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Warmth in Winter

I must be mentally preparing for winter. That time of year, when I shower (warm or hot; that's one of my indulgences), I often become very aware that on the other side of a wall, a few feet away, it's cold. Obvious, but bundled with a very specific memory:

Christmas 1984, my first Christmas while living in Northern Virginia, going with the family to Washington, D.C.'s monumental core and visiting the White House Christmas Tree. Me, bundled, fumbling with a small, incredibly basic camera (basic by 1980s standards; it was a Kodak Disc Camera, like in this ad), taking blurry pictures of the big main tree, the dozens of trees from each state, and of course the White House and the Washington Monument spotlighted to the north and south.

That trip may have been the first time I was ever really, really cold.

I'd lived in Southern California from the time I'd started to have coherent memories* until summer 1982; I'd then lived in Virginia Beach, where it occasionally got cold enough to snow but it wasn't that cold; and certainly D.C. and Fairfax County, Northern Virginia aren't the Midwest; but it was my first taste of that sense of cold pick, pick, picking at you, poking at you and getting into you.

Which my mind reminds me of when I'm naked and dripping under a torrent of warm or hot water, because it's time to be careful not to be cold. Cold isn't far away. And I can't spend all day showering, so...be ready.

And be warm when you can.

"You're in a forest. With Heather Locklear. And you're very warm," Wayne says soothingly to Garth in Wayne's World...



* The earliest I can remember to is July 1976, at age 2 3/4. It took until I was 4 to start to have continuous memories.