Archive for the ‘Animals’ Category

I don’t love winter. I don’t love the fact that, at 4:30 pm, it’s already dark out.

I don’t love Christmas carols, holiday parties make me nervous, and I prefer summer sports.

Call me crazy, but I love the cold.

One of my favorite childhood memories is of the time the power went out during a family Chanukah party. (Fortunately, we already had a fire going in the fireplace.) We woke up the next morning to mounds of snow, and the electricity was out for three days. We slept in sleeping bags in front of the fire. My parents don’t speak fondly of that week, but I loved every bit of it.

Another favorite memory is from November of 2008. I was living near a tidal river in Maine and I decided that I wanted to get in one final swim before the season was over. So I dragged my roommate out of bed at  some ungodly hour of the morning and we  stood out on the docks in our swim suits. Our towels, and enormous sweaters, were piled up beside us. The tide was a bit low, and my friend and I were afraid we wouldn’t be able to pull ourselves up once we got in. We watched the sun rise and we dithered. Then finally we jumped.

The shocking cold, and the adrenaline that comes with it, was so incredible that we practically flew back out of the water. Then we went to eat pancakes.

We are a small but intimate group, those who love the cold. We are the people who sleep with our windows open year round. We live in extreme climates and we travel to colder ones. We go polar-bearing and we camp in the snow.

It’s been a balmy 50 degrees here all weekend. Like Louisa, I am bothered by the seasonal dissonance. I’m also ready for some good old-fashioned cold.

Are you?

Weather: 50 degrees and rainy


Hannah: 5 out of 10 on the “can’t get out of bed” to “jumping for joy” scale. She has a headache and it’s dark outside.

Anna: Wavering between a 6 and a 7. She had a productive day. But she over-steeped her tea.


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Every fall, the squirrels go crazy.

This year, I’ve noticed it while biking to work. They charge across the bike path without rhyme or reason, occasionally squeaking past my tires, other times hesitating in the middle of the road as I approach. It’s highly dangerous for both them and me.

I’m pretty sure it’s seasonal. Since childhood, I have been led to understand that squirrels and chipmunks get super-focused in their autumn search for nuts and berries and, as a result, they totally lose track of the rest of the world. Squirrel relationships are compromised. Roadside fatalities increase.

The same thing tends to happen to me. Each autumn I get really focused on new projects, often to the sacrifice of other things. I get this feeling that I have to get it all done before winter sets in and I start to burrow.

Of course, squirrel mythology tells me that although in the fall squirrels go crazy for acorns, when winter finally comes they forget where their caches are. All that hard work – the mad dashes across dangerous bikeways and careful stashing of valuable nourishment – goes to waste. So, in fall, I always get a little anxious. Is this year that I’m going to carry my projects through to spring, or am I going to slip into a winter stupor and abandon them in a tree trunk, again?

Tragically, the conflict has already begun. This weekend, I started to feel really overwhelmed by the new and super-exciting projects that I have taken on in the last month. Paint my bedroom! Bake bread! Make soup! Start a salon! Learn Russian!

It wouldn’t be the first time that I ended up living for a year in a half-painted bedroom. But this time, with my new-found seasonal awareness, I’m going to try a new tack. My resolution: to pick one or two projects now. And see if I can get them to survive the first snow.

The other lesson I’m taking from this? Until fall fever dies down, I’m being extra-careful when crossing the street.

Weather: A beautiful, sunny fifty-five degree day with light clouds and a gentle breeze. But brutally cold in the morning.


Hannah – 6 out of 10  on the “so miserable I can’t get out of bed” to “Jumping for Joy” scale. 4 points off for overcommitment anxiety.

Anna – 8 out of 10 and generally happy because of a perfect combination of feeling well-rested and well-caffeinated (and it’s a beautiful day).

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