Thursday, January 12, 2017


Winter wonderland
Transitioning to the isle of Manhattan from
rural Montana has brought me to a startling
revelation. Which is that I must once again
dress for the occasion. While I've packed my
tuxedo and formal gear that's not what I'm
talking about. Rather my new urban dress
code must address one of the key challenges
of being an outsider. And that simply is being
prepared to brave the elements. You see even
here in Montana most of us are rather spoiled.
Even if it's twenty below outside we're quite
comfortable getting from here to there given
we've got a heated support network.
Road less traveled
Few locals truly spend much time outdoors.
And when we must the majority of us do so
in a rather cavalier manner. Even when it's
cold out there, we're toasty and warm. One
of the joys Frank and I have discovered is
a heated garage. Quite a luxury, it's worth
every penny to fuel our comfort level. And
so, if or when we must go out our vehicles
are ready, waiting, and warm. Meaning we
have little need for ice scrapers or brushes
unless something happens while we're out.
However we do  keep a blanket in the trunk
just in case of a snow day emergency.
Limited access
Most who must live in the frozen tundra
develop survival tactics that make winter
easier to handle. Whoever invented those
remote control starters should be made a
saint. Theres nothing better than getting
into a warm vehicle rather than an ice box.
Once on the road, almost everyone leaves
their engines running while they run into
the grocer or shops. If you're a rancher,
this time of the year limits one's activities
out and about. And hunting season is over.
Thus the majority of Montanans engage
with the great outdoors on a limited basis.
Outer limits
What I'm trying to say is that after almost three
years of living in Siberia I'm more than spoiled.
Hence the idea of moving back to Manhattan
has me pulling out my cold weather gear. You
see, most urbanites spend their days braving the
elements. Even if one hails a cab or waits for
an Uber they're out and about more than most
Americans. City folk must walk everywhere
no matter the weather. Thus once again I'll be
required to wear gloves rather than carry them
in my pockets. And I may be forced to take my
father's advice and actually wear a hat. Or wrap
a scarf about my neck to avoid that chill...
Slush puppy
There truly is something to be said for low
humidity. While divine in the summer, the
greatest benefit to living in Montana are
our "dry cold" winters. Whereas upon the
isle of Manhattan one is surrounded on all
sides by water and hence it's usually damp.
Add a sea of slush and trust me, I'll be more
than willing to give fashion the boot so that
I can stay dry and warm. All of which is my
motivation for digging about the hall closet
looking for forlorn frigid fashion accessories.
Once more they'll be put to good use during
my daily commute with Mother Nature.
Over and out
While I was never a boy scout, I totally relate to
their credo of being prepared. My only challenge
is how much does one pack? Initially I embraced
the concept that less is more. However just today
I packed up yet another big box of goodies from
cold storage. Included is that amazing cashmere
and down parka that I stole from Frank eons ago.
Plus my sub zero "Mucks" which I bought for my
first full winter here in Montana yet to date have
NEVER worn. Plus long johns and wool socks.
Having lived through many Manhattan winters of
discontent - I'm confident that they'll all be put to