Here's the scoop: November 6, 2013

I’ve waiting long enough
You know how 15 minutes after a holiday ends, prices are slashed to a fraction of what was being charged for several months? Of course you do. You may even be one of those really disciplined types who only shops during these price drops and saves a ton of money by waiting for these markdowns.
Personally, I’m not wired to be that patient or frugal. Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to save a bundle on next year’s Halloween decorations, but it’s hard for me to put something away for nearly a year before it can be utilized.
Fortunately, as spring sprung last year, and I told my wife, “You know, flannel sheets are practically free around this time,” she determined that we should actually invest in a set, rather than just having this topic as pillow talk. So, we did.
The sheets sat patiently in their packaging until last week. I hate to jump the gun on winter (and still haven’t officially), but a few brisk nights and light snowfalls convinced me that it was time to break out the flannel.

Fond memories
I still remember my “first time” with flannel sheets. I slept better than ever. That was years ago and I’ll never go another winter without one of life’s most simple — yet greatest — luxuries. As with most products, there are varying degrees of flannel sheets. Because we bought this recent set as warm weather was on the horizon, we got a very good price for nice quality sheets. If a washer and dryer had feelings, I think they would have been very happy when the flannels were laundered before their initial use.
Then came the real test. As a general rule, I don’t like many blankets, because I get too warm. The flannel sheets were another story. I knew they were on the bed last week and I could barely wait for bedtime to arrive. Without consulting the computer’s Thesaurus, I’d describe the sensation as “awesome.” Using the Thesaurus, I’d sub in the term “magnificent.” Heck, let’s bump that up to “bravura.” I think “boffo” would work, as well, and that didn’t even pop up as an option.

Hard to believe
That first night, I simply couldn’t get over the comfort factor created by these flannel sheets. When I finally woke up and looked at the clock, I was thrilled to calculate that I still had about 45 minutes before I had to get up. I went back to sleep and enjoyed the nicest snooze I’d experienced in years.
I woke up completely refreshed and energized. There are few moments in life that are so pleasant. It doesn’t get any better. Until — it does.
Heading downstairs on this brisk morning, I was still basking in the flannel-sleep afterglow. Since I was “all in” on winter’s semi-arrival (until we’re eating outdoors on Thanksgiving), I decided it was also time for the season’s initial bowl of oatmeal! Piping hot oatmeal, with heaps (too much, I’m sure) of brown sugar, a drizzle of homemade maple syrup and a pile of pecans. Yum-O, to borrow a line from Rachael Ray.
Later that day, I began to think about the folks who head to warmer climates for the winter months. These “snow birds” sure are missing some of life’s little pleasures. Then again, I’m sure they’ll want an update from those of us in the Flannel Region in mid-January.
— Brian Sweeney