Keep calm and stay warm


The forecast is calling for sub-zero temperatures again tonight and tomorrow. Our house is perpetually cold. I wander around from room to room dragging our portable space heater with me, bundled up from head-to-toe in sweatpants, a sweatshirt, socks, slippers and a bathrobe. I can never get comfortable.

This chick is NOT built for winter.

And yet, a certain reality has hit me really hard this season: Our community has a sizable homeless population and I am heartbroken for folks who have absolutely nowhere to go, no shelter to protect them from these frigid temperatures. It's dangerous, it's scary and it makes one exceedingly grateful for the roof over her head and the furnace that keeps her warm (maybe not WARM, per say, but a furnace that definitely produces enough heat to keep her alive).

These thoughts have been weighing very heavily on my heart and this year I've felt a strong conviction that I don't do enough for other people. Sure, I've done some volunteer work in the past (some this past Monday to be exact), but 99% of those volunteer hours were mandated from a higher authority and not completely of my own accord. The only community service I've been moved to do on my own was when I volunteered as a dog-walker at the animal shelter while in college and let's be honest, I just wanted to play with dogs.

We're back to normal hour-long lunches at work and today I took the opportunity to go home and eat lunch with Joey while watching a few episodes of last night's DVR'd television. When I pulled onto our street, I noticed a UPS delivery man running frantically to and from his truck, doing his best to shorten the amount of time he had to spend in the freezing air. Despite wearing gloves, when I got back to my office after walking across the campus parking lot, my hands were bright red and tingly from the bitter cold.

I shivered in my office for several moments after hanging up my coat, but then I wrapped my hands around a warm mug of freshly brewed coffee and continued my day, working a good job that allows me to pay for luxuries like gloves and a furnace.

Most people would consider items like gloves and heat necessitiesnot luxuriesbut so many people go without both (and even less in general) and that has a way of putting life's blessings into perspective.

Stay warm and be safe,

(And since I can never take myself or this blog too seriously, I need to mention that when I did an image search for the above cup of coffee, I googled "a warm cup of ..." and Google filled in the rest, thinking I was searching for "You can trouble me for a warm glass of SHUT THE HELL UP.")

Check out the name tag. You're in my world now, Grandma.


  1. I count my blessings of a warm home, food on my table, and warm clothes every day. I'm like you - NOT built for winter. I'm dragging blankets around like Linus, and curling up in front of my space heater, even though the warning label tells me not to put anything close to it. We're not as cold here in Philly as you are in the midwest, but we're pretty close! Today's wind chill was 0. Last night and yesterday it was -15. We're just not built for this kind of cold here on the east coast. And don't get me started on the snow. We're up to our eyeballs in it, and it's not even February.

    Now it's time for me to make a piping hot mug of decaf, and go back down in front of that space heater...until it's time to be under my flannel sheets, electric blanket, and quilt.

    Stay warm!!!!

    1. "I'm dragging blankets around like Linus" --- LOVE IT! That would be such a hardcore rap lyric.

      Sounds like Philly's pretty darn close to our temperatures! It was 0 here today and I refuse to go outside right now and see how cold it is this evening.

      Keep counting those blessings and enjoy your layers of blankets! :)


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