• Kathleen Cassen Mickelson

Cold, Getting Colder

Updated: Jan 29

I’ll just put on a sweater, thanks.


As I type this, the sky has darkened, the wind has picked up, and it looks like a fine time to brew tea and grab a blanket. Of late, I’ve been gathering little strands of LED lights, candles, and anything else that shimmers or glows so I can scatter points of light around the house. This morning, in the four-degree air, we walked our dog and inhaled that sharp, cold air that wakes us up like nothing else, noticed frost on shingles, windshields, asphalt, the last of the leaves. The dog, all bundled up in her tiny version of a puffer jacket, seemed okay with trotting along on that frozen ground.

I have never wanted to live in a climate that didn’t have these cold, clear mornings. Sound seems to carry further in this frigid atmosphere, while steam lingers low over buildings. There is a special quality to the November sunlight as it struggles up over the horizon at the same time as the almost-full moon slips away. Birds flock around our bird feeders and crabapple tree in a frenzy. When we get back inside after our walk, we huddle around the stove, waiting for the water to heat for our morning coffee.


It all feels perfect.

Will I ever be a “snowbird”? Will I ever want to move to a place that doesn’t so starkly demonstrate the life cycle, with beauty shown in naked trees and icy sheen as much as it is in full-blooming flowers and lapping warm water? I don’t think so.

Dead flower or exploding sun?

The dog’s still here.


Last week, I wrote about my mini-dachshund Truffles and her incessant coughing. Since then, she’s had a visit to the Veterinary Medical Center’s emergency room at the University of Minnesota – at around 2:30 one morning in the middle of last week when we couldn’t stand listening to her struggle and cough anymore. Her trachea shows “evidence of cervical tracheal collapse” (ripped right from the printout we got when we took Truffles home). The general consensus is that she has dynamic airway disease. Tracheal collapse makes her cough.


We aren’t quite sure what’s next. In the meantime, she’s getting antibiotics for a suspected underlying illness that triggered the excessive coughing, and we have a new cough suppressant for overnight so we can all sleep. The first one we got didn’t work. It took almost a week to figure all this out, so by the time we got an effective cough suppressant, we were exhausted.


Sleep is a beautiful thing. So is a quiet, happy dog, and a helpful veterinary staff.

Truffles in a quiet moment

A new look – again.


I’ve been struggling with how this blog looks for the past few months, trying to find a simple, clean theme that doesn’t make me tear my hair out when I try to customize it. This one feels about right. We’ll see how it goes. Let me know what you think in a comment.

#dachshunds #winter #oneminnesotawriter #minnesota #cold #November

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