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This one was written on 20 January, The Eve of St. Agnes Day, traditionally the coldest night of the year. Spo

It’s January and it’s dark and cold outside* – inside too, or so it seems. I’m turning into my father (again) that he feels always cold. It’s worse at night time; I am dragging the portable heater about me like Jacob Marley’s ghost. We have atypical size mattress, something we got when The Good Neighbor moved away. Compared to the queen bed we used to have it feels vast. The bedsheets don’t fit and (worse) don’t match, so we put down layers, which includes flannel sheets pulled out of storage at this time of year. On top of the flannel sheets are a few light cotton blankets given the bed a lasagna-like look, and a colorful one at that. Martha Stewart would be appalled but it works. Despite these endeavors, it is not uncommon for Urs Truly to retire to bed wrapped burrito-style in a large white terry-cloth bathrobe.** By morning I’ve generated enough body heat to throw off the top layers (and the bathrobe) but I still wake chilled and looking for that portable heater.

Harper is of no help here. One would think she would be cold as well, as she’s a thin dog with short hair. She would make a fine hot water bottle. No such luck. She feels her place is at the other end, which in the master bed feels miles away. Sometimes Someone in bed (he sleeps on the starboard side) he will get her to come up to his side and cuddle with him. She does this with a pained look of obligation, and when he falls asleep (which he does quickly) she gets out from underneath the covers and goes back to her proper spot at the foot of the bed. It’s a dog’s life.

The rooms in a typical Arizona house are designed with high ceilings to allow heat to rise and the AC air to stay down. The homes radiate heat at an enormous clip. This works well for most of the year until Jan-Feb comes along when you wish it were the other way around. In theory the ceiling fans can be reversed to send the high air down, but this only makes things colder in my experience.

Perhaps it is my Nordic blood, or the fact I am nearly sixty years old that all I want to do nowadays is sleep. After supper we both wonder if it isn’t too early to retire even though it is only seven o’clock. It feels like midnight. There’s work to be done, but in the dark cold January nights what feels right is to forgo all to insert oneself under the multi-layered covers and snooze without dreams or care, waking up in March if possible, to a brighter and warmer time.

*Cold is a relative term of course. The lows are about 5-10C, which by Arizona standards is positively Arctic. Spo-fans in colder climes may roll their collective eyes at this I know.

**The Board of Directors Here at Spo-reflections, looking over this entry, wants to know why the similes to foodstuffs; they asked after I explained to them what is a lasagna and a burrito. I wrote this entry when I was hungry as well as cold, and a hot entrée sounded scrumptious, especially as fruit and nasty chips are off the menu.

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