WALLY'S WORLD: Hunker down or fly south

As I sat at the breakfast table, with the fragrant odor of Yuban coffee wafting about my nostrils while gazing through the steel-gray fog and clouds surrounding my house and scattered across my field, I shivered at the thought of stumbling outside into the freezing temps to get some firewood and fully realized with astounding clarity that this would be my destiny for at least another six to eight weeks.

It was William Shakespeare, possibly the greatest writer in the history of English prose, who opened his play, “Richard III,” with the oft quoted line: “Now is the winter of our discontent.” His observation seems especially attuned to my sentiments this morning. (For the benefit of any Shakespearean scholars among you, I realize I’m using this opening line out of context.)

But alas, great as the mighty Bard might have been, I could suggest words that express my feelings far more accurately. How about: “Now is the winter of boredom.” Or perhaps, “Now is the winter of depression” or, to resort to more common vernacular, which William was often prone to do, how about, “Now is the winter that’s a pain in the butt”?

The fact that the most dreary, gray and uneventful months of the new year follow the most festive month of the old year only magnifies the problem. Then too, all the holiday bills come due. If there was ever a time to be depressed, January, February and March would seem to be it. In fact, hard statistics indicate the Northwest suicide rate soars during these months.

I’ve noticed that some people have seized upon booze as a solution. They’ve simply decided to stay drunk until the vernal equinox.

Until spring, the only “official” break in the boring routine is Valentine’s Day. But, of course, you can celebrate that occasion anywhere, in the desert as well as our sodden world.

Now I ask myself, “What the hell am I doing here?”

In my younger days I’d while away the winter months on Florida beaches, in the streets of New Orleans or in the border towns of Mexico. (This was before the Mexican drug cartels started beheading 15 people a day.) However, these locations, delightful as they may have been, couldn’t measure up to the northern climates during the holiday season. I could never get used to swimming in the Key West surf on Christmas Day. Christmas and New Years require a chill in the air and even a bit of snow to foster the proper mood. But after the holidays are over, forget it! I’m ready to head south. I admit to envying my “snowbird” cousins who left for Yuma, Ariz., several weeks ago.

But, here I am. And so are you. So, batten down the doors to the backyard shed, curl up beneath the afghan, pull that winter coat tightly around you and brace yourself before the below-freezing, 40 mph wind chill. Only another two months until the thaw.

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