Back in 2009 when I lost nearly 60 pounds and went from being the typically overweight white guy approaching middle age, to a slimmer version of that guy, I’ve become “cold-blooded.” When I say, “cold-blooded,” I don’t mean in a Truman Capote, killer sort of way, either. I mean that when the weather turns cold—like it has in the last week—I’m always freezing.
I guess those 60 pounds of blubber helping me fend off the chill of winter in ways that being not quite svelte, but by no means a fatty, no provide me with that buffer. Last weekend’s falling back an hour and subsequent early snow was a premonition of what’s just around the bend. Thursday’s dampness and temperatures hovering all day in the low 40s forced me to face the inevitable—it’s time to break out the hat collection. For the next five months, I’ll be rocking a winter hat for most of my waking hours.
When I was a teenager and concerned about what the opposite sex thought of me, I didn’t like wearing hats. Mainly this was because it matted my dark locks. This, despite being told by old-timers that most of one’s body heat exits through the top of their head (this is not true, apparently, so go figure—I’d dispute the experts on this).
Now that I don’t have as much hair, and no longer care how I look donning headgear, it’s that time of the year for me—what I now call, “hat season.”
Like most things that I own, I’m just as likely to leave behind one of my hats, or misplace it, as to keep track of it. I’ve owned my share of hats that have disappeared, or subsequently walked off under their own power perhaps. These days, I’m not worried about being stylish or fancy. I rotate my series of fanboy knit hats I’ve picked up, with logos ranging across Boston’s various seasonal sporting favorites. One day, I’m donning the black Celtics’ hat pulled down low on my melon, warding off the chill. The next day, it’s either the Bruins or Red Sox logo affixed to my forehead.
Yesterday, I finally broke down and lit the wood stove. Once I start that first fire, my primary duty once I roll out of the sack every morning from November ‘til March becomes building a wood fire. After I get my fire box burning brightly, then I get to enjoy that first cup of coffee for the day.
I’ve pondered what it might be like to live in a sub-tropical paradise year-round instead of being marooned off in the northeastern hinterlands like I am. Life during the winter months feels like I’m functioning on half-power. How would it feel to experience warm sunshine and roam beaches that aren’t cursed with ocean water temperatures that drop into the 30s from November to April? Perhaps my fortunes will change and I’ll win the lottery and get to move closer to the equator—I guess I’d have to buy a ticket to win, right?
But alas, hats, log carriers, and snow shovels will be my constant companions for the next few months.