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Counting down days till spring
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The first day of winter was Thursday, Dec. 21. My countdown for the first day of spring has begun.

My mood definitely changes with the time and falls with the thermometer. I think now they call it winter blues or seasonal depression. Whatever you want to call it, I’m not a fan. I need sunlight and slightly warmer weather.

The worst part of winter for me is not being able to walk outdoors. If it’s not too cold, then it’s too rainy. To combat this, I do have an old stationary bike in my garage. Every year I get it out, clean it off and use it. I don’t like the stationary bike, but it’s a necessary evil. I hesitated this year. I needed to bring it into the house two weeks ago, but I did not. I finally broke down Wednesday and started using it.

Regular exercise is awesome for fending off those depressed feelings. While I prefer walking outdoors and hate exercising indoors, any is better than none at all. On the days I can walk outside, it’s a bonus. I look forward to those because they are few and far between.

To increase the morning sunlight, I lower the curtain on my window. During the summer months, the light is bright enough to penetrate the curtain. There isn’t much sunlight in winter during the morning. I help it out by lowering the curtain rod to about half way down the window.

Darkness is the kiss of doom. To help combat that, I up the wattage of my bedroom’s lightbulb. I normally use a 60-watt, energy-efficient bulb. Increasing the wattage helps ward off the gloomy feeling brought on due to the lack of sunlight.

I’m always concerned with my electric bill. Let’s face it, it’s going up anyway. Keeping warm is costly. My daughter’s boyfriend calls me a vampire. During the summer months, there’s plenty of light available during the day and evening. I don’t feel the need to use electricity to illuminate my bedroom when I get home after work. Once I’m relaxing, the light is off. He says it scares him to death when I walk out of the darkness into the rest of the well-lit house.

Here’s a funny:  In October, I went to the Haunted Trail offered by the Cedar Grove Volunteer Fire Department. I needed to get pictures for the Standard. They give groups one glow stick to help guide you through the woods. I kept mine.

When I got back home, it was completely dark outside. Unbeknownst to me, he was in the kitchen as I came walking across the yard holding that glow stick. All he saw was something glowing, floating across the yard and moving toward the house. He was terrified. I thought it was hilarious.

Spring equinox is Tuesday, March 20. It’s roughly 89 days away. I’m looking ahead and counting down. It can’t get here fast enough for me.

Standard reporter Lisa Hobbs can be reached at 473-2191.