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.