How’re Y’all Doin’?

Punxsutawney Phil may have seen his shadow last week, predicting six more weeks of winter (of course, technically, there are always about six more weeks of winter after Ground Hog Day). But Al and I took a break from freezing cold at home and headed south Wednesday night, landing in New Orleans for a long weekend. On Thursday, we were walking around without coats. Even when the weather dipped into the mid-50s, it was still welcome, compared to Massachusetts.

I’d been imagining this trip for several years as I worked on the first draft of my novel. Now that I’m starting revisions, I need to know more about my protagonist, who immigrates from France to New Orleans as a child in the 1870s. So the plan was to mix research and fun, to escape winter’s frigid clutches and celebrate my healed hands. And celebrate, we did.

NOLA is known for its incredible cuisine and did not disappoint. The jazz was great, the art provocative, the neighborhoods intriguing. Most people we met were welcoming and went out of their way to be helpful. Strangers looked us in the eyes and greeted us with a friendly “How’re y’all doin’?” as they passed us by. We caught Mardi Gras beads flung from parade floats (celebrations fill the month leading up to Fat Tuesday), noodled around stores and art galleries, walked and walked and walked. Our Lyft drivers told us about life in their home town and their experiences during and recovering from Katrina. On Sunday morning before we left, we strolled along the banks of the mighty Mississippi in Crescent Park and watched a sky blue freighter steam slowly past.

My research included an immersion in selected materials at the Historic New Orleans Collection, a walk through the Hebrew Rest Cemetery, a look at the city’s oldest hospital, rambles through the Garden District and Faubourg Marigny neighborhood to photograph the many and varied styles of housing. I thought about light and heat and immigrants and masks.

Saturday evening, we discovered a vintage costume shop, filled with bling. As Al shopped for the loudest tie he could find for Purim (a Jewish holiday with its own carnival vibe), I scanned the racks and discovered a beautiful beaded overblouse. I tried it on. Lovely. But when would I ever wear it? I left it on the rack, and we went to dinner across the street.

Good as the meal was—outstanding Middle Eastern food—I wondered. Why not? If the store was still open when we finished, I said to Al, I’d like to go back. As we walked up to the door, the owner and her clerks were about to lock up. But she welcomed me inside. “You need to make your own festivities,” she said as she wrapped the overblouse in white tissue paper and placed it in a purple plastic bag.

Even with the freezing temperatures here, I’m glad to be home. We packed a week’s worth of touring into three-and-a-half days, I was fighting a cold, and I’m tired. But it was well worth every minute. My hands held up. No infections. Many sights and ideas to mull. Make your own festivities, indeed.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at

Ain’t That a Groove


Our three Hanukkah candles have burned down for the night. As I write, a pot of lentil soup is simmering on the stove, and James Brown is singing Ain’t That a Groove on our local public radio station.

Do you love me, yes I love you
Do you love me baby, yes I love you

Six days ago, once again, we in the Northern Hemisphere passed through the longest night of the year. Fat, fluffy squirrels chase each other up and down our maple tree. They seem quite hardy, despite the fact that I took down the bird feeder a couple of weeks ago with intent to rig it so they couldn’t keep stealing bird seed by the pawful. Awful. Poor birds. I need to take care of it, as the temperatures drop.

Do you love me, yes I love you, do you
I just gotta, gotta know

Last week I read an analysis of climate patterns that explained how unusually high temperatures in the Arctic are forcing the Jet Stream farther south, trapping colder air over Siberia and sending it our way. We’re in for a bitter winter here in New England. But Al and I are traveling south for New Year’s, escaping chilly air and fog-iced roads for a long, warm, relaxing weekend and a friend’s son’s wedding. Not long enough for all my digital ulcers to heal, but a welcome pause before diving into January.

Hey, ain’t that a groove
Ain’t that a groove let me count

2016 was such a tough year for our nation and the world. I approach 2017 with doubt and trepidation. But then I remind myself: yes, the days are growing longer, once again, minute by minute. It is the way of the Earth turning on its axis. As we travel inexorably along our parabolic path round the Sun, I want to believe that the long arc of progress toward the greater good will prevail. In any case, the radio host just announced that 2016 was the first year that vinyl record purchases outstripped digital downloads. I’m going to assume that’s not fake news.

