I don't know why, but I've had an irrational fear for the last couple of months. Winter was coming and it was scaring the hell out of me. I made a point of not acknowledging that fear. I pretended like it was nothing, like those twenty seven years of Florida winters hadn't lulled me into a softness of mental fortitude. I have been lying. I can now admit, the oncoming winter had me in a panic. The cold, the snow, the driving in the snow, the shortened days and grayness of it all. Well winter is here and I don't hate it. I dress for the weather when I walk the dogs and I'm just fine. Yesterday I was even driving out in that heavy snow. All the skills I learned from driving a taxicab, from driving a delivery van in Chicago, all came back to me. I am not afraid anymore. Bring on the winter! Okay, so winter isn't even officially here yet and I still have the rest of December, January, February, and whatever March has to throw at me. I think I can handle it all. I cleared all the sidewalks on my property yesterday with my new snow blower, and I kind of enjoyed it. I even kept on going up and down the block, snow blowing my neighbors sidewalks (I think that may not keep happening for long). Yes, I am kind of liking winter. There is only one problem with the cold and snow, and that is the sound. Winter has a sound to it around here. I noticed that it started the same time the temperature dropped below fifty degrees, and it has only got louder now that the snow has started. It's sort of a whiney sound, like a baby trying force out a cry that just won't come full throat. It's not coming from the boiler downstairs, or from outside. I have traced it to inside the house, to be exact, inside Mark's throat. He just won't shut the fuck up about how cold it is.