Today is Monday, July 28, 2014

Winter doldrums

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By GEORGE ROBERTSON, M.D.

With the cold weather bearing down on me that past few days, I’ve been confined to the barriers of my house and car. Usually very active with golf or some outdoor pursuit, it’s simply been too cold for me to stick my head out of the door for things that weren’t complete necessities. Even a walk to the mailbox which could be great exercise has taken a back seat to an automobile excursion and then only from the comfort of an insulated garage.

There was hardly a day in the rest of the year that I didn’t feel compelled to walk around the yard to pick up limbs from the many trees fallen from the last windstorm or rain. But even these short forays have been abandoned for the warm comfort of the couch and a cup of hot tea to take off the chill of just looking outside at the ice slowly starting to build up on the lakeshore beside the house.

When was it that I turned from an outdoors, all-Weather Arctic explorer personality into a cream puff?

I think the answer comes with the slowing down of the circulation that comes with the years. My friend asked the second time in a week if I knew of a cure for cold feet and my only response was to turn up the thermostat. The cold seems to bring out the weaknesses in our metabolism which used to go into high gear when the body temperature came down. I thought nothing of jumping into a lake on the Arctic Circle to experience the clear cold water and communion with the wildlife of Great Bear Lake but that was when I was 40 years old. Now I almost get pneumonia just thinking about what I did.

Just two years ago my wife and I took a dunking on a raft ride down the Futalafu River in Argentina, its waters swollen from snowmelt from the surrounding snowcapped peaks. It was exhilarating but not enough for me to book another trip. Somewhere in the recent past, my body seems to be telling me to protect the fragile frame that still connects me to the present world. So if I can just get a little more heat out of this gas fireplace, I might make it through January. 

What does the year 2010 hold?

Can you imagine a year worse than 2009? I tried to do this the other day and drew a complete blank. What could be worse than a near economic meltdown with unemployment over 10 percent? How about the loss of trust in our elected officials and sports heroes?But then I remembered the statement “I did not have sex with that woman” and decided that 2009 was just more of the same repulsive actions peaking toward the end of the decade.

What could have been worse than 9/11/01? We certainly didn’t experience anything that destructive on our homeland in 2009. With the war in Iraq phasing out and the Iranian people taking things into their own hands for a new government, there couldn’t be a much better position militarily. We are also looking more closely at options for Afghanistan before getting in over our heads again. And we didn’t have the tornado in Macon County in ’09.

So overall, I see a year of improvements in the near future. I believe our great country can rebound from the punches thrown at us and come back a winner like Rocky. With guts and resolve, we can conquer everything the world can throw at us, and with God’s help can continue to be a nation that everyone wants to come to for the freedoms which we so diligently defend.

Editor’s Note: George Robertson is a physician with Family Medical Associates, PC, in Lebanon.

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