As noted myriad times before, I am a southern girl who thinks cold weather is defined as temperatures below 65 degrees F. I loathe the cold.
The crunch of the ground under my constricting boots.
The chilly winds that whip around with no care given to my hair or, more interestingly, my skirt.
The moments spent in agony during the dash outside to crank the car and/or remove ice from the windshield.
The fetal position assumed as a miserable, protective ball against an insufficiently warmed car or to avoid the nether regions of cold sheets.
The slick slip across ice of a certain already clumsy sistorian.
The aching, forgot-my-gloves hands.
The awkward, shivery dance done to ward off cruel temperatures while waiting outside.
I resist it as long as possible, but the time came, on Sunday night when I could resist no more.
I lay curled in bed, my feet little more than ice blocks, my nose feeling nipped by that damnable Jack Frost. I was so cold, so devoid of any modicum of real or artificial warmth that I could not sleep. It was time, part of me figured, to turn on the heater.
But the heater means warmth that dries out your nose and roughens your throat.
The heater means waking up in a restrictive jumble of bedclothes.
The heater means sweat on my neck and scalp and behind my knees.
The heater means "Good-bye, $96.11 electric bill!"
The heater is a poor substitute for autumn.
But I dragged my ice-blocks across the floor and switched it on. By the time I made it back to bed, I scented the ominous stench of heater-not-used-in-a-while. It smelled as if it were on fire. I was too peeved--and, well, too cold--to turn it off. Instead, I plotted how my son and I could land, relatively unscathed, should we have to escape fire through second floor windows.
Then, the smell subsided. And the warmth began. Glorious, defrost your feet, stretch your legs into the cold, dark regions of your sheets, lift your head from the cocoon of the comforter, warmth.
I sighed and slept.
And I remembered that nothing, not the hurried morning shower to wash away night sweat, not the half-assed flat-ironing of tangled, damp-at-the-roots hair, not the extra minute to toss Hall's honey-lemon drops into my bookbag and load sheets into the washer, lessens the satisfaction of smacking winter's creepy, icy fingers away from a newly-warmed body.