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The Newcomer

Coming in from the cold

by Frankie Potts

Nature has treated us kindly here in the Valley. Our autumn prolonged itself with a gentle segue into the months labeled winter. Brilliant blue skies and sparkling sunlight teased my violets into bloom while Texas was digging itself out of snow.

In good weather it was easy to find outlets for my energy. But when the brittleness of winter actually arrived with frigid air and icy sheets, I had to look for new options.

I finally found several warm ways to escape the cold.

It took me awhile to discover the Grand Cinema because there were no movie ads in the Daily Sun News, which is where I look for entertainment opportunities. I saw every movie that came to the Neptune Theatre in Long Beach where I lived before, but was missing out here. Finally, the Sun's editor told me we do have a theatre here-a great one. Pointed in the right direction, I've taken refuge from the cold quite often at the movies. Probably would be tempted to do it more, if the ads were easily available in my local paper.

The paper did lead me to Jim and Nan Ide's ballroom dance classes offered through our Parks and Recreation Department. The first class at Pioneer Elementary's gym certainly warmed me up. Dancing of any kind is foreign ground to me so this was not a light undertaking. Although a challenge, I went into it determined to have fun. The Ides made sure we all did. I'm looking forward to coming in from the cold for the next five Fridays.

Another hot spot turned out to be RC's Restaurant, which was a 'cool', friendly place for a meal out. Its lounge and hot buttered rum was a welcome, quick break during a tour of Sunnyside's Christmas lights.

This past autumn I thought I was planning ahead for winter evenings when I bought a fireplace/BBQ for my veranda. I visualized a snapping, crackling fire and roasting marshmallows while snow drifted gently down. But a burn ban went into effect when the weather was finally right for a fire. I ended up toasting my marshmallows over a candle! I don't recommend it.

Flexible-that's what we have to be, if we don't want to just wrap up in fleece and hibernate winter away, right?

I'm not sure spring is just around the corner, so I'm still on the lookout for ways to escape cabin fever. Any ideas?

. Frankie Potts is a retired journalist who spent her career working for several Washington state newspapers.

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