It’s cold outside.

OK, it is winter; it is supposed to be cold outside, at least for a little while. Cold is alright so long as: 1. It is not really as cold as it is up north in South Dakota where the snow reaches eye level by mid November and stays there until May. That is not cold; it is ridiculous. 2. The sun is shining, and it is not too windy. Sunny cold can be invigorating, at least for a couple of days, but dark, wet cold is depression squared.

Also, it is the inside, year round iciness of some establishments that bothers me. Take supermarkets. It is always cold in supermarkets. I read that they keep the temperature down on purpose so the frozen chickens will not thaw out. And what about those open top freezers where Marie Calendar and the Jolly Green Giant live? Accepting that cold air sinks, you have still got to figure that those coolers are adding to the need for parkas and mukluks in the cereal aisle.

Another venue that leans toward chilly is the doctor’s office, any doctor’s office. The waiting rooms are chilly, and the examining rooms are down right frigid. “Take off you clothes and have a seat. The doctor will be with you shortly,” says the nurse, trying to keep a straight face as she pulls on her woolen mittens.

Eager to comply, you strip down to your shorts and take a seat on the icy vinyl covered exam table. You are trying to concentrate on a back issue of the “Indonesian Rice Growers Gazette” but the shivering is making it difficult to keep the print in focus. You notice your extremities are turning blue, and you find yourself wondering what the first signs of frostbite feel like.

Finally, just before the blood in your veins congeals, the doctor walks in wearing a long white coat lined with musk ox fur, and cap with fuzzy ear flaps. He takes out his stethoscope fresh from the fridge, pokes sensitive parts of your anatomy with it and sends you on your way

You feel better. Of course, you do. The cold killed all the germs, or at least sent them into hiding, and it numbed any pain that was present. You are so happy to have feeling in you fingertips again, that everything seems better in perspective. While they will not admit it, I suspect that doctor’s offices are cold so that if a patient passes over to the other side while in the office, the staff would have time to figure out what went wrong, and fill in the proper forms before the corpse thaws out.

Happy birthday Thursday to Brooklyn McCaleb, Ora Snell, Andrea Nelson, Keyshun Toney, and Kanyjah Wroten, all of Sherman; Sara Butterworth of Denison; Melba Hamm Perdue of Collinsville; and Betty Connally of El Reno, Oklahoma.

Happy anniversary to Joshua and Brandi Stogsdill, of Denison, 15 years; and David and Lynda Dennard, of Sherman, 44 years.