…and here we are, five weeks into the winter of 2014 – 2015, with eight weeks (less a day) remaining.

One might argue that winter really began a month before the solstice, with an unexpected weeklong cold snap that brought single-digit overnight lows. That was the inflection point, when normal changed from autumnal (warm, with occasional cold) to wintry (cold, with occasional warmth).

It’s the sort of transition visible only in hindsight.

We’ve had a few storms. The last one dropped an inch or so of slush, that froze afterward into a treacherous glaze on sidewalks & secondary streets all over town. Perversely, the ice was worse where people had tried to clear the sidewalks.

The schools have taken two snow days – though it was subzero temperatures, not snow, that kept the kids home. A week later, it was just as cold, but school was on. Go figure.

I walk as much as I can, despite the weather. Putting 10,000 steps on the pedometer is relatively easy these days: more a question of opportunity and motivation than of stamina. The cold doesn’t bother me too much, though I wouldn’t turn up my nose a knee-length wool coat & a good scarf.

I’ve looked everywhere for a heavy wool greatcoat, but all I’ve found are costumes for military re-enacters and decades-old army surplus. (Some moth damage, the vendor confessed. Suitable for costume use.) Other styles – trenchcoats, topcoats, overcoats – seem mostly intended for twentysomething hipsters.

There’s nothing for an old man who’s tired of being cold.

So, until I find (and acquire!) the coat of my dreams, I layer up, minimize exposed skin, and think of spring: fifty-five days, and counting.