13. Outside time. This is critical. Cabin fever sneaks up on you and WHAM! you've gone insane. I try to avoid skyways and tunnels on campus as much as possible during the winter. Sure, the outside track is actually quicker, but I really do it for the fresh air. Especially on sunny days. I love me some vitamin D exposure! But one of my absolute favorite times to be outside is during a snow storm. Not one of those crazy, windy, snow blowing sideways storms....one of those calm, serene, bit fat snow flake storms. Every time it snows I think back to when I was a kid visiting my Nana's house in Haddonfield, NJ for Christmas. I spent the night at a friend's house down the street. It snowed that night and we went outside to take it in. She didn't think it was great to be outside in the middle of the night in her pajamas, but I, in my red long johns (the kind with the butt flap), loved it. I stayed out there for over an hour and watched the snow fall from the middle of the street. I remember very clearly how quiet it was. How I couldn't even hear the snow flakes landing. In the true sense of the word, it was awesome.
Being outside in the winter in Minnesota isn't always easy. I give a lot of credit to those who bike to work every day of the year, play broomball through the arctic snaps, and sit out on a frozen lake waiting for the bait to take. It takes a special kind of dedication....crazy....for that. I am headed to the woods for my annual knitting retreat next month and am looking forward to the 4-mile walk, the snowshoe adventures, and the search for the wild turkeys. It's outisde time that is really good timing for me.