When I was in my early 20s I became good friends with a guy who was born and raised in Chicago. It was through him that I learned that what really gets you in the winter isn’t the actual cold, it’s the windchill.
Of course I had little knowledge of what that meant. I was from LA, land of 60 degree and sunny January. My Chicagoan friend called it summer and summer light.
But in my fourth and coldest upstate New York winter, I know what windchill means. I know that I can’t just look at the highs and lows. I need to know what it’ll feel like. Do I need to cover up my face like a ninja? Will the pea coat do or do I need the full-length down coat?
Today I was thankful for that coat, a gift from my in-laws the first Christmas after we moved. And for heat in my home and job. And daycare that was open on a day when local schools were closed due to the cold.
It’ll be cold until April. I’m used to that aspect, but hopefully I won’t need to break out the long coat much in the next few months.