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Groundhog Day was last Saturday and Punxsutawney Phil predicted an early end to winter. I am sure looking forward to warm weather again. Winter has been going on so long that I am getting used to the cold and snowy conditions.

If my memory serves, last year in State College we had a warmer than usual winter. This year we have snow and temps below freezing. I do know we have had more days below freezing this year than last year.

Cold weather means warming up the car engine while the defroster runs and we brush snow off the car. For my husband and I, (and Joe too, I assume) it means listening to the plow go by in the parking lot early in the morning. For my dad and sisters, it means using the snow shovel almost every day. Sidewalks and parking lots are covered in salt rock, and we bring those crystals inside on our shoes.

I have a pair of red sweatpants that I wear over my slacks in frigid temps. My husband calls them my Santa pants. These days, when I go out, I just put them on without thinking about it. My hoodie goes on under my coat, and on windy days I also have a scarf around my neck under my coat hood. That is bundled up! And then I go indoors and have to peel it all off. The tricky part is the red pants, because when I take them off in public I feel like I am doing a strip-tease. I usually find a private spot for modesty. Putting them on is better because it is obvious I have slacks on underneath.

The warmer weather will mean figuring out how much outerwear to wear and how much to leave at home – scarf, second pair of pants, hoodie, coat. The daily decision is a bother but the warmer temps will be worth it.

I can take the winter and the routines that go with it. Falling snow is beautiful when I am sitting inside and am home for the day. But an early spring would be very welcome.

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