THE MOOD: Cold Comfort for a Long, Hard Winter

Winter has always had a way of sneaking up on many Americans. Perhaps they work too hard, move too fast, or spend too much time indoors to see the earlier sunsets every evening or notice that the air has begun to acquire an edge, like a jug of apple cider left over from early fall. Suddenly they wake up one morning to find sunlight sparkling off the hoarfrost and a silvery net of ice crystals on the puddles in the driveway. It can be a cold shock.

This year it is not merely another...

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