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Accept it! (03/03/2014)
By Frances Edstrom
I am much happier now. Iíve given up on trying to tame winter. So what if itís below zero every day? I am lucky enough to have a house, a garage, an office, a carÖand space heaters.

Last fall I invested in long underwear ó not entirely successfully. I ordered super-duper long undies from the internet. The company was one that John dealt with for years for his hunting underwear, and he never had a problem. I ordered two turtleneck tops and one pair of pants.

They were delivered to my house, and I brought them in. (Unlike another package which was delivered during the period between the thaw, snow and freeze we recently had ó that one froze to the ground, and my daughter-in-law had to open the package while it was stuck to the sidewalk. We chipped the box up later.)

I put on the turtlenecks and they felt cozy and warm. I put on the pants, and they feltÖso tight I couldnít breathe. I looked at the tag. Yup, my size. I found the catalog, and they were advertised as having my waist size. Oh, well, I thought, maybe I can stretch the waistband. I googled ďstretching elastic waists.Ē Pull them over an ironing board, it recommended. I left them like that all night. Didnít do a thing. Iron the waist band through a damp cloth, it said. I dusted off the iron and gave them a good steaming. Didnít do a thing.

Short of cutting through the waist band, I had no more ideas. I gave them to my friend, who is a runner and in great shape. Surely, they will fit her, I thought. She returned them, saying the waist was so tight she thought they were made for a ten-year-old.

I called the company, thinking perhaps this pair of pants was just an aberration. Nope, they said. I then found my tape measure and measured the waist. No wonder! They had a 23-inch waist! Who but Scarlett OíHara has a 23-inch waist?

I sent them back, demanding a return on my investment. I havenít heard yet. I also ordered the largest size they have. This new pair is also tight around the waist, and bunches around the ankles. The tight waist acts as a diet tool, preventing me from eating too much, and they are extremely warm.

I am wearing nothing but wool sweaters, two of which, unfortunately, have developed holes, because of overuse and their age. One is 30 years old, and the other is a hand-me-up from my daughter. I knew I should have paid attention when my mother wanted to show me how to mend things.

At work, I sit next to my space heater. At home, I have a warm blanket over me at all times, unless I am near the stove. If the pioneers could live here during the winter, then so can I!

Itís like my father-in-law always said. If you relax, the cold doesnít affect you as much. So Iíve relaxed. Iíve stopped day-dreaming about palm trees and riverboat rides. Iíve stopped looking out at the snow-covered trees and trying to imagine how they looked with leaves. I no longer curse the ice. I accept it. Alright already? I accept it, God, so now can we have spring?



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