Being Ok with Winter

Winter White Pines by my House
Winter White Pines by my House

“I wonder if the snow loves the trees and fields, that it kisses them so gently? And then it covers them up snug, you know, with a white quilt; and perhaps it says “Go to sleep, darlings, till the summer comes again.” ― Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass

If you know me, you know that I am not the best winter person.

In the past, I have mostly complained about the winter. Too cold, I hate driving in snowy conditions, blah blah blah. But lately things have changed. Or maybe I have changed.

Used to be I lumped winter with Christmas. I thought of winter as Christmas and when Christmas was over, I was depressed at the thought of two more months of snowy weather. How unfair. Why couldn’t Christmas just be a little bit longer?

So I always extended the holiday on my own. I’d leave my decorated tree up longer than most people I know. (last year, it was up waaaay long). But sooner or later, even I have to face the weather.

View From My Window
View From My Window

This year I’m trying something new. I’m making an effort to embrace winter. Currently it has snowed about seven inches here in my neck of the woods. I was in the house most the day Sunday; I made homemade chicken soup. The smell was delicious and made me smile. I filled my bird feeder with sunflower seeds and watched the cardinals, blue jays, and the chickadees compete for best positioning. The birds are probably my favorite part of winter.

Jim was a good sport yesterday and cleared the driveway (thank you to his brother Chuck for use of the plow). I was beginning to worry I wouldn’t get my car down the driveway.

So I’m making the best of it. For years, I commuted fifty miles round trip to work in all kinds of weather. I dreaded those snowy mornings and that stressful drive. We had a terrible snowstorm in Pittsburgh about five years ago and I drove to work the very next day! I still can’t believe I did that. Locals called the storm “Snowmageddon.”

Maybe that makes it all the easier now to relish my pajama filled mornings and endless cups of coffee. 🙂

Lest I gather too much guilt over my current home bound status, I continue to work on my wedding business. I got on Instagram yesterday and boy, that was challenging. I am teaching a wedding planning class next month so plenty to do there. I continue to make optimistic appointments, despite the uncertainty of February weather. I preface each appointment request with the words “weather permitting” and I mean it. We can always reschedule if the roads look a bit too slippery.

So winter, here I am. I embrace thee. And I make another pot of coffee…..

 

Just beautiful
Just beautiful

 

How are you dealing with winter? I’d love to hear about it!

 

 

 

Join me on my graceful journey.
1015

25 Replies to “Being Ok with Winter”

  1. I never really minded winter too much…until late January and February! Now we don’t get much ‘winter’ here…while you are enjoying the snow, we are in the upper 60’s to mid 70’s! Today they are calling for 75, but by Saturday we will be back in the 40’s. I just take it day by day!

    1. Really? 60-70’s? That would be a heat wave here right now. 🙂
      I’m ok with winter this year. The challenge will be in late February when my patience will wear thin. I’m keeping busy and I think that is the best thing.
      xo

  2. Things I like to do in the winter: Put on my snuggy slippers and try out new teas. I especially like to watch the one that you put in the pot and it turns into a flower. Plan next spring’s garden…. That could take a long time. Try out new recipes for soup. Light lots of candles. Sit in the sauna and steam room at the gym. Make a fire. Eat root veggies, play with kids outside, take my dog for a walk in the quiet snowy woods, come home, drink hot chocolate. Practice painting watercolors. Reorg my kitchen cupboards (not top of the list:)..Read books about an ancient simple time, and sometimes beachy ones. Scrub my floors and every nook and cranny. Plan what color I’m going to paint a room when I can open the windows. And stand outside and listen to the wind and snowflakes. Sometimes I go to the lake, and let the wind hit me as hard as it can… then I watch a spectacular winter sunset. Go home, and drink hot chocolate:)

    1. Wow, this is really good. I do lots of these things but there are some ideas here I will definitely try.
      I like the idea of reading about ancient simple times. Plan what color I’m going to paint a room (LOL); my living room needs painted.
      I thank you Drema for these ideas. I’ll try some. Thank you for reading and responding to my blog!
      xo Joanne

  3. You have set yourself a challenge there, Joanne. Winter,( especially the grey, gloomy, sunless days of winter) , is very hard to embrace. But you will rise to the challenge. 🙂

    1. It’s getting easier as I get older. I wish I could just fully retire but that’s not in the cards….yet.
      I’m looking out my window right now and the view is gorgeous. I think the answer to winter happiness is balance. Not trying to do too much, yet still keeping busy.
      Stay tuned. 🙂

  4. Well I do love winter! I’m enjoying the peacefulness of the season. I like to organize so that is what I do along with reading, watching movies and having a cup of tea in the afternoon. I did buy a chicken the other day to make a pot of homemade soup!

    1. I’m into chicken soup! I actually think it has the power to keep me well through the winter. I just started a new book so I agree, reading is good.
      Thanks for reading and commenting!
      xo Joanne

  5. My first wife passed away on Valentine’s Day of 2003. The snow had begun early and continued steadily for the next several days. On the day of her memorial service, we were in the middle of what grew to be an intense blizzard that even has its own Wikipedia citation:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/North_American_blizzard_of_2003

    That night, after things had quieted down, I went outside and plowed and shoveled well into the night. In an unexplainable way, it gave me a renewed sense of life’s beauty and purpose. Maybe it was her unique way of saying goodbye and or maybe a quiet way of saying that everything is as it should be – I don’t know.

