Dead car batteries, frozen pipes, and high utility bills signal January weather in northern Colorado. The sunshine seems strained—never quite warming the skies. I bundle in hat, gloves, scarf, coat, and boots to walk to a nearby market. I do not hear the mail carrier approach since my ears are covered in layers—I startle at his sudden appearance.
Tiptoeing across frozen intersections, my eyes tearing from wind, I finally find shelter in the store. I walked one-half of a block. Wiping my eyeglasses free of fog, I scoot around the store to stock up on groceries, and under all the layers I begin to sweat.
The first blast of wind outside the door feels welcome and refreshing—the second sends me scurrying for home. I forgo walking on icy sidewalks and walk on the edge of a plowed street. Drivers glare at my lane use–grocery bags bulging against wide hips.
Through the gate, up the steps, and I am sweating again, as my gloved hand slips on the doorknob. I peel off layers and gulp some water. Why does winter feel like summer?