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The Telegram
  • Julie Fay: 10 ways to survive the cold winter

  • The cozy season is approaching. In the spirit of giving thanks, I’d like to give a shout-out to my top 10 essentials for surviving until April.

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  • The cozy season is approaching. A fire in the hearth, a hot toddy and an electric blanket provide comfort when the temperature drops and the heat of summer is a faded memory. In the spirit of giving thanks, I’d like to give a shout-out to my top 10 essentials for surviving until April.
    10. Coffee. There’s nothing like the smell of fresh coffee to get me out of a cozy bed when it’s still dark. It’s hard to get excited about Jack Frost, but after a cup of joe, I can face his graffiti on my windshield. Coffee makes almost everything better.
    9. Wine. It softens rough edges on holiday-frazzled nerves and gives people courage to sing Christmas carols and “Auld Lang Syne.” It also takes care of making better whatever the coffee missed.
    8. Food. Now, I love food in general, but there’s something about colder-weather food that’s like a hug from a friend. Turkey, stuffing, pumpkin pie; Christmas cookies in a few short weeks; plum pudding for the Dickensians — it’s a tough time to diet (so why even try it?).
    7. Family. Sure, we all get a little stir-crazy in a blizzard, but for the rest of the season, it’s a chance to play board games in front of the fireplace or work on craft projects together. When the days start getting longer again, the kids will be outside, so I enjoy the time spent with each other in the midwinter evenings.
    6. Home. It needs some work, but our little house suits us just fine. Yes, we have to jimmy the door a bit, and there was that little issue with the mice a couple of years ago, but our hearts are here.
    5. Work. While I love being home, it is good to leave and go do something I care about, too. I’m fortunate to love my work, and when there are tough days, well, it’s all the sweeter to come back home.
    4. Polar fleece. How did I ever live without it? It’s soft, warm, fuzzy, easy to care for and acceptable attire most places I go. I could wear it every day (and sometimes do; don’t judge).
    3. The dog. This shaggy mop of love routinely tells off the squirrels on the bird feeder and alerts us to neighborhood dangers like UPS trucks. She loves to cuddle, which is nice, except she’s a smidge too big for my lap, and my polar fleece ends up coated with black fur.
    2. Hot showers. Next to coffee, there’s nothing better. Sometimes the only way I can force myself to turn off the water is to imagine Al Gore at the door with a PowerPoint of my contribution to global warming.
    Page 2 of 2 - 1. My husband. We’ve been married for 19 years, and he knows me better than anyone. Remarkably, he loves me anyway. Aside from his serial cold-feet sniper attacks, we get through the long, dark nights of winter just fine.
    Need help surviving the approaching winter? Take a hot shower, put on some polar fleece, pour yourself some coffee or wine and scratch the dog behind the ears. We’ll make it to spring together.
    Read more at juliefaysblog.wordpress.com.
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