Winter has Returned…

Six degrees F this morning. I’m watching the sun rise slowly (everything moves more slowly in the cold). I invariably get sick when it first gets cold and here I am, following my personal tradition. Getting a cold when you have asthma is like overloading an exotic sundae. Too much of a good thing. So, I got up at 6, sucked on the albuterol (which I very seldom use), and shocked the dogs by letting them out in the dark.

Mindy stood at the back door looking bewildered.

I was driven by the thought of hot bitter coffee flowing down my esophagus, opening my chest.

Long, long ago in the sainted land of the Helvetians, which I have been privileged to visit many times, I had a family. How that came to be, and what the family was, isn’t important now. But one year I was given a genuine American WW II B3 bomber jacket. The father of the family — who was like a brother to me — sold furs. He was also afraid I would be cold in Switzerland, coming as I did from California.


Zürich, January 1997 on the Lindenhof

Not only was this jacket warm, it was companionable. Those were very hard times in my life, and I remember flying back to the US on a crowded jet after the Christmas season, cuddling my jacket and wishing I hadn’t had to come “home.”


In St. Gallen under the statue of St. Gall, the Irish patron Saint of Switzerland

Ultimately it stayed in Switzerland for a while (it’s colder there than in California and the jacket is fur, after all) then it moved to Italy with the mother of the family who was like a mother to me. Last year she died and her son — who’s like a son to me — brought it to Colorado for me.

I was so happy to have it.

The curly depths of its sheepskin hold my Swiss Christmases, the love shared between us all and its own intrinsic warmth. Perhaps that’s why it is so heavy.

If I had worn it to the parade Saturday, I might not be sick now. 😦

5 thoughts on “Winter has Returned…

  1. Winter hasn’t returned. Yet. They keep telling us “any minute,” but so far, nope. In the 50s or 60s by day, in the 40s at night and miserably damp. Yuck.

  2. What a wonderfully thoughtful caring gesture. To bring you the jacket. How delightful. We are getting colder but the skiff of snow back on the first of November hasn’t returned. The “Pineapple Express” moved in and warmed things up. Now it’s getting colder again. -9 C which means nothing to me. I have to do the calulations all the time growing up with degree not C. Still it’s colder.

  3. The office was all abuzz this afternoon. Weather radar predicts snow flurries for our area on Friday. Translate: We might see a flurry. singular. Any more than that and the city would have to shut down.

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