that lasts past sunup. I think it’s cold if the temperatures dip below 60º. When it comes to cold weather, I am a total wimp.
The photo, taken at a local beach, shows just how white the sand here really is. If you didn’t know better, it could easily be mistaken for snow.