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Tips for Transplants: Rules for January in Denver

Denver in January: magical, sure, but this is a little ridiculous.
Denver in January: magical, sure, but this is a little ridiculous. Rob! at Flickr

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click to enlarge Beautiful inside and out. - LUCIA AT FLICKR
Beautiful inside and out.
Lucia at Flickr
5. Take advantage of free days at local institutions, courtesy SCFD.
The Science and Cultural Facilities District is funded in part by us, the taxpayers, and we recently approved an extension of that financial support with over 62 percent approval in the 2016 elections. That’s remarkable, considering how anti-tax this last electorate really was, and how in any given year you can depend on some lunatic fringe of voters who will somehow find a reason to oppose even the most slam-dunkiest of issues. Part of our continued support of the SCFD (but only a part — the benefits are many) are the free days at our local institutions: the Denver Art Museum on January 7, the Denver Zoo on January 20 and 21, and the Museum of Nature & Science on January 22, to name only a few.

click to enlarge Not taking away blankets seems like a good first step. - PAUL SABLEMAN AT FLICKR
Not taking away blankets seems like a good first step.
Paul Sableman at Flickr
4. Keep giving.
Shelters, food banks and soup kitchens see an influx of goodwill toward men (and women and children) during the holidays. But the support drops off precipitously over January. So don’t stop giving. Denver has enough problems taking care of our city’s homeless and needy. Be part of the solution.

3. If you don't yet know how to drive on ice, learn how.
January isn’t Denver’s snowiest month — on average, that honor goes to April, with March placing and December, January, and February tying for show. But that doesn’t mean the roads won’t be treacherous when it does come down in January, and unlike those wet, heavy snows that will probably come in the spring, what falls this month is more likely to stick around for a while. That means icy roadways, and if you learned to drive in a warmer clime, you’re going to need to figure out how to drive in wintertime — you know, in a managed skid like the rest of us. Otherwise, you’re just slowing traffic down, and to be frank, you deserve every finger you get.

click to enlarge No, your humidifier doesn't need to be in the shape of an animal. Humidifier shape will do fine. - HILLARY AT FLICKR
No, your humidifier doesn't need to be in the shape of an animal. Humidifier shape will do fine.
Hillary at Flickr
2. Humidify, humidify, humidify.
The winters in Denver are crazy dry — we’re in a high desert, after all. If you don’t have a humidifier built into your furnace (only newer builds will, with exceptions), then portable humidifiers will have to suffice. Bonus: Higher humidity means fewer allergies, reduced snoring, and fewer winter colds. Think of all you’ll save on Kleenex and nasal strips alone.


click to enlarge Don't be that guy. - JESSE HULL AT FLICKR
Don't be that guy.
Jesse Hull at Flickr
1. Stay warm.
Seriously. The flip side of Denver’s sometimes surprising weather is that it can go from shorts weather to frostbite in a matter of hours. Be prepared for anything — and welcome to winter at a mile high!

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Teague Bohlen is a writer, novelist and professor at the University of Colorado Denver. His first novel, The Pull of the Earth, won the Colorado Book Award for Literary Fiction in 2007; his textbook The Snarktastic Guide to College Success came out in 2014. His new collection of flash fiction, Flatland, is available now.
Contact: Teague Bohlen