Remember that old song that has a verse that goes, "The clouds get darker and the days grow colder?" Well here we are the second week of January.
I am lucky. I survived a month long of cold nights and chilly winds. I can't recall another colder winter. In December when the sun was bright but not one warm ray reached me, the only warmth available was by the fireside or under a quilt hugging a heating pad.
Dec. 21 came and brought winter with it. The fall seemed cold enough, but now there is the winter to face. Christmas came and went but the cold has not relented. The New Year's celebrations are over but the cold chills me even more to the bone. The winter chill is lingering like a bad cold.
Jean Paul Richter, a writer in the late 1700s, put it best. "As winter strips the leaves from around us, so that we may see the distant regions they formerly concealed, so old age takes away our enjoyments only to enlarge the prospect of the coming eternity."
Bhartrihari, a 5th century writer, wrote, "The cycle recurrence of sunset and dawn. Daily serves to measure life's decay. But burdened in his mundane tasks, Man does not grasp time's fugitive flight. Seeing old age, pain and death, he is not aroused to anxiety, drinks in delicious heady wine. The world is made in oblivion."
Some cold days I warm my soul sitting close to the log fire in the grate at a friend's house. Evenings I warm my heart by copious helpings of very old brandy. If I could become old Mr. Rip, I'd sleep to April- that would take care of the winter for me.
There are ways to get through the winter months without going into a full-blown hibernation.
Kathy Vandermark thinks the best was to survive winter is to prepare.
"First of all, prepare. Since the beginning of time, we have had four seasons. It is for certain, that winter will come. Put yourself in the right frame of mind for the season. Tell yourself that you are not going to be beaten. The biggest part of not liking winter is because it gets so cold," she wrote in her essay "Winter."
Winter takes a special kind of appreciation, and if you cannot find the best way to survive it will be a long winter. Believe me, I know. For those of you that enjoy winter and the winter sports, bundle up and have a blast, but what about those of you that do not like the bitter cold, there are three words of advice from Ms. Vandermark, "Tough it up."