Chill Out

This month, the National Weather Service issues its seasonal forecast, which is an educated attempt to predict whether our winter will be harsh or mild
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Chill Out
Illustration by James Yang

This month, the National Weather Service issues its seasonal forecast, which is an educated attempt to predict whether our winter will be harsh or mild.

Until then, we’re left to reading the tea leaves, observing the widening girth of squirrels, and checking The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which says it will be cold to, well, very cold with below-normal precipitation.

According to the Weather Service, metro Detroit sees an average 41.7 inches of snow between October and May. The snowiest month ever in metro Detroit history occurred in February 1908, when 38.4 inches blanketed the city.

Whatever the outlook, we can assume it will be chilly at best.

For a sunny season outlook, try embracing the cold with activities that are both cozy and bracing.

Some suggestions:

  • Keep using the patio barbecue grill.
  • Take a warm bath followed by an application of skin-saving oils.
  • Buy and wear a stylish winter hat.
  • Keep going for walks, even after the fair-weather strutters have shuttered themselves indoors. The lack of pedestrians will let you better enjoy the quiet crunch-crunch of snow under foot.
  • Make soup and enjoy the warmth that cooking generates in the kitchen.
  • Rent Dr. Zhivago, curl up on the couch, and sip a white Russian while you take in film’s wintry landscape.
  • Rearrange your outdoor pots to reflect the season with greens, twigs, and berries.
  • Bundle up and join the hardy throngs lining Woodward Avenue for Detroit’s annual Thanksgiving Day Parade.
  • Raise your temperature by eating highly spiced foods.
  • Renew your inner child with sledding, tobogganing, making snowmen and snow angels, and having snowball fights.
  • Go ice-skating at the Campus Martius Park rink downtown, which, at the holidays, includes a classic city view of the 60-foot Christmas tree. (Brush up on your skills during free-skate times at area indoor rinks.)
  • Check out cruise-wear catalogs and dream of warmer days ahead.
  • Try snowshoeing.
  • Make hot chocolate from scratch, using real cocoa.
  • Buy and wear a colorful coat, parka, or scarf. Sporting kelly green, purple, or orange will fetch more compliments than you expect.
  • Drink robust red wines.
  • Go to the DIA and take in winter-themed paintings such as American artist Willard Leroy Metcalf’s The White Veil.
  • Take pictures of bare trees.
  • Wear something cashmere.

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