Today I am grateful for clean water to drink and for a warm parka to wear on bitterly cold mornings.

PARKA makes for a good blog topic today for my second "p" word. It is believed to be of Russian origin and the first known use of the word was in 1780. Merriam-Webster defines it as a very warm jacket with a hood. Here's a selfie of me with my own very warm jacket with a hood. I only bring this coat out on the really cold days. It does make a difference.

It has been cold across the country recently, even where it usually isn't that cold. In some places, a temperature around freezing seems extreme. To those of us farther north, 32 degrees sounds like a veritable heat wave right now. We have barely made double digits above zero during the day but have had double digits below zero to go along with even chillier wind chills in the 25 to 35 below zero range at night.

The parka in the picture is about 17 years old. I got it when I was an elementary school counselor in Sioux Falls, SD. At one of the two schools I covered, I got to share in Tuesday playground duty. After one especially cold day in a less than sufficient winter jacket, we went and got this one. I don't know what store we bought it at, but it wasn't expensive. 

It's held up well, but that's not surprising since I save it for the coldest days of the season and on these days only use it when I walk Oliver or we brave the cold for a walk when we get stir crazy from being cooped up. It probably gets worn a few dozen times in a typical winter. Otherwise it takes up space at the back of the closet in our entryway. 

I am grateful for my parka, grateful I can adequately protect myself from frostbite and hypothermia. But I am also grateful when it stays in the back of the closet for several months. 


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