how to know it's January

One minute we're all raring to start fresh with resolutions, the next, wishing we could hunker down and take a nap... it's kind of a paradoxical month, isn't it?
We all talk about the weather. What else is there to talk about? Day planners? Diets? Please not politics.

Mittens hang in the mudroom and yesterday's boots bang around the dryer.
Hands are dry and cracked and a tube of lotion stands next to every sink.
On the counter a new calendar, in the fridge a fresh batch of chili.
Stray pine needles still populate corners and exfoliants crowd the shower shelf.
The dresser is full of fleece pajamas and the couch holds more blankets than boys.
Rachmaninoff and the Revivalists are streaming.
Serenity and On Guard are diffusing.
In the stroller, the baby's cheeks are the only visible part of him, greased to shining with salve (or red and ruddy in need of it).
On the nightstand a new novel, and a resolve to finish it before February.
There is salt on the street.
And in the van. And on the door mat.
And everywhere there is hope.

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