WINTER IS HERE.
I had several outdoor activities today and I was not mentally prepared for the sudden gust of winter. The winds were like Elsa was taking very big, deep breaths. I think my face is wind chapped and in my middle years, I might have an actual allergy to the cold! This is a real thing--I saw a TLC show about it and then several of my Peloton moms discuss this! This allergy is called Urticaria and there are like 50 different complex types (which will take me a month to read about). Anyway, my hands had red welts and were itchy and it was really weird.
Surviving the Jersey winter is going to be rough! I thought I was hearty this time around--especially after a year socializing around fire pits (and definitely getting smoke inhalation a few times) due to the pandemic. Last winter, I learned I can hang outside in the winter and not be ice skating or skiing or in duress/on the run/experiencing homelessness. The fresh winter air is wonderful!
But, it is cold--so cold--and seems very sudden this year. Just the other day, I was outside in a t-shirt and sock-less. Now I am in three pairs of socks and won't see my arms until April! If you are like me, you might be in a state of slight despair (and shopping The North Face Black Friday sales--40%!). But, never fear, I've got you and I've also got five practical ways to stay warm in the Jersey Winter:
1. Hang with prepared people (teachers/coaches/people who pass background checks)
My father has told me to carefully choose my friends--and boy, am I glad I took his advice! Today at Nick's soccer tournament, we arrived without the necessary items. Luckily, Coach Dave had extra things and some other mother (who is also a teacher, maybe?) had an extra blanket. On Thanksgiving, we took along a high school principal's kid (he came with hand warmers!).
The lesson: people who work with children are always prepared! When the temperature drops, FIND THEM and take their hand warmers.
2. Make sure your coat is super waterproof.
Not all winter coats are truly waterproof. Some are just water repellent! Even if the forecast does not call for snow or sleet or freezing rain or rain that is freezing cold but not freezing like ice or just rain on a cold day, you need to wear a super waterproof jacket! I learned this today when I was at a Temple Football game (Go Owls!) and spilled my father-in-laws beers all over my person. I was so scared I'd be cold and wet for the rest of the game (and then die, obviously!), but luckily my coat was super waterproof and no beer touched my old lady skin!
3. Engage in vigorous activities.
My son kept warm today running round a soccer field. My mother in law and I found late afternoon warmth partaking in the whacking of the loofah! I grew loofahs--a type of Japanese gourd--in my garden. I forgot about them and then my husband harvested them! We spent hours on YouTube and discovered you get the loofah out of the loofah by whacking it against a hard surface until the skin cracks off and the pulp and seeds spray out. Then there are a whole bunch of other steps we did not get to. And I know you have no idea what I am talking about it. But you can google it.
Anyway, this is the whacking (and it kept us warm!):
4. Do not go outside.
The best way to stay warm is to never leave your house. I hear there is a NEW COVID variant, so maybe you can embrace your inner pandemic and self-impose a lockdown! Just order everything online and cover your windows with blankets until Spring.
Look, I know this is extreme, but my grandparents always left when the temperature dropped. They celebrate Thanksgiving and Christmas and the New Year and then I'd see them at Easter. They snowbird-ed out of Jersey and lived it up in Florida. It sounds great, right about now, as the winds howl and my cold allergy hives continue! However, I do have the commitment to finishing the loofah drying. . .so I guess I'll just stay inside until spring!