Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

November 1, 2012

Fuzzy socks and hot beverages: Cold brings return of youthful comforts

By KATE COIL
Bluefield Daily Telegraph

— There has been no greater comfort to me this past week than being able to return home to a hot cup of coffee and my warm fuzzy socks.

While my days are spent trying not to slip and slide on the sidewalk — and more importantly not to slip and slide while out on the roads in my car — my evenings have been spent bundling up and hoping the electric and heat stay on for the duration of the night. In fact, coming home to find my power still on every evening has been somewhat of a personal triumph for me, knowing so many are without. I have to admit, I would probably go insane after a couple of days without all of the luxuries electricity afford me.

Every day this past week, my routine when getting off work has been the same. I take off my wet shoes, slap on some thick socks and then start up the coffee so I will have something warm to sip as the temperature goes down. With my socks on, my coffee in my cup and usually a blanket wrapped around me, I can settle in for the night and at least try to ignore the howling winds and falling snow outside.

Since I was young, fuzzy socks have played a major role in my winter wardrobe. During the wintertime, I wear them to bed at night and around the apartment during the day to shield my toes from the often frigid tile and wood floors. With the snow pummeling the region this week, my fuzzy socks have provided not only warmth but that comfy feeling I need when I look out my window only to see another inch of snow piling up on the ground.

I have to admit, I have more of those warm, fuzzy socks than many women have shoes. I have fuzzy socks in every color. I have them ready for different holidays like Christmas, Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day. I wore my pumpkin socks on Halloween, and I am still in the market for something with turkeys to wear around Thanksgiving.

Many of the socks in my collection were Christmas presents, a gift designed to keep my feet warm while I waited my turn to open presents under the Christmas tree each year. Like many kids, socks weren’t exactly on top of my “Dear Santa” list, but I was never disappointed to get these warm fuzzy socks. They beat out the multi-pack of plain, white socks Mom used to pick up at the store whenever we had outgrown or worn holes in all of our other plain, white socks.

However, not all of my fuzzy socks are purely holiday-related. When my family took a vacation out west, I picked up several southwestern-style socks with lizards and native patterns on them. I was surprised to find snow on top of the Rocky Mountains in the middle of June, and these socks really helped keep me warm when the temperature dropped into the 40s during those summer nights. These are easily the most colorful socks I own. My sister called them my “crazy socks” because of how wild they look.

One of my favorite pairs is especially thick with a cow pattern on it while another is woolen and resembles those expensive Scandinavian sweaters. I have a pair with Bugs Bunny on the front and little footpads in the shape of carrots on the bottom to keep my feet from sliding across the kitchen tile. Those pads on the bottom of these socks have saved my sometimes clumsy self from launching head-first into the kitchen counter on more than one occasion.

Thicker than my regular socks and with much quirkier patterns, these socks are not just great for winter. In fact, it is more than just cutesy patterns and the warmth that keep these socks on my feet. There is something about them that gives me those “warm fuzzies” — that indulges my inner-child with playful patterns and themes.  I guess it dates back to those cold days growing up when school would be canceled and, after playing in what little snow we got, I would curl up under a blanket in my pajamas and fuzzy socks to warm up. Mom usually made us hot chocolate and cookies on those cold days, completing the entire “warm-fuzzy” sensation. She had her own collection of colorful fuzzy socks as well, which might be where I inherited my own penchant for bright and colorful patterns for my own feet.

I suppose I have always associated my fuzzy socks with those comfy winter days, cuddled up in the house and watching movies. Of course, now that I am older I am a little bit more concerned about the thermostat and eating a lot less cookies than I could shove in my face as a child. Still, the fuzzy socks remain as one of my favorite wintertime comforts.

I am sure the weather we have experienced this week is just the beginning of what could be in store for us this winter, though I’m sure many shudder to think how bad it could get if this much snow is already falling this early. Though there are about five months left until we can really start looking forward to the warm weather of spring again, I am confident I will be able to wait out the worst of the coming winter storms with my fuzzy socks.

Kate Coil is a reporter at the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at kcoil@bdtonline.com.