That time of year / Giveaway results

This is the time of year when I finally give the season a name: I call it This Horrible Winter That Never Ends. Then I feel badly, because it is rather terrible to look a thing in the eyes and label it something cruel.

This is the time of year when A Boatload of Snow gives way to Freezing Rain which gives way to Record Breaking Frigidity and back to A Boatload of Snow and around again. And again.

This is the time of year when the cashier at the little Mennonite shop says to me “Enjoying the nice weather?” with a perfectly straight face and I don’t know what to say. It’s fifteen degrees out there and the roads are awful, and the heavy gray clouds are pressing so over the land that I cannot tell if it is actually snowing or just suffocating us into the ground. I do not know if she is serious or not. I don’t think she has sarcasm in her. So I say, carefully (so that it could go either way), “Sure better than last weekend, with those frigid temperatures.” And she says “It’s supposed to get cold again, this weekend.”

This is the time of year when everyone who comments on the weather has this little gem to offer: “It’s supposed to get cold again, this weekend.”


But I know what they mean: below zero. I’ve seen the bottom side of zero more times in a month than I ever hope to in thirty days in all my life again. And shed more tears than I can remember or count.

This is the time of year when I could eat myself into a stupor and totally not care, so I arrange a series of careful deceptions, starting around 9:00 pm. “Yes, soon I will go and make that decadent cup of hot chocolate, but first I will work on this {blog post} {pending project} {third chapter by Wendell Berry} {email response} and then after a while… Maybe I will have a bowl of chips too… soon… But first I will just finish this up…” If I manage very carefully I can, without actually saying no, trick myself into putting off food and drink until my pillow looks more appealing than anything else and I go to bed gratefully, with an empty stomach.

This is the time of year when my tiny indoor starter plants for the garden become absolutely necessary. They need to thrive. I check them anxiously several times a day to make sure they are still green, still hopeful, still looking like they don’t give a rap about the cold.

This is the time of year when I am suddenly possessed of a strong urge to clean my entire house from top to bottom. And so I make an over-ambitious plan for the month of March and get out the bucket and the rags and the strident music, and have at it.

This is the time of year when I step outside barefoot to put stuff in the trash bin, because it’s a late-winter ritual I love, that powder-soft intensely-cold melting magic beneath my bare toes. I cannot tell if in this ritual I am expressing my appreciation or my disdain for the snow. Both, I think.

This is the time of year when I rely heavily on my best coping mechanisms: Surefire Ways to Survive Any Winter. But that is for our next post.

Yep. It’s that time of year.


drinking coffee (1) P.S. And speaking of decadent hot chocolate… which I do occasionally enjoy… I finally, finally got to drink from the brown mug: Alison’s generous gift to me. That’s because we have a giveaway winner, and she chose blue! I am soo happy for Rachel N… and to all the rest of you, don’t forget to check out Alison’s other pottery here, or keep her work in mind when you need a pretty gift for a friend!

Thanks to all for the most lovely hot drink ideas and recipes.

And special thanks to those of you who introduced yourselves in this giveaway—told me who you are, and in which former life I knew you, and what you did today, and who your husband was. I really loved that unexpected part of this giveaway, and of you.

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Bonnie's Mama
8 years ago

I think it’s time to plant some wheat indoors. Instant gratification and lush, beautiful green, never mind the cold.

Joanna Yoder
8 years ago

This was the first February in more years than I care to count that SAD didn’t ruin for me, despite the weather. Was it the kefir? The healthier diet? The almost-daily little exercise ritual? The daily prayer reminders that my phone gave me? Or the fact that we’re moving very soon, so I’ve got to much to do to have time for SAD? I don’t know, but I’m forever grateful.

A quote I heard recently: “You know you’re in northwest PA when the news is the weather, and the weather is the news.” 🙂

8 years ago

Well. You spoke my mind on the weather.

I think the weather is playing a toll on at least one of my kids and maybe more of them as well.

That mug looks good on you. You should consider carrying it around as an accessory…..start a new trend… mugs instead of scarves.

8 years ago

I love it! But then, I am in the Florida Keys right now…

8 years ago

“WHAT DO THEY THINK IT HAS BEEN”? Not sure why, but that sure struck my “funny bone”! Thanks for a GOOD laugh!

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