What are you made of?
Whenever I come back to Vermont, I am reminded of what I am made of. Growing up in Vermont is not always a bed of roses. I had to milk cows after school when I was in high school. I dealt with my fair share of cow shit and walked a very long way to the bus, sometimes in the cold of winter. That kind of upbringing turns you into a certain kind of person.
Comparatively, living in Florida is a piece of cake. The weather is incredible, you can ride your bike all year, household utilities are really cheap and, unless you live way out in the country, there are few chores. Lawn maintenance is about it.
I have to say, though, that there is something satisfying about starting a fire in the woodstove. You have to go out into the cold to bring some wood in and then use just the right combination of newspaper, kindling and/or fatwood to get it going. But then it’s going! And it’s toasty. And you feel like a neanderthal because you made fire! (Cue the grunting and chest pounding.)
I was not expecting Mother Nature to endow us with snow just yet, but it’s here, and it’s cold! I am summoning my inner bad-ass in order to be OK with it. The snow I am fine with – it’s the cold that gets to me. But then again, it always has. I’ve never been able to tolerate the cold for long – even when I was growing up here.
As an outward “F U” to the weather, I wore something short for Halloween last night. I oscillated between being frozen and being numb, but I was mostly OK. I was thankful for the warm bar in front of which I chose to stand… I ducked in occasionally to defrost.
I imagine I will be fine living here – lots of people do it successfully each year!