Today is the first day of snow. The thought of leaving the apartment and battling those sharp little flakes is really quite unbearable (hm … maybe I can miss that 1:00 lecture after all). Despite – or perhaps because of – growing up in some of the most extreme North American winter climates (e.g. northern Minnesota and Alaska), I cannot stand bitter, wintry iciness. And how is it that, with my intense loathing of all things winter – including fall season, dark days, dead foliage and disappearing animals, snow and ice, red, runny noses and numb fingers and toes, big fat constrictive coats, chronic goose bumps and thick, itchy socks – I have never lived south of the Great Lakes? Even while I write this, I have a space heater set on high aimed at my face, and I am swaddled in two big blankets, gulping hot tea. How will I ever survive another interminable Midwest winter? And what about the three following this one? Maybe, if I do survive the next few dreaded winters, I will finally pick up my frozen behind and head for someplace warm … perhaps southern California or New Mexico … My, that sounds nice. But, in the meantime, I’ll do what I can to stay out of the way of the snowflakes that will eventually bury this city in sheets of frigid white. Brr.