Thursday, January 15, 2009

Those Icicles Have Been Known to Kill People

I have the unfortunate fate of being a person who unabashedly loves winter. Whenever it snows, I get blamed for it. And when the wind-chill is dangerously low that they close schools I’m asked if it’s cold enough for me. And to put the record straight no one is happy when it’s that cold. So why is winter my favorite season? I can best explain it on my drive home from work. The sun is down but it’s not completely dark yet. The snow is glowing blue and the whole world is silent. Not just quiet, the type of silence that comes from insulation. The snow does it. It muffles the sounds and world is silent.
When I was little the first snows were always linked with the holidays. It was enchanted snow that twinkled in the Christmas lights. Anticipation is a hard force to argue with. But as I get older it’s the second half of winter that appeals to me, the quiet of January after the frantic holiday schedule. I flip through the seed catalogues while snuggling into my armchair. I plan the New Year’s garden with a hot mug of tea and a cozy afghan. In January I bake and cook like a woman possessed. And it’s not the fancy holiday stuff; it’s good wholesome basics. Breads and pot roasts and chili stock my kitchen. January is a time for healing and finding yourself again after the crazy end of the previous year.
Some of my fondest childhood memories involve quiet snowy mornings and bundling up in thick sweaters. I can still smell the furniture polish on my old desk where I did homework and listened to unending love song sessions wishing for my own Romeo in Black jeans. That Valentine’s Day it was Rocco I was dreaming of, the high school boy who refereed our junior high basketball games. Every cozy memory I have is a winter memory and really aren’t those the best kind? So why wouldn’t I love driving home on a cold snowy night with the smell of wood fires seeping into my car. I lean back in my seat and smile at the warm glow coming from the farmhouses and get ready for the big hug waiting for me at home. What can top that?

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