One for the money, two for the show
Ain’t that a groove now here we go

May 2017 be a year to remember for all the best reasons. See you in two weeks.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at

Image Credit: Hoàng Duy Lê

Season’s Greetings

IMG_0491 3Punxsutawney Phil is a liar. The prognosticating ground hog promised a short winter when he failed to see his shadow back in February.

Well, it’s the first week of April, and it snowed here Sunday and Monday. Today’s low is in the teens. My Pilates class was canceled last night because the roads were a mess.

Saturday afternoon when I took my walk, I was marveling at the green lawns, the daffodils and hyacinths in bloom, budding leaves. All that is blanketed in white, now. And even though I know the snow will melt in a few days and be forgotten soon enough, I’m just sick and tired of winter weather.

I’m tired of wearing layers of sweaters.

I’m tired of mittens.

I’m tired of leg warmers.

I’m tired of wool hats, chap stick and full-length down coats.

I’m tired of my hands turning blue and my digital ulcers smarting if I don’t pile on all that stuff.

Yup, I’m more than ready for consistently warm weather. (Hear that, Phil? The key concept is consistent.) We’ve had some crazy fluctuations lately, from balmy teases to frigid temps, sometimes within a period of hours.

I know, I know. It’s New England. “Wait a minute and the weather will change,” and all that. April here is finicky. I still have snow tires on my Prius (thank goodness).

But, come on. It’s enough already. You’ve had your turn, Old Man Winter. Give spring a chance. Is it really too much to ask for enough warm afternoons to unfurl leaves and unleash the smell of freshly turned soil? Do you have to freeze the tulips before they’ve flowered?

I’m not the only one asking. After such a long, dark season of too much political angst and bad news, we could all use a boost.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at

Into the Freezer

Okay, okay, it’s winter. I get it. Those unseasonably balmy December days are a distant memory. The temperature is dropping, the wind chill is rising, and it’s downright cold outside.

photoFive of my fingers are in bandages, one infected ulcer in my left middle finger has required antibiotics for more than a month, and it takes me forever to get going in the morning and to bed at night because of all the hand care.

But I refuse to give in to the weather. Forewarned is forearmed. Friends in Chicago have been telling me about the frigid temperatures there, and it was only a matter of time before the Arctic Freeze came our way. So this past weekend, I found a new pair of mittens with all the right qualifications: lightweight, thermal insulation, with cozy channels for my fingers like an interior glove, suede feel for driving, soft, easy to manipulate. A big score.

I also found a new winter hat (it helps that everything warm is now on sale). It’s one of those fake fur jobs, like a fuzzy bomber’s helmut, that covers my neck and ears and wraps under my chin. I did not buy this for looks. It is far from flattering, given my narrow face and long nose. But no matter. It’s definitely a good addition to my other winter gear, especially when paired with a snug wool hat underneath. It functions like a hood, better than the oversized one that came with my warmest winter coat.

So, the only item left on my list is a pair of insulated winter boots. I’ve somehow managed to go without for a long time, relying instead on a pair of cleated overshoe boots for really bad snow and ice. But they don’t work for driving or city walking. And my rain boots, made of rubber, make my feet sweat when I use them to drive, which only causes my toes to get chilled if I then walk outside.

It’s a lot of work, all the gearing up to go out. Reminds me of when I was a kid and my mom made me wear snow pants over my skirts for school, the kind that had clip suspenders to hold them up. I hated those snow pants. They made my skirts bunch up at the crotch. And those old red rubber boots, the kind with elastic bands as button loops. Clip-on mittens. The works.

Even still, I would play outside for hours in the snow, building snowmen, sliding down the back hill on our old Flexible Flyer, making snow angels. I’d play until my teeth chattered and my fingers went numb. For a healthy little girl, warming back up with a cup of hot chocolate was half the fun.

Now I have to force myself out the door just to walk in this weather. But once I’m all bundled up, I still love the fresh, crisp air, especially after a snowfall. I love the transformation of trees to Belgian lace. I love seeing all the critter tracks, knowing who was in our yard or up the street, otherwise unseen. I love the stark winter light and the way dusk turns snow blue.

