When we had our first snowfall at the end of November last year, I felt the awe many of us experience upon seeing the earth suddenly turned out in a natty white cloak — and a wave of relief. Beneath that covering lay piles of dead leaves we hadn’t finished raking and bare spots where we meant to plant perennials or grass — chores, in other words, that we wouldn’t have to think about for another whole season.
Of course, those flakes also signaled the start of a long slog marked by endless shoveling, frozen pipes, and school closings that produce stir-crazy kids and frazzled parents. In our case, we also have a furnace that is vanquished by subzero temperatures and a station wagon with a propensity for cold- and corrosion-induced flat tires that I’ve been stranded in three times this season. Still, I find myself with more downtime in the three months following Christmas than at any other time of year. What else can you do during a bomb cyclone or when your toes are frozen in your ski boots but sit by the fire in a seasonally imposed time-out? Okay, if you have kids you’ll need a few more ideas:
I have relished these little moments with our boys — moments we don’t get as many of during the rush of summer and the shoulder seasons. It’s only January — the road ahead is long (and probably treacherously icy), but for now, I’m trying to look at the bright side of these darkest days of the year.
Maine winters — thumbs up or down? Please share your thoughts!
Cover photo of West Kennebago Mountain in Rangeley submitted by Summitx154.