A Midwinter Night’s Dreams About Longitude and Attitude

tree dupAs I sit here in Maryland on this freezing and snowy midwinter night, I understand why my brother liked Florida. He passed away in the spring, so this is the first winter he’s not in Florida, or anyplace else in this mortal world, which can be cold and mean.

If money were no object, I’d spend the winter months in Florida, summer in Maine, and spring and fall in Maryland.

But money IS an object. It’s a downright major impediment, to be honest.

Which is why I’m truly grateful to be living here in Maryland, with a mild climate (relatively) and a solid roof over my head. Right at the moment, it’s not quite as mild as usual. Baby, it’s COLD outside, and everything’s covered in fresh snow.

I understand it could be worse, much worse. I talked to relatives in Rhode Island earlier today. They’re caught near the center of this winter storm. Since they’re elderly (aunts and uncles), they might not be getting out much until spring. I have cousins in Rhode Island, too, but they can take care of themselves, plus go to the grocery store for the snowbound aunts and uncles. Somehow, things work out.

And relatives in Bangor, Maine! That’s farther north than Canada. The relatives in Maine are a younger generation, in fact TWO younger generations. First, nieces and nephews. Then, GRAND-nephews, four of them! They’re a hardy bunch, I think. They have to be.

If you travel from Washington, D.C. to anyplace north of Portland, Maine, you’ve entered a different universe. It’s peaceful and quiet. You can see the stars at night.

This night is among the coldest of nights across the northern states. And only a little bit less cold here in the Mid-Atlantic. It’s going to be a ferocious winter. We could use a little global warming, right about now.

If you have a dog, make sure the dog is inside, and the cats, too. This would be a good night to let the dog sleep on the bed. Two or three dogs would be even better. Try to stay warm.

— John Hayden

8 thoughts on “A Midwinter Night’s Dreams About Longitude and Attitude

  1. Sorry you’re up there freezing. Ya know, humans were designed for a tropical environment. Clothes and houses aren’t natural. That means that if you live somewhere that you can’t live outside, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, NAKED, then that environment is unsuitable for human habitation and should be abandoned immediately.


  2. Lovely piece. I too woke up this morning to thick blankets of white snow over everything. It’s certainly a great day to stay inside, elderly or no. Thank you so much for your substantive and helpful comment on my Medicare Part D post today. You were quite right: I made two glaring misstatements, which I have since corrected (giving you full credit, of course). I should stay away from discourse on public issues. Clearly not my metier! Keep warm. 🙂


    • Thank you. Far as minor writing errors go — I’ve edited some of the best newspaper reporters. Let me tell you, they all make mistakes. That’s why God invented copy editors. EVERYONE needs an editor, me most of all. You are as qualified as anyone else to write about public issues as anyone. The world needs more writers like you, who can and will tell it like it is.


  3. After highs of 0 degrees, we’re going to be enjoying a balmy 21 degrees here in Minnesota today. I’m tired of baking just so we can have the oven on! But not to worry, it will drop down to -20 over the next couple of nights. Time for some more muffins.


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