So, here’s to you, Old Man Winter. Much as I dread your annual arrival, it wouldn’t be the same without you.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at

The Monday After

Ah, yes. Getting back to work after a long holiday weekend. It’s always a slog. Even when I’ve planned well and given myself a lighter schedule to ease back in, as I did yesterday, I still find it hard to get fully motivated.

nap-1572984-639x424When I used to work in an office, it was all too easy to spend at least half The Monday After chatting with colleagues and sorting through a gazillion emails. Trying to get any serious work done was nearly impossible. I always felt like I was waking from a long nap and just wanted to roll over and go back to sleep.

Working for myself, I don’t have coworkers to chat with or the distractions of an office setting. And I’d rather be writing than doing chores or other stuff around the house. But it was still a challenge to sit at my computer and get down to business.

That was the only good thing about the Arctic freeze that struck Monday morning (we’ve been totally spoiled with above normal temperatures here in Central Massachusetts for most of December)—it was way too cold to go outside. I stuck my arm out the front door to collect the mail and immediately decided that I would subject no more of my body to the elements for the rest of the day.

So I had to stick to my desk and get through my projects. Which I did. But it took several hours for my brain to fully focus on the work at hand.

At least I had a good reason to still be in holiday mode. New Year’s was great. We started celebrating early, last Wednesday night, because Al won four tickets to a Celtics-Lakers game in Boston (he made a contribution to United Way at the hospital and won the big raffle drawing). Not only did he win four seats—they were club seats, with great views and a bonus of free parking thrown in. The Celts lost (boo), but we had a wonderful evening with our daughters, cheering and chatting and taking silly selfies.

On New Year’s Eve, Al and I joined foodie friends for an annual festive meal and spent half the night singing our favorite oldies from the ’60s and ’70s. (How can those songs really be OLD?) The rest of the holiday weekend, I relaxed, read, saw friends at synagogue, took long walks, and worked on a photo book of pictures from our Europe trip (only five months after the fact). What could be bad?

I also managed to stay away from the news, which was probably the smartest thing I did for four days.

And now it’s back to reality. I am ever grateful to be working for myself successfully. This makes it possible to sleep a little later on the Monday after a long weekend, avoid any contact with my car and the out-of-doors if it’s just too cold to venture forth, and set my own pace with projects.

I’ve been my own boss for six years this month, and as hard as the transition has been from the workplace to self-employment, with some very sleepless nights about cash flow along the way, I’m so glad to be here, now. I am certain this arrangement has helped to keep me healthier. It’s certainly helped to keep me sane.

So, hello 2016! What’s next?

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at

Image Credit: Marcelo Gerpe

Coat Check

Would someone please explain to me, when it’s still 50 degrees out, why stores are out of coats? I know it’s the end of April, but we’re far from the dog days of summer here in New England, and I don’t do all my shopping online.

104419903_e9171aaf64I discovered this strange fact of retail seasons over the weekend when I went hunting for a coat to replace my old spring/fall standby, which I’ve worn for at least ten years and is looking its age. I had a simple mission: find a shorter, wool coat that will keep me comfortable during transitional weather. Apparently this is something I should have thought of last August.

When I walked into a local Burlington (formerly Burlington Coat Factory, an off-price retailer specializing in outerwear—where I bought my now-ratty coat a decade ago), I encountered racks of summer shifts and prom dresses and all kinds of sports clothes. But where were the coats?

I asked a sales clerk. She brought me deeper into the store and showed me a few aisles amidst all the other clothes. “It’s the end of our coat season,” she said. “You’ll find the smalls over here.”

Did I mishear? I thanked her and went to look. There was one rack of small coats—including left-over winter jackets, a few raincoats and a collection of picked-over styles that clearly weren’t going anywhere. I walked around to the other side. All mediums. The next row were large and plus sizes. That’s it.

How could this be? I came here because of the coats. It can snow here in April. I know everyone else is running around in shorts and flip-flops because the sun is out, but I’m still cold, dammit!

So I started picking through the rack. I tried on long coats and short coats, designer labels and unknown brands, black, taupe, camel’s hair, red. Nothing looked good. They were either too big or too long in the sleeve or too wide in the back or too tight. Another woman was sifting through the rack, and we commiserated.

