Sunday, February 5, 2017

Dressing for the Weather

Happy Super Bowl Sunday!  

Wind out of the north! Good to know!
I cannot even believe that we are this far into 2017 already. All of January is behind and February 5 has arrived. The good news is that the weather hasn’t been all that bad ‘round these parts. Sure, we’ve had a few cold snaps, but not a ton of snow. The temps haven’t been as cold as January, usually our coldest month, can sometimes be. We’ve actually had quite a few days in the teens and twenties – even as high as the 40’s! I know! It’s like a heat wave here when that happens! But we’ve had very few days with wind chills below zero or anything. So far, this winter has been fairly ‘do-able.’ 

That said, I’ve noticed that people around here, in this northern frozen tundra state of Wisconsin, do not dress properly, regardless of the forecast. Retailers (especially around Christmastime) sell us truckloads of mittens and scarves, snow pants, coats and boots… but do we WEAR them? Aaahhh! Now there’s the question. I’m afraid that the most honest answer I can give is, “Sometimes!” 

For example, on a recent 8-degree morning at 6:00 a.m., Todd zipped up his nice warm ski jacket, picked up his work paraphernalia, and headed for the front door.  

Do you have your hat and gloves?” I asked. “You said you have to go to a job walk-through today.” 

“Yes,” he said, “they’re in my truck.” 

You see? It’s the “in my truck” that worries me. He has the proper gear, he just doesn’t use the proper gear. He’s warm from his shoulders to his waist. Everything else freezes. 

But I’m afraid that he’s not alone in this sort of cold-weather folly. It’s rampant. I drove past a bus stop the other day, and there was a teenage kid standing in the 18-degree wind, wearing no more than a hoodie and a pair of SHORTS! Then there are those who actually pull on their gloves, and button their coats. Heck, they even flip up their collars! But because they don’t want to ‘mess up their hair,’ they’d rather face the day bare-headed and shivering - their teeth chattering away. But boy, ya gotta admit they look good! So that’s good! (wink) Okay, and I’ll be totally honest. There are many days that I brave the elements without my gloves, even though I carry them in my coat pockets! You may be asking why I do that…? My only response is probably because it’s easier. I. Don’t. Know! 

Earlier today I decided to get a bit of fresh air before hunkering down to watch the big game. I glanced out my front window to see if our flag was blowing in the breeze, and if it was, which direction I’d need to be most mindful of the wind The sun was shining, and the sky was bright blue, but here in this neck of the woods, those seemingly perfect conditions can be quite deceiving.  

I decided to get smart, and dress for the weather. I zipped up my lightest winter jacket. I pulled on my knit cap, and then pulled up my hood too, just to keep the cold wind off of my neck. I also pulled the gloves from my jacket pocket, and actually put them on my hands! (A novel idea, I know!)  

It was a wonderful winter walk! I wasn’t cold at all, not even when I turned the corner and headed into the wind.  I felt okay – better than okay. Hey! I may even walk again tomorrow! What an idea! Dress for winter and it’s actually manageable!  

Why oh why don’t we just use the items that are in our closets, or in our trucks, or in our pockets? Perhaps that’s a question we’ll answer another day.  

As for today, are ya ready for some football???  

Katie Kolberg Memmel is the author of two books: “Five Fingers, Ten Toes – A Mother’s Story of Raising a Child Born with a Limb Difference,” and “Silly Stories and Sentimental Stuff.” Both are available through Amazon as electronic and paperback versions. For more information, visit her website at 

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