That time of year . . .
You want a prediction about the weather, you're asking the wrong Phil. I'll give you a winter prediction: It's gonna be cold, it's gonna be grey, and it's gonna last you for the rest of your life.
– Phil Connors, “Groundhog Day”
It’s that time of year again: the time when things get very, very cold. The outside temperature will actually be much colder come January or February, but this is actually the coldest time of the year inside my building, because they haven’t yet turned the heat on, and they won’t for another two or three or four weeks. (They don’t want to turn it on early in case we have an Indian summer and things heat up again.)
Even in Utah, I get cold easily – I usually have cold hands and feet from October to March – and the cold in Illinois is much more severe. Last year, I thought I would die. I remember days spent sitting in my room, trying to work on homework while shivering through four layers of clothing and a blanket.
I’ve learned a lot about dressing warmly in the last year. I’ve learned that wool, silk and down will keep me much warmer than cotton, acrylic and fleece. I’ve learned that wearing thick wool socks will raise my core temperature, and multiple layers will keep my fingers from going numb. Interestingly, last Christmas I wasn’t cold at all when I went to visit my parents; in learning how to survive an Illinois winter, I’m finally thriving in a Utah one. (And should I ever move to Minnesota, I’ll probably realize that Illinois winters aren’t that harsh.)
Mostly, I’m just hoping that what I’ve learned will get me through these next few weeks in a something more productive than last year’s cold-induced catatonia.