I was about to give up my quest when I discovered the clearance rack, with a few smalls mixed in with the rest. And there, hiding between an ugly black wool duffel and another black coat with a garish brash zipper, was a chocolate-brown-wool Calvin Klein trench, mid-thigh. I tried it on. The back didn’t ripple or buckle. The sleeves were roomy and didn’t bind. The pockets were in the right place, easy for my hands. I liked the color and the cut. And it cost only $55. The only drawback was the fact that the sleeves were a bit long, but I figured, at that price, I could always have them altered. Meanwhile, they’d keep my hands warm.

So, I bought it. One of life’s little victories. I’ll be wearing it when the rest of the world is going barelegged, but at least I’ll have style.

Photo Credit: Doug Ellis via Flickr

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at


Winter’s grip is at long last loosening. The icy ruts on our street mostly melted as temperatures rose into the 40s on Monday. The sun shone all day. Snow drifts are slowly, slowly shrinking. Buds are visible on the Callery pear in our front yard.

And somewhere under all that snow, I’m sure there are crocuses waiting for the sun to warm the frozen earth just enough for their tender leaves to push up and free.

Hard as it is for my internal clock to adjust to that first Sunday when we jump forward to Daylight Savings Time, it’s a delight to have the days feel longer again (even as I know it’s just an artificial shift in how we perceive when the day begins and ends).

March can be a deceptive month here in New England, promising spring and then dashing hopes with a late snow storm. But I’m feeling optimistic. According to the weather reports, the Jet Stream has finally moved farther north, which means we’re in for an easier, sunnier spell.

We’re certainly due after all that record-breaking snow and cold. My hands have taken a beating this winter. I’m finally weaning myself off a long round of antibiotics to clear up two infected ulcers, and I have five fingers swaddled in bandages as intransigent ulcers gradually heal. Spring can actually be my toughest season, though, so I’m hoping these will continue to improve.

Even still, there’s just something about seeing the promise of new leaves on the trees and watching water bubbles slide beneath the icy crusts along the street that I find reassuring. No matter how bitter the winter we’ve endured, the snow will melt, the temperatures will warm and the world will turn green once again.

I’m looking forward to wearing something other than the same sweaters, in varying combinations, and foregoing multiple layers—leg warmers, wrist warmers, two or three tops, wool pants, neck scarf, down coat, outer scarf, wool hat, insulated gloves, boots (have I forgotten anything?)—every time I go out the door. As it is, two of my good cashmere v-necks, which I’ve had for years, finally wore out with holes at the elbows. Maybe I’ll figure out a way to shorten the sleeves.

Most of all, I’m looking forward to walking outside with my coat open and a warm breeze on my neck and the sun warming my face.

Spring officially arrives a week from Friday. Oh, yes, I’m ready.

Photo Credit: dsearls via Compfight cc

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at

Into White

This is quickly turning into a record-breaking winter here in Massachusetts. On Monday, Ground Hog Day, we got another foot-plus of snow on top of our record nearly three feet from last week. And it looks like there’s more to come.

I feel like I’m stuck in an endless loop of snow storms.

It wouldn’t be so bad if I didn’t feel so confined by the mounds of white stuff. I can’t shovel, and I can’t use a snow blower, even if we had one. I simply can’t stay out in the cold that long, and the temperatures are sinking into the single digits, with sub-zero wind-chill.

The (thankfully) warm but dry air in our home is wreaking havoc on my digital ulcers—up to eight on as many fingers. I’ve been on antibiotics for more than two weeks, now, as two messy ulcers slowly clear. Last week, I ordered a shipment of 1500 bandages (that’s 15 boxes of 100 each), but I’m now wondering if they will arrive before I finish my last box, given all the snow and inevitable delays.

All of this prompted me to do some research about long-term weather forecasts. Not that it will make any difference.

It doesn’t look good for February.

According to meteorologists who follow world-wide weather patterns, at least two factors on the other side of the globe are controlling our snow fall and temperatures here in New England:

  • A pool of warm water that started off around Hawaii three years ago and migrated to the Gulf of Alaska is now gradually shifting into the extreme eastern Pacific. This pumps warm air up into the atmosphere (if I understand this correctly), which then forces arctic air down across Canada and into the U.S.
  • Then there’s the amount of snowfall over Siberia. Apparently, there was a lot more snow cover in that part of the world than normal last October—more than an additional million square kilometers—and that affects the amount of snow we get in this part of the world, right around this time of year.   

