By Angie Georgeff

Welcome, January and 2019! The joy of the Christmas season and a New Year gives way to the simpler pleasures of winter, like fuzzy sweaters and falling snow. Snow, you either love it or hate it. For me it depends on whether I can stay home and enjoy its pristine beauty in cozy comfort or whether I have to slog through it to get to work or some other appointment.

During the big snowstorm back on Dec. 9, Sunday was a treat, but Monday was not. I actually got stuck in the deep snow at the entrance to the library parking lot. Needless to say, we didn’t open that day. For us in Tennessee, that was some snowfall! For people living in Germany or Ohio, though, it really wouldn’t have seemed all that bad. It all hinges on your expectations.

Twice during my life, I have lived in colder and snowier climes than this, and twice in places where snow was a rare occurrence. Surprisingly though, when I think back about being miserably cold, the place that springs to mind is Honolulu. That’s where my son was born.  Being a malihini (newcomer), rather than a kama’aina (local), I overdressed him by insisting that he wear a shirt and socks around the house. Except when they were dressed up, most infants and toddlers wore only a diaper and some didn’t even wear that. Life in the tropics may guarantee you will be hot, but it doesn’t ensure you’ll never be cold.

The last February I lived there was unusually cold and the house where we lived had no source of heat, because, well, it was Hawaii and it should have been warm even in February! February 9, 1981 still boasts the February record for Honolulu at a frigid 49 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t laugh!

When you don’t have any heat or any winter clothes, 49 is not funny. Think of it as a measly 17 degrees above freezing. There being little demand for such items in paradise, warm clothing and space heaters were not in stock. Thank goodness we had an electric blanket to keep us from hypothermia during that long, bitter cold snap!

Our climate is ideal for people who truly enjoy the change of seasons, and now is the perfect time to curl up in a warm room with a hot beverage and a good book or movie. (Story, our library cat, just reminded me to add a purring kitty to that list of cozy comforts.)

Several of the authors whose novels I most enjoy did not publish one last year, so I am hoping for a bumper crop of literary fiction this year. In the meantime, I’m making some progress in reducing the size of my “to-be-read” stack and looking forward to new January releases. And remember that we have new audiobooks and DVDs starting to hit the shelves from our recent orders. Happy New Year, indeed!