As Sydney sits and sweats – I can’t even be polite about it, it’s so hot over in the direction of Down Under my mascara melts in sympathy – we sit and approach, or, by now, are amidst a bit of a chilly spell.

I say that lightly as I sit atop our heater, the knee rug on my lap to ward off the cold positively forcing its way through the walls, my faucets dripping in anticipation, my cupboard doors open, and my duvet lying very smugly on my bed beckoning me with a soft “Annie. Annie. I’m here for you.”

Rather than regale you with the two Aussie expressions for being cold, neither of which are publishable in this erudite publication, I looked up more genteel ways of voicing how cold it is.

A couple caught my eye. “It was so cold I almost got married” merited a chuckle, as did, “One thing about cold weather: It brings out the statistician in everyone.” Ain’t that the truth. I can’t tell you the number of times I heard that here we are going to be colder than in Alaska and the South Pole. The weather presenters on our local stations are positively amongst themselves with glee that they have something other than “it’s winter, it’s cold, get over it” to get them through the day.

Try this one on your colleagues: “It was so cold today that I saw a dog chasing a cat, and the dog was walking.” Or how about, “You know the weather’s bad then they close Wisconsin.”

Punxsutawney Phil is going to most reluctantly be helped out of his cozy den on Saturday and will no doubt pronounce, as he has every sodding year since I’ve been here, that there will be another six weeks of winter. I can only hope he gets it more right than last year, when I think winter hung around for about another – what do you say, readers? – another nine years past its six-week allotment?

I usually at least get to February before I start scoffing at coats. I just get to the point where there’s so much faffing around to get outside I get a case of the “oh stuff its” and just don’t bother, figuring I can get from the car to where I’m going without inviting frostbite to chow down on my extremities. I confess I’m done with coats now though as they represent wind chills and frigidity and all manner of un-lovely things. Ask me again in August, mind you, and I will no doubt welcome the thought of a blizzard or two.

So, as we gripe our way through this frigid day, do spare a thought for those of us without a choice. I sure hope the homeless got to shelters – but at least that’s a choice. The heroes of winter, in my book, are the firefighters, police and the EMTs who not only do their jobs bravely, they usually do it with good humor. God bless you, one and all.

I will leave you with I think the most poignant poem for today:

“Sh%$ it’s cold.”

The End.

Annie Dear lives in Lee’s Summit. Email her at anniedearkc@hotmail.com.