Cold Mornings

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I like cold mornings better than hot ones. There is something depressing about heading out for a 6 am walk in the summer, and emerging into thick, humid air. The air sucks energy. It makes me feel sleepier, and makes a 2-1/2 mile walk seem like a bad idea. Cold mornings, on the other hand, are invigorating. There is a crispness in the air does does more to wake me up than caffeine ever could. The cold air keeps me moving at a good clip so that the 2-1/2 miles zips by in but the blink of an eye.

Cold mornings usually mean more color than hot mornings. In the fall, there are the leaves and fall colors abound. In the cold of winters, the muted colors of summer seem bright and clear in freezing air. Everything looks crisp, and if there is snow on the ground, even browns look bright against the white background. More clothing means more color as well. People wear bright vests, jackets, gloves, hats. The population becomes as riotous as the trees when the air gets colder.

Cold mornings smell good, too. There is the smell of burning wood, which can be seen in the trails of smoke emerging from fireplace after fireplace. There is the not unpleasant odor of decay as the fallen leaves give up their remaining nutrients to the wild. Cold mornings also sound better than hot ones. Cold mornings are often silent. Sounds may include the few remaining birds who are late on their migrations. Or the crackling and popping of wood in the fireplace. Hot morning mean listening to the drone of air conditioners, and the clatter of early morning lawn mowers, the mowing taking place early to avoid the heat of the sun.

On cold mornings, I like warm breakfasts: oatmeals, bacon and eggs, a toasted bagel. On hot mornings I often don’t want to eat. Ice cream sounds appealing but inappropriate for hot morning breakfasts. I’ve never been a coffee or tea drinker, but both seem wonderful on cold mornings, and terrible on hot ones.

Cold mornings mean layering on clothing to stay warm enough to be comfortable in the cold. I have different level of attire for different temperatures. When the mercury drops below 50 F, I wear pants instead of shorts. At 45 F, I’ll put a vest on with a sweatshirt, instead of just the sweatshirt alone. At 30 F, I’ll opt for wool coat. No matter how cold it is out, I always return to the house feeling too hot. On cold mornings, I can always remove layers to cool off once in the warmth of the house. On hot mornings, there are only so many layers to remove before I resort to cold showers to aid in cooling.

Cold mornings can’t be appreciated without living through hot mornings, just as spring can’t be truly appreciated without living through winter. This is one of the main reasons I left Los Angeles almost 20 years ago to return to the east coast. A cold morning in L.A. was temperatures in the 50s, which doesn’t even constitute pants weather for me today. Much to the amusement of Kelly, I wear shorts until the temperatures dip below 50 F.

I have only been to one place in the world where I found weather that I might happily enjoy all year round, and that was on the island off Kauai in Hawaii. And even there, I think I’d need at least an annual vacation of a few weeks just to enjoy cold mornings for a while.

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