No poem today. It's too cold to think of poems. Heck, it's zero degrees outside. With five inches of snow. In Texas.
Anyway, if you're from an area of the United States that's usually warm, and if the weather is unusually cold (which is everywhere south of Missouri except for Florida), listen up. I'm a former Yankee from the Chicago area, and I've learned a few tips to stay warm.
First off, don't drive if you can help it. Out of vanilla extract? Find a different cookie recipe, or go without. It's not worth driving up to Dollar General for one or two things. You could die. Even if you do everything right--if you drive slow, give yourself plenty of stopping distance, remember not to slam on your breaks if you hit an icy patch--some other moron could slam into you going forty miles an hour. This is Texas. I don't care what that sign says when you cross the Oklahoma border, driving friendly is not the Texas way.
If you go outside, bundle up. Wear layers. Two or three pairs of socks. Two shirts and a heavy coat. Hat. Mittens. If you're going to be interacting with the snow, wear waterproof stuff. Snow pants, also called bibs, are basically insulated plastic overalls that might save your life if you get locked out. If you're going to be working outside a lot, invest in a pair.
Remember those flimsy gloves you got in your Christmas stocking in 2018? Those won't help you. Snow melts. Wet gloves are worse than no gloves, unless you get waterproof ones. Same goes for boots--if your feet get wet, they will start to hurt with cold. It's not a pleasant feeling. I speak from experience.
You might start getting hot if you're working hard outside. That's when layers come in handy. Start stripping, but keep your waterproof stuff on the outside.
If your hands get cold, the fastest way to warm them up is to wash them in cold water. If the water feels cold, congratulations, your hands aren't cold. If the cold water feels hot, keep washing until the cold water feels cold. Then turn up the water temperature, gradually, until you're washing your hands in warm water. The same technique can be used for warming up cold toes--just stick your feet under a bathtub faucet.
If the power goes out, huddle everyone together in one room of the house to conserve body heat. Use a fireplace if you have one. If all else fails, go to a friend's house.
For some reason, cold weather dehydrates you. I don't know why. Drink plenty of water, use lotion, and don't forget your lip balm. Dry skin sucks in this weather. Heck, get some of that ultra-medicated lotion if you need to. Your regular lavender-scented stuff might not work anymore.
Your body is burning extra calories trying to keep warm. Eat more. If your New Year's resolution was to lose weight, you might chop off a few extra pounds over the next few days, but your body won't be happy.
What did I forget? Leave your cold weather survival suggestions in the comments below! God bless you, dear readers, and stay warm!
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.