    So now during winters, when I get out the John Deere and start to plow deeper snows, I can’t help but smile when the plowed mounds are as big as I remember my life was with her then.

    1. Michael, what a beautiful tribute to your wife. I can imagine that through that silence of plowing and shoveling, a calm acceptance can come over one.
      Thank you for sharing this. It is truly wonderful.
      xo Joanne

  6. Joanne, by “embracing winter” you’ve done most of the mental hard work already. And not having to be anywhere at 7 am helps too! I really enjoyed reading your blog this morning.

    1. Hi Greer!
      Are you in Florida enjoying the sunshine? 🙂
      If so, I am thinking of you and Gary while maintaining my winter cheer.
      The sun is shining today though it is still very cold.
      Blessings to you both,
      Joanne

  7. Joanne, it’s thoughts like these that truly kiss my soul. Just the other day, I was thinking how I missed some snow. As you know I grew up in New Jersey, and though I realize that it can be quite treacherous, at the same time it can be quite beautiful, like nothing else.

    Your photos are wonderful, and I love the snow covered evergreens. I loved how you said you used to lump Christmas with winter…I think, if truth be known, most of us do. And I like how you are embracing the rest of winter – though a bit easier in ones PJs – yes? 🙂

    Here in SE Texas, I am enjoying every moment of winter, because as you would complain about the winters, I am the same here about the summers – which are terribly long and hellishly HOT! Every ounce of cool weather – even in the 30s, is a blessing in my eyes. And unlike most of the people I see walking into the store, I put clothes on for winter days.

    Oh, I could go on, as the winter, in its own right holds some lovely mysteries and thoughts. But I’ve got to run off to work now. Thank you for your delightful post, and may your day be full of warmth of heart and soul.

    Blessings and hugs,
    Marianne xo

    1. Thank you Marianne for your beautiful thoughts! I have heard the same from my other friend who lives in Texas- HOT! in the summer. I’m sure you are grateful for cooler days of winter.
      Glad you loved the evergreen pictures and it is true, this is so much easier in PJ’s!
      Blessings to you-
      Joanne
      xo

  8. Carroll’s description of the snow kissing the trees and fields is is a beautiful first step in embracing winter, Joanne. Like you, I dread driving in winter, and it always seems there’s at least one family emergency that requires a long drive during bad weather. So I tried to store up memories of beautiful little snow scenes I witness on my winter walks, and then I pray my way through the long drives.

    1. I always need prayer on snowy winter rides. Sometimes I let the quiet envelope me. No music or chatter. Just stillness and peace.
      I loved the quote too and thought it a good one for winter.
      Blessings to you Marylin,
      Joanne

  9. Good Morning….beautiful pictures and thoughts. I have to tell you …the first thing I did was look for deer somewhere in that georgeous winter scenery. I almost feel as if I was writing some of this blog mysef, as I have a hard time just enjoying being in my home without cleaning, laundry, worrying about how I could help my mom more (when she was alive). etc…. etc. However, my “program” has taught me gratitude for things I never took time to enjoy, or even notice let alone appreciate! Maybe age has something to do with it also. Your words are very peaceful & inspiring, so as I was driving this morning, I stopped to take pictures of the sun peeking through the clouds on to the beautiful white snow. I didn’t even complain about the road conditions!!! So, thank you for such as awesome pist this morning. Sounds like you worked hard all of your life…..now it is time to smell the roses, or maybe even play in the snow! I will pass this blog on to a young friend of mine who was not appreciating winter today! Enjoy………

    1. What beautiful thoughts you describe Cindy. I am glad we both are realizing gratitude for the small things. Like you, I check the sky and watch for some sun peeking through the clouds.
      We will get through it- winter that is! Before you know it, we will be smelling the roses.
      xo Joanne

  10. Wonderful blog. I don’t miss the bad roads. But the snow is beautiful on the trees and yards. Every time I see a picture like your’s i want to go out and make a snow man. LOL Still young at heart. Some day I want to come up in the winter and do just that. Have a great day. Love to you all

    1. I would love for you and Donna to come up for a winter visit. The trees and yards are so beautiful. I should make a snowman before winter’s end!
      What a great idea 🙂
      xo Joanne

  11. I love that quote Joanne!! And I am so inspired by your decision to embrace winter! It is never easy…I remember last winter seemed to last forever! This year I am feeling different though and I am so glad. Maybe it means winter won’t last as long!

  12. Lovely attitude adjustment Joanne! I admit I find January’s rather dreary for the same now-Christmas-is-over sentiment. I perk up in February a bit because in this northern clime I begin to notice the lengthening days, being light out still at 5pm! Yay! But the best thing to do is have a good attitude and do what we can to embrace winter. I love it. Thanks for sharing your cheerful advice, and best of luck (always, ongoing) for your wedding business. Congrats on getting on Instagram! Way to go!
    Big happy hugs, Gina xo

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