I was born in Miami.
Because of this, I am quite certain, my body lacks some sort of requisite insulation for the New England climate I currently inhabit. I was built for beach days and balmy evenings, afternoon thunder storms and scorching sunshine. I can weather 100% humidity like a Southern belle, fresh as a daisy.
But winter in New England?
I break out my parka in September. From then until approximately June, I feel like I have ice water running through my veins. Hot baths and hot beverages are my BFFs. Y’all think I am constantly adopting animals because I’m kind? Nope. Just looking for more warm, furry bodies to occupy my bed and keep the heating bills in check.
It’s now February, that time of year when I regularly scour the internet for deals on airfare to warm, sunny places. I dream of escape. This year, though, I have also been trying something new. I’ve been trying to make friends with winter, to reclaim a little of the joy the season used to hold for me as a child.
And whaddaya know? It’s working. This weekend was an excellent example.
Morning: I took a long beach walk with a neighbor, chatting as our dogs ran and played. The sky was stark white and the air smelled of snow. There was no need to worry about leashes or tourists. We had the beach all to ourselves.
Afternoon: I went snowshoeing with a friend. We talked and laughed our way through the pristine winter wonderland surrounding a small pond. The wind stirred the tree limbs above and sent flurries swirling down around us. We scooped up handfuls of snow and ate it like ice cream.
Evening: I drove home on dark, winding wooded roads. Snow fell in my headlights. I saw deer and rabbits. I passed very few other cars.
This, my friends, is something you can’t get in Miami.
Winter in New England is long and solitary. But the days are starting to lengthen, and the snow — while a nuisance — is pretty. How many ways can one weather the bleak midwinter? Let me count a few…
Bundle up and get outdoors.
Catch snowflakes on your tongue.
Sip cocoa by a fire.
Sip wine by a fire.
Paint your toes a summery color.
Eat breakfast in bed.
Eat dinner in bed.
Make breakfast for dinner. Eat that in bed, too.
Make snow angels.
Plan a summer garden.
Learn something new.
Read! Read! Read!
Tell me — what would you add to this list?