There’s a lot more to it than that, but I won’t even attempt to summarize, especially if you don’t share my weather geekiness. Basically, it all comes down to physics, and the fact that our lives and circumstances are much more intertwined around this planet than we realize.

Bottom line: Our average annual snowfall here in Central Massachusetts is 64 inches. We’re now up to 57 inches, just in the past 10 days. And we’re supposed to get more snow on Thursday and again on Sunday to Monday.

A part of me wants to scream and head someplace sunny and mild (assuming I could actually get a flight despite all the snow). But this is New England, and we’re supposed to be hardy. So I will do my best. I will take necessary safety precautions and try to enjoy the journey into white. And I will continue to remind myself that—long range forecasts notwithstanding—the most important lesson from a winter like this is that control is an illusion. The only thing we can manage is the moment we’re living in, one snowflake at a time.

 Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at

Enter Juno

Just when I thought the Farmer’s Almanac was going to be right, after all, predicting less than normal snowfall this year, along comes Winter Storm Juno. As I write on Monday night, we are about to get clobbered by what all the hyped-up TV meteorologists are predicting may be a historic blizzard for the Northeast—rivaling the Blizzard of ‘78.

noreaster-goes-12615The wind-up to this storm has been more nerve-wracking than the actual snow, at least so far. Driving around today, I listened to the new Governor of Massachusetts give his first Big Storm news conference, and all the state officials who reassured us, over and over, that everyone knows what they’re doing and are well-prepared to handle Juno.

N-Star is bringing in electrical crews from as far away as Tennessee to deal with power outages. I received an email from our tree service that customers will get first preference dealing with any downed trees. We managed to get an oil delivery this afternoon before the storm hit, which I insisted on trying to schedule this morning, because it will be incredibly hard to reach the oil spigot under a few feet of snow in frigid temperatures the rest of this week. Around 10:30 this evening, we received a phone message from our city about the state of emergency and travel ban beginning at midnight.

All of this is certainly good. I appreciate having foreknowledge about when the storm will start (it’s been snowing since late afternoon), how long it will last (through Wednesday morning) and how much snow we can expect (anywhere from 18 to 30 inches, according to various reports). At least we can plan a little. Good friends up the street with a generator have offered us a place to stay if the power goes out, a great comfort.

But the reality is, there is no way to know exactly what the storm will bring and how to deal with it until we’re in the heart of it. Which got me to thinking of the parallels between really bad weather and really bad diseases. Too much information about what might happen can only make you incredibly anxious. There’s no way to know how you’ll respond until you’re in the thick of things. And there’s a limit to how much you really want to know about all the scary alternatives, because it doesn’t help you to deal with what actually happens, anyway.

So, I’m trying to keep this in mind as I ride out Juno. I felt a lot better this evening once I knew that both of my very capable adult daughters were safe and sound in their respective homes, at either end of the state, and I heard Al walk in the door. Then I found out he has to go to work Tuesday, as the only social worker covering his hospital, since his colleagues live farther away. But he doesn’t have to rush in the morning, and he may just get there by snowshoe, a much better alternative to driving if the roads get really bad.

Ginger has the best attitude of all of us. She may be 16-and-a-half, but she still loves snow. She must have gone outside at least a half-dozen times this evening, each time returning with more snow on her coat. As far as she’s concerned, it’s just another cold, refreshing night outside. 

According to Roman mythology, Juno was the chief goddess, female counterpart of Jupiter and mother of Mars. She was a goddess of childbirth and worshipped as the guardian angel of women.

If this storm is anything like its namesake, maybe all the warning and hype will be a blessing in disguise, keeping us well-prepared and safe from worse fates. As long as the power stays on, we have heat and Al makes it back and forth to work safely, I will try to sit back, get some writing done and appreciate the wilder side of Mother Nature.

And if things don’t work out so well, I’ll deal with that, too. As I keep reminding myself, I’ve had plenty of practice.

Image Credit: Satellite view of developing Nor’easter off North Carolina’s Outer Banks, January 26, 2015, NASA/NOAA GOES Project.

