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Posted: February 4, 2014 5:11 p.m.

Surviving the winter season

I generally prefer winter to summer based on the theory that you can put more clothes on to get warm, but there is a limit to the clothes you can take off to get cool.

This holds true unless you go to the movies; movie theaters seem to be freezing no matter the season. Maybe the theater owners think you will buy more popcorn when you are cold.

But January of 2014 —- oh my! I live in a big barn, and I try to keep my thermostat set as low as possible. But when it is cloudy and gray outside, the temperature in the house seems that much colder. And when it is snowing, it gets even colder. That weather is good for nothing but getting under the covers and reading. It makes you understand why bears hibernate.

I think I downloaded two books during the snow.

I hope the city of Covington takes mercy on me when my utility bill comes due, because my furnace didn’t stop running. I am sure most of you reading this have the same thoughts.

I took to heart the warnings of the weather forecasters, and I did not drive during the snow. In fact, it was a little eerie to look out the window at various times during the day and see no traffic on what is usually busy Floyd Street.

I do admit to cabin fever and usually go outside to stand in the snow for about three minutes. Then I go back inside. About twice a day is enough for me. I’m too old for snowmen and snowballs. I know the children enjoy it.

But my cat was another thing. At least once an hour she went to the back door and stood wanting to go out. Not quietly, either. She howls and doesn’t stop until you pay attention to her. You can’t ignore her.

Either my husband or I would open the door for her. She would get to the top step, look around, see all that strange white stuff and high-tail it back into the house. Then she would repeat the same process an hour later. I guess since it was warm in the house, she could not get it through her head that it was cold and snow-covered outside. No short-term memory.

My husband believes he can drive in anything. (And he can; he rescued me once from Newton County High School when it was on Ram Drive. The snow then came too fast and too heavily and caught us all by surprise.) This time, he went for coffee the morning after the snow. He said there were people lined up to both order and receive food. Not many of the usual eateries were open, and those that were were very busy.

After the partial thaw and then refreeze, I took one of my three-minute trips outside. I noticed there were six- or seven-inch icicles hanging from the back patio roof.

It reminded me of my childhood. I lived in Massachusetts. I can remember my father getting a long pole and knocking down the icicles from the roof. When it started to thaw, they could be dangerous. I was constantly reminded not to walk under them. You didn’t want one of them to hit you on the head.

I have some mums in pots that I have kept for three years. I inspected them yesterday, and I don’t think they survived the cold. By now they usually have some green beginning to show around the old stalks. So far my rosemary is still living; I have lost rosemary to the cold before. My pansies don’t look any worse for the wear.

On the hopeful side, against all odds, my forsythia has buds. My Winter Daphne is about to bloom, and it smells so sweet. My daffodils are pushing up sprouts. One even has a bud that survived the cold.

I did notice that my weeds are as healthy as ever. Do you think if we tried to cultivate the weeds that they would die and the flowers would flourish?

Paula Travis is a retired Newton County School System teacher.

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