Winter, The Season Of The Expanding Waistline, Is Upon Us

In nature, the seasons change seamlessly.

Temperatures rise or fall, light grows or fades, plants bloom or die, animals hibernate, unless they're moles, in which case they just burrow deeper into the ground where they wait out the cold in cozy dens while pouring over maps of neighborhood lawns and planning future destruction.

But I digress.

In our little worlds above ground, nature also requires us to adapt to the seasonal shift. This time of year, in New England, that means making the transition to winter.

Around the house this involves dealing with deck furniture, lawn equipment, screens, storms, firewood, furnace, leaves, snowblower, shovels, ice melt, and don't even get me started on the car in winter, about which I have come to realize two things:

They will never make a windshield wiper that can deal with wet snow without becoming ice encrusted and useless. And a car battery, if it is destined to fail, will always do so at the coldest, most inopportune time.

Inside the home, the changeover to winter is mostly about clothing. Bins and boxes of wools, fleece and down must be dragged out, and the cheery wear of warm weather retired for its long winter nap.

One benefit of this is that the breaking out of winter attire is like getting a whole new wardrobe. Unlike those poor people who live in boring places like Hawaii and have to wear the same clothes year around, we get to have a complete fashion makeover every seven months or so.

The other advantage is that the donning of bulky sweaters, along with the practice of dressing in layers, corresponds quite conveniently with the arrival of the eating season.

To review, the eating season begins at Halloween and then runs through Thanksgiving, Thanksgiving leftovers, holiday parties, Christmas, and New Years. It is then followed by a long, dark, depressing period of penance called January, which is mercifully interrupted by a total lapse of willpower called Super Bowl Sunday.

During the eating season people tend to gain on average 4 to 10 pounds along with a chin or two. Fortunately, most of us have an entire set of clothing options sized to deal with the expansion.

Just as in nature, there is a seasonal symmetry at work here.

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