If you live in New England, especially in New Hampshire, you can count on bitter cold in winter. Oh sure, we get a few days where the temps creep up into the 40s, but that’s not the usual around here. Freezing cold and winds make winter even colder, and we bundle up from head to toe when we have to go out.
First, it’s the uber warm socks (and sometimes we wear two or three or four pairs at a time.) Then long underwear to keep your legs and upper body warm, then you layer up until the only parts of your body not covered are your eyes and nose. All this is topped off with a warm hat that covers your ears as well; and mittens or gloves.
It takes quite a bit of time to get rigged up for the cold. When I was still living with my parents, I did a lot of skiing and downhill races. Now that meant double the amount of long underwear, warm clothes, hats and goggles as well. Brrrrr!
Even the outdoorsies that we feed and shelter get their own version of “cuddle duds”: cardboard boxes lined with blankets and cat mats (the kind that heat up when the cat settles down on it). When it’s really cold, I also tuck warmers underneath the mats; the kind that hunters and ice fishermen use to keep warm for hours. Also there is food and water as well; the water bowls are “barn bowls;” the kind you plug into an outlet so that the water doesn’t freeze.
It’s not that we New Englanders hate winter, it’s just that it’s so dang long. Before there was “light therapy” and happy pills to lift our moods in winter, people either got busy doing things or just moped through winter. Or they made more babies, and as you know that alone will keep you busy.
We are also known (by folks who live in the south, mainly) as gruff, hard to talk to, mean-spirited, and grumpy. Well, to those folks: YOU try living in what feels like an endless winter when your feet and hands are freezing. You have to, as my Mom would say, bundle up like a pig going to war. Even your snot freezes.
So, if you are from the south and happen to come up our way in the dead of winter, you too may become moody and gruff as well. You have been warned.