During the winter months it can get really cold in our part of the northland. How cold does it get, you ask? Well, let me tell you.
I’m talking about the kind of mind-numbing cold that would cause a polar bear to consider moving to a warmer climate. When I shove my poor little dog outside for 1 1/2 minutes in the morning, her eyes glaze over and she says, “Whoa, mama!” Her “dog duty” freezes solid before it hits the ground.
Our home heating bills would easily qualify for government bailout funds. We have two furnaces and two fireplaces in the house. If, or when, they should all freeze up and quit working, then, that would settle it...we’re moving. Hawaii is rather nice in the winter.
For several months of the year a typical dinner table setting must include a knife, fork, spoon...and ice pick. Eventually, the people here become accustomed to eating freeze dried oatmeal and stone-cold toast in the morning while wearing a full-face ski mask.
Thick fur lined caps with snug-fitting ear flaps are essential head gear for all. One would not dare to venture outside without the protection of sheep skin mittens and three pairs of warm socks.
I now understand why my mother’s Uncle Fred, who didn’t have an ounce of insulating fat on his body, would put on long johns in November and not take ‘em off until April. Fortunately, they were equipped with trap doors. I once heard a rumor that he was forced to sleep in the barn.
Newcomers to our frozen tundra learn very quickly that the best and most effective defense against our sub-zero temperatures is the warmth provided by adding extra layers of body fat. Most of the seasoned inhabitants here do that, and they know it’s simply a matter of survival.
While those from warmer temperature zones might freak out at the thought of intentionally adding a few grams of weight to their frames, Northlanders understand the insulating qualities gained from the extra poundage. In fact, a seasonal increase in body fat can be scheduled, it can be planned, and the “bulking up” experience can be enjoyable.
To maximize the process, it must begin no later than early October and continue through February. By following that time frame, all of the holidays with their rich, calorie laden foods can be effective tools to help achieve weight gain goals. The protective fat gain must reach a peak, or maximum, by mid-January to coincide with the coldest days of the winter.
A few words of caution are necessary at this point. It’s not advisable to “hold back” on the available foods to be enjoyed. To do so would be counter-productive. Also, refrain from exercise during those months. It’s well known that molecular motion slows as temperatures decrease. That applies to our bodies too. We must not mess with the laws of physics.
Finally, the most experienced northland residents will organize their closets by dividing them into several sections – each section labeled to identify the increase in clothing sizes appropriate for wearing at each stage of the annual “weight-gain-for-survival” ritual.
It’s mid-February, and the weather guy is predicting even more cold weather. Now...where did I put that extra box of candy?