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Cindy L. Freeman Blog, Surviving Winter – 1/22/19

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Cindy Freeman

I admit it. Icicles are pretty, sparkling in the sun with their varying shapes of elongated raindrops. We even use the plastic variety to decorate our houses for the holidays. Yes, icicles are pretty, but not hanging off the end of my nose.

I really tried to take my walk this morning. After bundling up in sweatpants, heavy knee socks, two shirts, vest, coat, hat, scarf, and leather gloves, I ventured out the front door only to be knocked backward by a vicious gust of wind. That gust had it in for me. I’m sure of it. But I pulled myself together and persevered, knowing the eighteen-degree temperature couldn’t possibly feel as frigid once I moved into the sunlight. Wrong!

As I rounded the corner, my eyes started to water, my bundled-up body was wracked with shivers, and my nose began to run. Quickly, the nasal drainage formed a snot-cicle and not a pretty one. With wind-burned face and frost-bitten toes, I did an about-face and headed back inside. Okay, maybe that was a bit of an exaggeration. Anyway, it had taken nearly twenty minutes to dress for the weather, and my walk lasted less than five minutes—not the aerobic event of champions.

The point is, I lived in the northeast for eighteen years, enduring its long, cold, dreary, snowy winters. When I moved to Virginia via North Carolina, I expected mild winters. And by “expected,” I mean ordered, decreed, demanded. Let’s just say it was a strong expectation.

During the thirty-four winters I’ve lived in Virginia, I’ve experienced some five major ice storms, hundreds of snow days, and enough freezing temperatures to store a year’s worth of whale blubber for an entire Inuit family. Oops! Am I exaggerating again? Don’t get me started on hurricanes, spring pollen, and sweltering summers.

The good thing about Virginia’s weather, though, is it only lasts a couple days. By Wednesday, the temperature might climb to the sixties. I’ll wait till then to take my walk. Cindy L. Freeman is the author of two award-winning short stories and three published novels: Unrevealed,The Dark Room and I Want to Go Home. Website:; Facebook page: Cindy Loomis Freeman. Her books are available from or

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