Hump Day: Winter’s a total blast… if you like icy blasts

Hump DayHump Day
By Brian Cormier
Wednesday, Jan. 30, 2013
Moncton Times & Transcript
Editorial section

Where has January gone? Seems just like yesterday we were all sitting around making new year’s resolutions and trying to figure out how to ring in 2013!

I had a wonderful January, actually. Business was great – definitely back on track after many distractions in the first nine months of 2012. I was too busy to get the January blahs, I know that!

Earlier this week, on Monday, to be exact, I mentioned to someone that there was still some light in the sky at 6 p.m.! The days are getting longer, and it’s starting to show. I like that the days are getting longer. It makes the isolation of the cold and snow a lot easier to take.

And the cold? Wow! It hasn’t just been cold, it’s been C-O-L-D. I even saw Frosty the Snowman wearing a Snuggie the other day. Would you believe a penguin with a fur coat? How about an icicle wearing mittens? Now, that’s cold!

Last week during the worst night of the cold snap, my dog Milane turned into an acrobat while trying to do her ‘business’ outside. These days, she doesn’t stay out for long before she’s bounding up the front or back steps to enjoy the warmth of the sofa or her bed. But she’s still a dog and sometimes lingers around outside in the cold sniffing for far too long before she finds just the right spot. This, of course, means her paws get too cold before she finally decides to ‘powder her nose.’ I’m not even sure if that’s what the muchused euphemism for proper ladies using the bathroom means, but I’m pretty sure it does.

So, while she was ‘powdering her nose,’ her front paws stayed on the ground and one back paw came up in the air because it got too cold. I stood there watching in the bitter cold wind, not sure how such a little dog could stand it. And then she went into a full handstand (pawstand?) with her rear end completely in the air – while still trying to ‘powder her nose.’ It was funny and pitiful at the same time.

Needless to say, my white furry little Nadia Comaneci didn’t get a perfect 10 and ended up giving up her acrobatic feat since the laws of gravity weren’t in her favour. Since then, I’ve bought her some booties for the coldest days and will use them when needed. She wasn’t sure what to think of them when I put them on her after I bought them, but she adapted quite quickly. Let’s hope her handstand days are over!

The nice thing about the freezing weather is all that sun! That’s the trade-off in winter, eh? If it’s mild, it usually means it’s cloudy and we’re getting snow. If it’s nice and sunny and bright, it pretty much means it’s time to steal grandpa’s wooden leg right off him and throw it on the fire because it’s going to be a chilly one!

I keep the house at a bone-chilling temperature that would make most people reach for their parka, but even I’ve been cold in the past few weeks. I’ve found myself heading over to the thermostat more than once to crank up the heat. Some days, we just can’t stay warm no matter what we do!

And heaven help you if you fall asleep on the sofa while watching television without a blanket over you. You wake up freezing and pretty much need to crawl in a preheated oven alongside the roast that’s in there for supper and baste yourself until your tootsies are toasty once again.

I’ve never been one to travel, but I have to admit that even I’ve been looking at those cheap vacation websites, looking down at my credit card, and then looking back up at the screen and asking myself whether or not I should do it. Then I look back down at the credit card which has by now started shaking and crying mascara-stained tears and whispering, ‘Please God, no!’ Then, I come to my senses again. Within five minutes, I’d wonder what the heck I was doing down south anyway and would only end up staying inside and enjoying the air conditioning. No, I’d best spend my travel money – if I ever decide to start travelling – on something that has a more temperate climate. Tropical isn’t a word that describes my preferred vacation destination.

What’s nice about these long days of winter, though, is the artwork being made on the windows by Jack Frost. Some of it is quite spectacular, I must say! That little dude may be a bit on the strange side, but he sure can draw! The windows these days are great to photograph if you have a good camera. Icicles hanging off the eaves of the house can also be interesting photography subjects. I’ve photographed some really interesting icicle patterns hanging off the eave just outside my bedroom window.

I feel for those who have to work outside at this time of the year. It must be brutal! If it’s nice and sunny, then it’s bitterly cold. If it’s mild, then the snow is melting and a person gets soaking wet. And by mild, I mean slightly above zero, so it’s still cold.

And, needless to say, there’s all that snow. We’ve been pretty lucky this January, but we could still be in for a wallop from Mother Nature! Don’t let your guard down and start predicting an early spring just yet. Winter is what winter is . . . but take solace in the fact that it’s already late January and we’re starting to see some very early signs that spring is marching toward us slowly but surely!

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