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at

January Blues

Are we there, yet? I mean, springtime. Not even halfway through January, and I’ve had enough, already. I know, I know. Central Massachusetts is not North Dakota or the Yukon or Siberia. My heartfelt sympathies if you live anywhere nearby. But I really, really hate this.

Last week, the Arctic Vortex, or whatever you want to label evil cold weather patterns, sucked all the warmth out of the air. True, we’d been spoiled by unseasonably balmy weather prior to that. But days in the teens and nights in the single digits are not my idea of a good time.

On Thursday, the worst day of all, I decided to brave the cold, regardless, and spend it as planned in Cambridge. This required some strategizing.

I was taking the train to Boston. But Wednesday evening, I realized that neither I nor Al had cash for my ticket, which I had to buy on the train since there is no active ticket counter at our station. I did not want to have to go to the bank on the way, because it was going to be minus-20F windchill and I was not going to try to manipulate the outdoor ATM from my car or leave my car any more than necessary to enter a building. What to do?

Then I remembered my “T” app on my iPhone. Easy-peasy. All I had to do was purchase the MBTA commuter rail ticket and activate it when I got on the train. Just in case we lost Internet service in the morning due to the extreme cold (like I said, I was in high strategy mode), I made my purchase that night. The app came in handy the next morning, too, when I made sure the train was running on time.

My next challenge came Thursday morning. As I confessed last week, I had damaged both Al’s and my car with a back-up mishap that required a new bumper for my Prius and a repaired door on his Civic. My work was completed Wednesday evening. When I went into our garage, I immediately realized:

a) my car reeked of paint fumes; and
b) I had left my car key in the house because Al had driven it back from the body shop.

This required a scramble with the house key, which I managed to drop on the garage floor and struggled to pick up because, well, I can’t easily pick up flat metal objects. So I had to take off my gloves to pry it from the floor. Which made my fingers numb. I said a few choice words.

Once I finally started the car, I knew I was going to have to drive with the window cracked or risk feeling nauseated by the time I got to the train station. On the coldest day of the year. So I cranked up the heat, opened the back passenger window an inch and set forth.

Fortunately, my Prius has a great heater.

For once, I actually got to the train station with enough time to walk to the train without rushing. Ours is a huge, turn-of-the-20th-century station from the grand era of rail travel, so there was no problem waiting indoors instead of on the platform. And, as it turned out, the train pulled in just as I left my car in the open air garage. So I walked through the garage to the station garbed in two layers of sweaters, a wool shawl, wool pants, leg warmers, my heavy down coat, shearling hat, insulated gloves, poofy hood and a warm scarf to hold it all together. I looked ridiculous, but then again, I’m so used to looking ridiculous in weather that most people don’t consider cold that it didn’t really matter. Plus everyone else was bundled head-to-toe, too.

Fortunately, the heaters on the train worked. We pulled out of the station with the car’s front doors stuck open, but a hardy passenger got up from his seat and closed them, since the conductor was nowhere to be seen. I spent the next hour-and-a-half working on a client project on my laptop, very pleased to be riding and not driving in what proved to be horrible traffic, from what I could see on the Mass Pike Extension as we neared Boston.

The worst part of my trip was the walk from the train platform into South Station, bitter cold. Once inside, it was tolerable on the way to the Red Line. My next excursion outdoors—from the Red Line exit to the inside of a Marriott where I waited for my friend to pick me up—left me a bit queasy from breathing frigid air, even through my scarf, but the feeling passed once I got in the building.

Reversing the trip later in the day, I was glad I hadn’t let the bitter weather get the better of me. I relaxed into my seat on the train, noted the horrible traffic westbound on the Pike Extension with smug satisfaction, then returned to working on my novel for the rest of the ride home. My Prius still smelled like paint fumes, even after airing out in the station garage all day, but the heater kicked in quickly enough so that I could crack the window on the short drive to our house and still stay comfortable.

Best of all? When I pulled into our driveway, it was just barely sunset at a quarter to five. The Ice Man may still cometh, but at least the days are getting longer.

Photo Credit: Sangudo via Compfight cc

Evelyn Herwitz blogs weekly about living fully with chronic disease, the inside of baseballs, turtles and frogs, J.S. Bach, the meaning of life and whatever else she happens to be thinking about at