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Finding signs with a cold, dry mind

January 28, 2014 - Paul Giannamore
I don’t know about you, but this time every year is just dry for me. Not just about the dryness of the chilled air as it freezes the liquid in your eyes but about mental dryness, too.

I’m just not feeling it for these couple of weeks of cold weather.

I simply hate suiting up like I’m heading out top do repairs on the International Space Station just to walk out to the car and drive its heatless old hulk the 10 miles to work in the dark.

I hate that it gets dark before 6 p.m., though this month’s 5:30 p.m. is way better than last month’s 4:45 p.m.

I hate that there’s no sitting out on the back porch with my tablet computer and watching a movie until I’m darned good and ready to come in after being bitten by mosquitoes as it gets dark.

I hate my car, which I normally love. I cannot stand the thought that it’s at least 10 more weeks before I can crank open the sunroof, put on a ballcap and a Hawaiian shirt and crank up The Ventures while I go for a drive in the freshly waxed Enrico the Cruiser (channelling my inner Boyd Coddington).

I hate that it’s still two months or so until The Masters, the watching of which means it’s finally going to be warmer on a consistent basis.

Or at least raining a lot.

I hate the feeling that the intense cold is the one excuse that keeps me out of the gym. I can overcome headaches, hunger, time or the simple daily desire to just say “no” to a post-work workout. Any of those can be ignored and overcome. But, combine any of those with a wind chill factor that would make residents of Anchorage feel at home, and I cannot overcome the desire to go be a cocoon in my living room. I have the best of intentions, fully motivated, as I get up from my desk to leave work at the end of the day. But, somewhere in the process of putting on the six layers of sweaters, scarf, hat, coat and gloves, and then getting out into the mind-numbing, bone-freezing, eyeball-hardening wind on the short walk to the car, the desire to go anywhere else but home is overpowering.

I hate that I then get home to watch P.J. the Chiweenie waddle her low-slung belly into the icy back yard to do her thing, only to look up at me helplessly, then at the back door and realize her freezing little paws have to walk about 20 feet to go be warm again. It’s torture, I tell ‘ya, and I have to overcome the desire to let my little pal use my loafers as an indoor toilet.

I like the fact that my family asks me to make chili, one of my favorite things to cook for dinner regularly, or that The Boss (at Home) asks for my chicken soup. It’s the one thing I make that tastes exactly like my mom’s cooking. Perhaps a boiled chicken really cannot be screwed up, so long as one takes the foaming scum off the pre-boiling chicken water just like Mom used to. It also gives me a great excuse to use the nice new stock pot The Drummer (and The Future) gave me for Christmas.

And, thinking even more positively, despite the minus sign on the thermometers on my phone and in my car, the signs are turning toward spring.

First, there was an ad for The Masters during the AFC championship game on CBS, always a good sign.

Pitchers and catchers will be reporting very soon, in about 15 days, to the Bucs spring camp.

The Rolex 24 at Daytona was run over the weekend. The sound of racing engines always means spring is right around the corner.

So, groundhogs be damned, we’re going to get there soon.

And the mental dryness will go away with the advent of the seemingly endless spring rains.

This is, after all, still Eastern Ohio.


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