Oh, how I long for summer.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I don’t like winter. I just hate getting dressed for it. It’s so much work.

While covering the offending parts is all that’s necessary from June through August, getting dressed in February requires much more thought. Is it cold enough today for long johns? Can I get by with gloves or do I need mittens? Is this a face-mask day?

And the big question: do I really need to go outside?

When I was younger and lived in Cooke City where winter rules, the environment required a certain level of dress. I had been preparing for it all my life.

As a kid I spent countless hours thumbing through various outdoor gear catalogs, the Alaskan Sleeping Bag Company and Eddie Bauer foremost among them. I was the only teenager in southern Indiana wearing snow pacs and a wool mackinaw.

In a part of the country where winter is only an occasional visitor, I was certainly overdressed.

In Montana, however, I fit right in, especially in Cooke, where my cabin was chilly enough that I seldom even considered shedding a layer inside.

And therein lies the problem. I now live in a house warmed by an energy-efficient gas furnace. It has insulated windows so there’s no need to cover them with plastic sheeting. It’s quite comfortable inside, and if I‘m not planning to go out, even covering the offending parts is unnecessary unless my wife is home.

But most days require that I do go outside, however briefly. So I have a choice: take the time and dress appropriately or race outside in jeans, a T-shirt and slip-on shoes.

It’s a difficult choice. Both have their pros and cons. Appropriate dress, while warm and comfortable, doesn’t work inside the house. Inappropriate dress, on the other hand, is really uncomfortable out in the weather, but works fine inside.

At the moment I have little choice. The pile on the floor from which I choose my daily attire is heavy on long underwear, wool socks, and fleece vests. There’s nothing skimpy there.

I face a couple more months of putting it on and taking it off before the weather warms. It’s more work than I’d like, but the options are few; move somewhere warmer or stay inside.

I guess it’s time to get dressed.

Again.