1. There is no need to wear a bra. Sorry family relatives, maybe this is too much information, but seriously. By the time one actually leaves the house any initial wardrobe choices are buried SO FAR beneath a million other clothing layers that it really makes no difference at all what they might be. In fact I haven't worn a bra in days and I didn't even notice.
2. There are no quick dashes, as in, "I'll just buzz over to the store really quickly and grab a carton of milk." Are you kidding me? First of all, let's remember the layers as described above. Dang, just taking the compost out requires at least a couple layers of down. To go to the actual store you need the layers, plus a huge bowl-full of patience as you circle the car looking for a door that is not frozen shut. And just because you're allowed inside the vehicle doesn't mean you can just drive away. Nope. Definitely account for several more moments of deep patience as you freeze your ass off waiting for the car to be warm enough to actually move.
3. Kids grow. We trollop happily along through most of fall wearing hybrid outfits - basically our summer gear with some concessions like pants and closed-toe shoes. Then, while we sleep, Old Man Winter tip-toes in during the night and DUMPS winter on our unsuspecting heads. Next morning cue the scrambling and digging for last year's snow boots, mittens, and snow pants. And yep, you guessed it, they are all too small; snow pants hugging the crotch too tightly, levatating above the ankles, boots smooshing toes. This mashup up from Old Man Winter and Father Time is particularly tough to swallow.
4. We are all sucky housekeepers. My friend Romy and I talk about this every year. That lovely lemon-colored winter light comes streaming in through our windows at just the right oblique angle to highlight every single dog hair and rice cake crumb on the floor. The low angle of the brilliance makes even the tiniest crumbs cast huge long shadows (even after a good sweep), leaving one trapped between conflicting desires: for the sun to move along just a bit so that our homes don't appear so dirty, and for the sun to stay as long as possible - PLEASE GOD WE NEED YOU SUN.
5. We have cats. I think our fat cat, Nimbus P. Thundercat and our crabby calico gal, Frau have a feline pow-wow sometime in late October. They put their decade-long, love-hate relationship aside to meet in the yard, just under the thermometer hanging on the maple tree, and strike a deal. Frau is the brains of the operation so she lays it out. "Here's the plan: When that long hand no longer inches past the 10 degree mark let's lay claim to the couch. You get the left side, I'll take the right. And don't move unless the parents make you. Got it?"
And then Nimbus, ever the duffus, miscalculates and jumps the gun by a couple degrees, catching a few days head start of deep slumber and couch dominace.