Wednesday, February 9, 2011

What I Love About Winter

Last week, on Ground Hog's day, I heard a conversation on NPR about mid-winter traditions that were started to spur us through the last six weeks of the season. Ground Hog's Day whether we should dig in our heels for six more weeks of cold or if we should start looking forward to warmer days. Some cultures have proverbs about making sure you have half of your wood and food left to get you through the rest of the season. I thought it would be fun to make a list of all the things I love about winter, things I think about in the middle of a run of upper 90-degree days in the summer.
  • Christmas! - the holiday, not the consumerism
  • Playing in the snow - sledding, snow angels, snow forts, snowball fights, etc. We usually don't get much around here, so if there's enough to play in, I'm happy.
  • Hot chocolate
  • Hot tea
  • Soup cooking in the crockpot all day
  • Sweaters
  • Wool blankets
  • Wool socks
  • Heavy coats, scarves, and hats
  • Snow days (it doesn't take much for things to shut down around here)
  • Winter squash
  • Fires in the fireplace
  • Baking (too hot to do in the summer - I didn't turn my oven on for 2 1/2 months last year)
  • Ice cycles
  • Seeing cardinals in the snow
  • Animal tracks in the snow
  • Garden planning
  • Curling up on the couch with a good book and a mug of hot chocolate or tea (although I'll do this in the summer with a glass of iced tea or water)
  • Bare trees with the winter sun shining through
  • Cold groceries staying cold in my car as I run all my errands
Food for thought, in the middle of a long, hot summer, I look forward to all the things I love about winter. However, as much as I may love many things about summer, even in the long cold of winter, I do not look forward to the possibility of a long, HOT summer (i.e. too hot, meaning dangerous, to go out and enjoy ourselves: upper 90s, low 100s). Last summer was way too hot for too long. Interestingly, it has been followed by the coldest and snowiest winter I think we've experienced here.

Seeing as how we had two ground hogs make opposing predictions last week, I think I'll look to the robins playing in my backyard. Then again, we're about to get hit with more snow.

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