'Til the butter melts

Pursuing the cruising dream in 32' of sailing ketch

“Cold” – the A to Z Challenge

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I don’t like being cold any more.

There was a time when it didn’t bother me. Actually I think I enjoyed it, when I thought about it at all. We had bragging rights when I was a kid, because the farm I grew up on (Guilford New York, USA) was located in the throat of a valley that sloped to the southwest and held the cold air in our own little arctic pocket.  20 below (fahrenheit, mind you) was normal in January and February , 30 below wasn’t uncommon, and I clearly recall the fun, on Christmas morning of 1973, of stepping outside at 6:30am and heading for the barn, and discovering that my spit would freeze solid – with a soft, sharp “krick” sound – before it hit the snow. That was -37F, and a proud day indeed.

But I’m done with that.

I’m not quite sure what happened. As recently as 2003 I recall stepping outside on a morning of perhaps -10F, being hit with a gust of 30 mph wind that slammed the door behind me and drove icicles down my collar – and smiling at the fun…

Ok, so I’m a little older, and the joints aren’t quite as limber as they used to be, which the cold exacerbates. On the other hand the winters here in Maine aren’t nearly as cold as those I grew up with in New York.  Sorry native Mainers, you think winters are hard up here?  Maybe in the north country, but not here on the coast. It just ain’t that bad.

I suffered for years from what the experts call “Seasonal Affective Disorder, (SAD) but I didn’t know it and I didn’t know it had a name.  I just knew that December was hard, January was hell, and if I could just keep getting out of bed through February, I’d be ok.  Turns out SAD is a lot more about the lack of light than the cold, but for me, the two go hand-in-hand. It’s cold and dark up here in the winter and I don’t like it.

It’s possible I never would have made the connection if it weren’t for my wife. Bless her heart, last year she suggested we go to florida for a couple weeks in February – ostensibly to visit her parents, who’d just moved down there, but I suspect she may have had an ulterior motive: I think she might have wanted to get away from winter herself.

So we went, and enjoyed the warmth and the light, and for the first  time in close to 2 decades, I didn’t go through a period of winter depression. That’s when the lightbulb (ahem) went on. Who knew it would be that easy?

So when we decided to try cruising on a sailboat full time, it was pretty certain we’d elect to head the bow south for a while. You can have your cold and snow sports, thank you very much.

We’ll take the sun.

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Author: s/v sionna

Living the dream in 32'. We left Maine on August 18th, 2016, and have gradually worked our way south until we felt warm enough. We've paused in Boot Key Harbor, and are now exploring the Keys until we leave the boat and return to Maine for a summer of employment. Follow our blog here, and follow our progress in map form by joining www.Farkwar.com!

10 thoughts on ““Cold” – the A to Z Challenge

  1. My husband and I went through a similar experience (of discovering that the cold, gray winter of Indiana was causing him to go into a deep depression). The sun and light in general is so important to our overall health. Love the idea of sailing around on a sailboat. Good luck on getting ready for your travels. Found you on the A to Z Challenge! http://www.dianeweidenbenner.com

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    • Thanks Diane! Interesting how our outlook on climate and light and such seems to change as we mature, isn’t it? Now, to go take a peek at your blog!

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  2. I grew up with cold winters and used to love playing in the snow. Nowadays, I’d much rather look at pretty pictures of snow while I’m sitting someplace warm in my shorts and flip-flops. Of course, on the flipside, when it’s too hot, I complain. I need to find the perfect year-round climate 🙂

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  3. Not quite so cold here in Saratoga County, but New York has nothing on the winter my Accomplice and I spent in Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, at 7000 feet elevation. It didn’t help at all that I was newly pregnant, and too sick and tired and cold to do ANY of the cool winter things we’d wanted to do.

    We also lived a winter in the Everglades, so I know those extremes.

    Once our getting older kids (14 and almost 12) strike out independently, we’re thinking of Arizona, where we met. In the interim, a move to Oregon’s Willamette Valley, from which my Accpmplice hails, would be lovely.

    For now, our daughter has been sorely disappointed by the lack of her beloved snow this winrer, and is delighted to have a few inches of the white stuff in the yard today.

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  4. Yes to Oregon – my father is in that area, actually, very lovely country – and more wet than cold!

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  5. Yep I think I suffer from SAD also. Can’t stand the cold…. gotta have lots of sun. I’m here cruising sunny Thailand and loving it. MY hubby and I have decided we will not go back to South Australia to live because of the winter…. which is mild compared to your NY winter. 3 degrees celsius is a cold overnight temp and a cold day is 9c. But it is usually warmer than that. I love the predictability of the tropics!

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  6. I don’t do well with extreme heat. It just whips me into a sweaty ball. I’m not sure how I would react to extreme cold either. Winters are fairly mild here in VA where I live. I think the lowest it gets is around 0 to -10. for maybe a few days. Other than that, its the 20s. I would love to live in coastal Maine though. It has always been a passion of mine. SAD does affect me though. I have to keep widows open all year round just to get any sunlight that can possibly make it indoors. Hope this trip greatly improves your mood!

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