From Cold to Hot

We live in north central Minnesota or “Minne-So-Colda” as we joke, and the contrast between cold and warm is the most pronounced in my life. On the morning that I write this we felt our first round of single digits for the season. We’ll be thinking those numbers are a heat wave in a few months when we will regularly hit the double digits below zero.

On cold days like these, I’m reminded of a childhood game we used to play where we hid an object from our friends or siblings. Then, the person who was it gave hints and directions while the players looked for the object.

The further we were from the object, the colder we were. We’d call out, “You’re getting colder. You’re so cold, you’re almost to the north pole,” meaning they were far from their goal.

The closer they got to the object, the “warmer” they were. We’d say, “Warmer, you’re getting warmer.” And then when they were about to find it, we’d yell, “You’re hot.”

If I compare our choice years ago to move to Minnesota to this game, our family may appear far from finding the prize. Even though I love the beauty of Minnesota, parts of me are rubbing my hands and ready to move on. Considering the business and home that we’ve built here, the idea of moving somewhere warm is just wishful thinking and not a real possibility.

I wish I could create an adult-version of the “getting warmer” game to discover the hidden objectives in this season of my life. Of course, in that game the beginning and the end would be clear, and a thermostat would register when I turned toward the right direction. We could call it, “How to Always Be Hot.”

Without such tangible devices to mark my destination, though, I’m left with these ordinary but effective ways to warm me through the process from cold to hot.

1. The warmth of my husband’s feet against my cold toes. Companionship with the ones closest to me provides the comfort for me to talk out my thoughts. The warmth creeps upward and turns desires into dreams.

2. The luxury of a large and heavy blanket. Solitude is sometimes hard to obtain but essential when the world is weighing me down and I need to listen to my own heart. The heat wraps around and covers my questions.

3.  A flaming fire in the wood stove. With the kindling in place, I lay down the real framework of my goals like a image emblazoned upon my mind. Then I light a match and let it build. I can see it and feel it and know that I am not only getting warmer but soon I will be hot.

Keeping warm in some of life’s seasons requires more energy than in others. But even here, in our northern climate where the snow blows over my path, I’m reassured that there’s resources available to get me there.

How do you warm up and stay warm on these cold days? Share your thoughts for the December Write Away Contest at Scribbit. The theme is “Keeping Warm.” Entries will be accepted until December 18.


  1. Lisa
    Dec 9, 2008

    And now I’ve found you! 🙂 I love your website, Teresa. Thanks for sharing your thoughts & a bit of your life here. The ice pictures make me a bit homesick for colder weather, with snow and crunchy ice & everything.

  2. Michelle at Scribbit
    Dec 10, 2008

    Minne-so-colda 🙂 Ha! Never heard that one!

    But seriously I DO love your take on the theme. As I sit here by my fireplace . . .

  3. An Ordinary Mom
    Dec 10, 2008

    I remember playing that game growing up … and now I play that game with my kids! What a clever way to relate it to life. I, too, wish I knew if we were going in the right direction. We feel like we are, but that doesn’t make it easy to live.

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