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I love the winter weather. . .

10" Bean Boots in use.  Unlined.  Very comfortable.  Very warm with ski socks underneath.  Wish I'd had a pair back in the early 80s.

Just returned from walking the Young Master to preschool in the midst a beautiful cold, snowy January morning.  The snow sparkles when the low sunlight hits it.  Enjoying a quick second mug of coffee before I head upstairs to don my cross-country ski gear.  The Grand Duchess and I are off to a local park for some quiet morning skiing while we have a few child-free hours at our disposal.

The L.L. Bean footwear shown above has been my go-to choice since our first appreciable snowfall of the winter arrived last Monday evening.  I managed to purchase them at the end of October 2014 -- a birthday gift certificate from good ol' Mom -- before the company sold out of this year's batch.  When I mentioned to my mother on the telephone how comfortable the boots are, and that I wished I'd had a pair years ago in SE Pennsylvania when the winters were hard, she asked, "Well, why didn't you ask for some?!"  

I answered -- and remember this was in the midst of the early 80s preppy boom -- with something along the lines of this.  The boots and other such "preppy" gear didn't go with the image I thought I was cultivating at the time in my teen-aged Van Halen/David Lee Roth wannabe guise.  Back then, I was extremely vocal in my disdain for anything that wasn't denim, leather, or brightly colored spandex much to the chagrin of my parents and maternal grandparents, who, to their great credit, put up with my youthful rockstar fantasies without saying too much.  

Keep in mind that my high school girlfriend and her family were extremely preppy (Whatever that actually means at this point given the term's dilution over the lest few decades) in background, outlook, attitude, and appearance. . .  and her father was a betweeded anthropology professor at the local university.  As I've written here at The Average Guy's Guide to Classic Style before, though, my own family had a foot in that same world, so why I was such a pain in the neck about dressing and conducting oneself nicely remains a mystery.  Callow, obnoxious youth, eh?  Glad I finally worked it out and grew up.  That, however, is a story for another time.

-- Heinz-Ulrich


Later. . . 

It's amazing how a little physical activity in the outdoors will improve one's outlook and aid mental and emotional relaxation.  The Grand Duchess and I enjoyed about 90 minutes of quiet 'shussing' on our light touring skis this morning, heading around the perimeter and through the woods of a local park that is also a popular sledding and tobogganing spot due to it's two big hills.  

Since the kids are all back in school, however, at least until 3:30pm, we had the run of the hills and flew down them several times before heading back home.  The snow was crusty, cold, and surprisingly fast thanks to a bit of freezing rain two days ago, new snow on top of that, and then considerable wind exposure last night.  Let's just say, all of that combined made for pretty thrilling runs down those two hills.  Not bad at all for an ungroomed area.  Not bad at all.

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