There was frost on the ground when I woke this morning. The sky is a clear winter blue and my breath hung in the air when I got my newspaper.
I love winter. The holidays. Wrapping up in the warm afghans my mother made. Sitting by the fire drinking hot tea (well, I drink that year round, but it’s even better in the winter). Snuggling under covers on a cold night. I love going to Branson during the Christmas season. The holiday-bedazzled Silver Dollar City is even more fun for me when we’re bundled up in coats and scarves and gloves and sipping hot chocolate (they make the best hot chocolate there!). My birthday is December 20, and I used to think the whole world was celebrating with me.
We don’t get a lot of snow in Arkansas. A quarter inch of snow around here is enough to close all the schools and send people dashing to the grocery store for bread and milk. I like snow. Ice is a different story, of course, and we do get the occasional ice storm that leaves us shivering in the dark (I’ve written several stories set in ice storms). I remember reading stories as a child — like The Bobbsey Twins tales — in which the children built huge snowmen and snow forts and had snowball fights, and I envied them. While my kids have been able to build a few nice sized snowmen in their lives, sometimes they just have to make do with what little snow we get.
My husband and his mother both suffer from winter depression, and my oldest daughter has to fight that condition. While I see that it’s very difficult for them, that has never been a problem for me. Maybe because I tend to be a cocooner. Working at home is a good fit for me, because I’m perfectly content to be here. I’ve been known not to leave the house for days, which seems very strange to some people. As long as I have a couple of good books to read and my computer — or a notebook and pen — I don’t mind being snowbound for a few days. It’s even better when my whole family is around me. We’re game players and we’ve spent many hours sitting around the kitchen table with card games and board games. Though now that my children are growing up and moving out, that’s becoming a rare treat.
Maybe I’d feel differently about winter if I lived in a less temperate climate, as does one of my on-line friends (hi, Cara-Mae!) who’s already shoveling walks. But after an Arkansas summer with weeks of dry, hundred-degree days, winter is a welcome relief for me. Of course, after months of gray days, spring will be a nice change, too.
As the holidays rapidly approach, I wish a happy up-coming winter to all my on-line friends.