I'm a Miami girl at heart. I spent 23 years alternately complaining about and basking in the Florida sunshine, and then we moved to Rochester, New York. Where they have "9 months of winter and 3 months of bad sledding." Where I learned the value of long johns, mastered the fine art of window de-icing, and---I thought---thickened up that wimpy South-of-the Border blood of mine. By the time we hit Des Moines three years later, the winter coat didn't come out till the mercury dipped into the 40's, and I would occasionally emerge from the cozy confines of my heated home onto the front porch with only one extra layer of clothing on. Tough as nails, I tell you.
And then, boys and girls, we moved to Milwaukee. I haven't been warm since. I slumber---frigid, thickly-socked feet and all--- under a trio of hefty comforters. I dash in from carpool and refuse to doff my coat---or the two sweatshirts layered under it---for hours. I mainline soup for breakfast, and wash it down with hot chocolate. I dread venturing into the basement or the attic, where the temperatures are a good 20 degrees cooler than our living space. Arriving home from lunch today, I was confronted with a troubling dilemma: how in blazes was I to open the front door with fingers that were equal parts frozen and gloved?