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Dimon Kendrick-Holmes: Songs to whistle in winter

How about some random thoughts as we struggle to survive the winter?

I know, I know, we live in Columbus, where in early February it's just as likely to be 75 degrees outside as it is 35.

As a wise man told me yesterday on the elevator to the doctor's office, if you don't like the weather around here, just wait five minutes.

But whether it's cold and dark or warm and dark, it's still dark. And kind of gloomy.

Which means I've been humming and sometimes even whistling gloomy songs. The other day it was "Poison in the Well" by 10,000 Maniacs.

A long time ago I saw the band perform this in Nashville while a bunch of college students were singing along to such uplifting lyrics as "All that it amounts to is a tear in a salted sea! Someone's been a bit untidy! They'll have it cleaned up in a week!"

Yes, we were singing and dancing and partying and cheering to a song about environmental carnage! And we didn't even know it!

Environmental carnage is not funny, of course, but it is kind of funny that you can whistle this song in the elevator and your fellow riders assume you're in a sunny mood but you're actually whistling a song about deadly chemicals poisoning a well.

Another gloomy yet semi-cheery-sounding song like this that I find myself whistling on elevators in the dead of winter is "When the World is Running Down," by the Police.

"When the world is running down," the chorus goes, "you make the best of what's still around."

Oh yeah, I'm feeling great and loving winter. Second floor, please.

By the way, the reason I was on the elevator heading to the doctor's office is because I always get my annual physical exam in the winter.

I've chosen winter because after getting blood drawn at the lab, I go eat the best breakfast I can, something involving fried eggs and gravy and at least several different pork products. By best breakfast, of course I mean from a purely medical standpoint the worst breakfast you could possibly eat.

But you know, the results are in the lab and they're final, and there's nothing else you can do, so why not?

Another simple pleasure of winter is -- drumroll, please -- wool socks.

For the holidays, my family went to upper New York and Canada, which involved buying everybody socks made with wool from actual sheep.

While we were up North driving around in the car, we took turns reading aloud a novel called "Cold River," about a couple of children surviving a blizzard in the Adirondacks.

In the book, their father imparted this bit of wisdom before he broke his leg in a freak canoeing accident and died from an infection: wool socks are great.

They're warm when it's cool and they're cool when it's warm.

When we got back to Columbus, my sons, while

they were stealing all my athletic socks from my drawer, deposited their wool socks from the trip.

So I started wearing them. And you know what? The poor dad who crashed in the Cold River was right! Wool socks really are warm when it's cool and cool when it's warm!

That's what I've learned this winter.

You know, I'm making the best of what's still around.

Oh, and they'll have it cleaned up in a week.

Dimon Kendrick-Holmes, executive editor, dkholmes@ledger-enquirer.com.

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