Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow

There have been plenty of years when it’s snowed here in Eastern Ontario before Halloween. But this isn’t one of them. The lawns are still freakishly green. Many trees still have their leaves. And while the mornings are chilly, there’s still a strangely balmy feel to the air.

The thing is…I’m uncomfortably warm. Unexpectedly flushed from time to time. Downright hot and sometimes sweaty. My readers who possess the XY variety of chromosomes may want to stop reading right here and that’s fine. But if you’re of the XX persuasion, you’ve either been down this road or will take it someday, so buck up and be strong.

I’ve been on this roller coaster ride of adolescence in reverse for the past 13 years, so one would think I’d be used to it by now. But it’s sneaky. It comes and it goes, the streaks of intensity still catching one by surprise. For most of the past decade or so, aside from the occasional mild hot flash, minor lapses of memory, generally regarding the most recent location of keys and sunglasses, and a new-found talent for sobbing over anything remotely sad or nostalgic, I feel I’ve been remarkably lucky. I have friends who have slept in the basement for years because it was too warm upstairs. I know women who can’t leave the house without being slathered with estrogen gel and normally happy, outgoing women who now refuse to leave the house.  When my symptoms began—in the late 1990s—I tried a few homeopathic-based treatments, the usual soy, black cohosh, B-12 combinations, but they didn’t work and made me nauseated in the process.  So I decided to tough it out. On the whole, it hasn’t really been all that bad. Freeing at times. And certainly not the horror show that magazines and talk shows make it out to be.

But this fall, I’ve been uncomfortably warm since there was no longer a need to use the air conditioning. I’m convinced that I’d feel a lot better if only it would get really cold outside and snow for about three days straight. I like winter, most of the time. I have six winter coats, one to fit each range of temperature, both my internal ones and weather’s, from a chic dressy double breasted winter white number to a full length down filled coat that makes me look like the Michelin tire man if he was in a mood to wear red with matching boots. I have eight pairs of snow boots, two or three ski-jackets and enough scarves, hats and mittens and gloves to open a boutique. I wouldn’t be surprised if there’s a framed photograph of me in the lobby of the Landsend headquarters.

The Christmas ornaments are already in the stores and there are turkey dinners on the magazine covers in the checkout line, so it’s almost time. I keep watching the sky and the Weather Channel’s long-term forecast, but there’s not a single flake in sight. But it will come eventually, and when it does, I’ll feel so much better. You can always put on more clothes to get warm. You can only take so much off to stay cool.

Besides, the first snowfall of the year always turns me into a five year old. I can spend hours watching it drift from the sky. On stormy nights, I love seeing the snow blink and twinkle as it drifts beneath the street lamps. I’ve been daydreaming of walking through a late afternoon flurry of big flakes, the sky dark and my cheeks rosy, little clouds of blue-white breath hanging in the air in front of me.

Frosty and chilly and marvelously cool.


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