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Monday, November 10, 2008

It's coming

I'm not sure I'm ready for this. After a pleasantly warm fall, winter is sneaking in. We got our first dusting of snow last night and I'm just not ready for it.

Yes, I know that winter has it's good parts. I'm especially able to remember these in the summer, when winter is a distant romantic memory. I say romantic because when I'm not actually in it, there does seem to be something romantic about winter. Staying inside, wrapped up in a blanket, sipping hot cocoa in front of the fireplace. And really, I do have some good memories of winter. I'll share one of these memories with you, more to comfort myself than anything else. A couple years ago on a cold winter night, my friend Jon was over and we decided to walk downtown to get some hot chocolate. We sat inside the warm cafe sipping our hot chocolate, cupping our hands around our mugs to warm our fingers and looking out the window, watching the snow fall out of the night sky. On our walk back, the snow was so beautiful and the air was so crisp, we walked right past my house and extended our walk until we could no longer feel our fingers for the cold. The snow was beautiful and winter almost seemed magical.

However. Notwithstanding some fond memories of winter, the reality is pretty harsh: driving in the snow, slipping on ice on the sidewalk, scraping your car windows on cold mornings, scraping your car windows on cold mornings (that one is so brutal it needed to be said twice), cold noses, many layers of coats, scarves, hats, gloves, thick socks, months with little to no sunshine, etc...

Whether I'm ready for it or not, it's coming. It's not here yet - the air smells different when winter really starts - but it's around the corner.

How do you guys get through the winter months? And I'm mostly talking about January through March/April. Snow and cold weather feel festive in December because of Christmas, but by January winter has already overstayed it's welcome. Last year one of my coping methods was to perfect my hot chocolate recipe, but that only got me so far. If any of you have any winter survival tips, please share. Or if you love winter and think I'm crazy, please tell my why you love it. I'm getting nervous... it's coming!

14 comments:

opticwalrus said...

snow = BOOOOOOOO!!!!!!

alecia said...

Cute background!
Winter survival = hibernation and lying to myself...
I make-believe it is warm outside, but I have too much to do inside so I only leave the house for emergencies like going to church and getting ice cream. I'm so glad my commute is from the couch to my computer this year...oh the window scraping torture that is michigan!!

Kristin said...

I have no survival tactics. I almost die every year. How about sharing that perfect hot chocolate recipe?

emily said...

I spend most of the winter curled up infront of my space heater. I hate being cold. And seriously, what's with Jan, Feb, March, Apr, and sometimes May in Michigan - burrrific!!! But I agree with you, it has to be cold and somewhat snowy for the Holidays or it just wouldn't feel right.

Jenna said...

I moved to CA. Problem solved. Although I miss what you've properly identified as the romantic season. Winter really doesn't exist out here.

AMy said...

I thikn the worst part of winter is knowing that April and May are still frigid and horrible like Jan, Feb, MAr. Michigan has some of the most epically long winters!

Sarah the snow princess! said...

Things I loathe about winter: No sunshine for days, sometimes weeks; scratchy dry air leading to horrendous static cling everywhere; wearing the same clunky snow boots no matter what the occasion...and sure, I could go on, but...

Things I love about winter: The very real possibility of snow days; that fairy tale wonderland after a fresh sparkling new snow fall; defrosting in a warm room with friends over hot cider...see, it's not so bad! :)

Katherine said...

I'd rather deny that winter is coming at all than try to find the good in it. Ok, fine. I like to look out the window at the snow and pretend I don't have to leave until winter, I like crackling fires, I like Elizabeth's hot chocolate, I like walking in the snow for recreation (similar to your story with Jon, I walked to the library last winter when it was snowing and it was really beautiful and magical!) and I sleep well in the winter 'cause it's so stinking cold. (Conversly, I can't then get up in the morning 'cause it's so stinking cold...)

Elizabeth Downie said...

Confession: my super secret hot chocolate recipe is: Swiss Miss hot chocolate mix, a pinch of cinnamon, milk, and love. Everyone's love might taste difference so expect some variation. ;)haha

Thanks for the optimism Sarah - you're right, it can be nice. I'll have to keep repeating that to myself for the next five months. ;)

MMMegan said...

Snowmen. That's right, you heard me. Snowmen. They're good listeners, they smile and wave at you all day, they're all decked out in holiday spirit, and they're completely uncomplicated. What's not to love?

Kristin M. Bates said...

As awful as it may be for my skin, I go for a weekly (or so) dose of tanning for just 8-10 minutes. Light Therapy is REAL! It makes my whole body feel warm (which is hard to come by in the winter), and it really keeps me happy. I am a super believer in Seasonal Depression, and this is my cure :)

Sara said...

I took a winter hiking course a couple winters ago, which has expanded my hiking season. Now hiking in the winter is possibly my favorite season, although it's still hard to get motivated to get out. But it helps not to feel trapped. Ice skating outside, snowshoeing, walking, skiing, whatever, it helps to get outside into the light! Last year we took a trip to Puerto Rico and one to Quebec City which both helped. Not sure we can afford anything like that this year, but we'll have to get creative with a winter escape or two. It's vital I think!

justin said...

winter is the perfect opportunity to bring out your full collection of motivational scarves.

Elizabeth Downie said...

The courage endures Justin!! The courage endures!! I'm currently knitting one that says, "Believe in the stars."

Which reminds me, someone left a scarf at my place that says "the courage endures." If it's yours, let me know.

Thanks for the tips guys! Sara, I'd love to hear more about that winter hiking course! I hate being inside all the time in the winter. A trip is a great idea too!