Keeping Winter Simple

Upon reading about minimalism, simple living, etcetera ad infinitum, one gets the feeling that most technology is unnecessary.  Cars? You can bike! Fancy cooking gadgets? Famed chefs don’t need them, so you don’t either. Trebuchet? Just borrow a cannon from the neighbors. (I added that last one in order to use French I actually know.)

I used to think that a snow-blower was unnecessary. I was a renter then, owning only a shovel to excavate my car from the snowbank. Now I think it’s a time-saving device like a washing machine.

Mine is a small Toro – and when I write “small,” I mean dainty. When I brought it home, I slid back the passenger seat and put it on the floor mat. It’s also a Plain Jane model: no self-propulsion, no automatic kill-switch.

Oddly enough, I bought it at a moving sale three years ago from the family who sold me La Casa de Tontería. They lived for a time in their dream house, then they left for Florida. Yes, Florida.

I’ve given it a new home. How did I live without it?

Oh, yeah. I used a shovel and a broom… and ibuprofen.

One thing remains the same: the Winter Workout uniform. I created it because invariably snow infiltrates whatever I wear. Coat, pant legs, socks – everything ends up a soaking mess. If I wear my usual winter coat and accessories, they’re still damp when I go to work.

Imagine your coat frozen stiffly around your joint and your hat brittle around your ears. Unpleasant, no?

Thus I wear the “uniform.” I still get coated with snow, but it doesn’t matter because that’s not my everyday wardrobe.

You can try it for yourself. Start with woolen socks, sweatpants, and a pair of sturdy boots (mine are Red Wing steel-toed ankle boots).  Put on a turtleneck shirt, then a hooded sweatshirt, and top it off with a boater’s coat.

I complete this tres chic ensemble with heavy gloves and a Peruvian-style reversible University of Michigan cap. Go, Blue!