Tuesday, November 10, 2015


I just read an article suggesting that: to embrace cold weather is to love cold weather.  That's what people reportedly do in the upper reaches of Norway--Tromso to be specific--where the sun barely glimmers from November through February. In chilly, sun-filtered Michigan, interesting to think of a frozen town in far-off, exotic Tromso, Norway.  There, in a twilight kind of sky, heavily-bundled persons ski out windows, drink hot cocoa, and do snuggly things under furs.  All very communal and friendly (1).

Novembers have always been dear to my heart.  Today, that's eating beef kidney stew, surfing the Net, and swilling hot, black tea. But November has taken on added meaning for me, the last couple years.  Now, it's also a harbinger of Winter as a Suck-The-Life-From-Old-People change. Getting older changes things.  Things like my body, specifically. Those changes don't ease in, either.  Last November, I watched my face and skin dry out in a matter of a few days when temperatures plunged and humidity disappeared.  And there are the aches and twinges, building up.  It has dawned on me that those aches and twinges are not going away.   Ergo arthritis is a permanent part of my life.  And here it is, November again.  That means more wrinkles and stiff joints.  Which builds character.

I read about the Happy Norwegians and wonder about their arthritis status in the cold months.  The study about Tromso did not go there.  So I Google "international arthritis rates " and find this interesting chart, which I can't figure out.  But it clearly shows that all countries will give you arthritis (2)

Apparently, arthritis thrives everywhere on the planet, whether or not the weather is cold.  Moving to Australia might or might not make a difference, according to the chart which I can't read.  Possibly people in Australia are physically active enough to keep arthritis at bay, but not enough to damage joints. It's hard to tell.  If you figure it out, let me know.

I do herbs, stretch, walk around town, do some gym. Every effort helps.  Movement is life, they say, and I believe it. But those things won't stop changes, just ease them.  Maybe without changes, we'd all lose interest.

I visualize ageing people in Tromso, scooting out snow-bound windows on sled or skis.  With hot grogg in one hand.  I'll adopt Tromso's plan and slide into changes.  Easier on the joints.

1. http://www.fastcompany.com/3052970/how-to-be-a-success-at-everything/the-norwegian-secret-to-enjoying-a-long-winter
2. http://www.rightdiagnosis.com/a/arthritis/stats-country.htm