I love Winter, I really do. I love the sound of snow falling; the intense quiet after a storm; the sense of hidden spaciousness when the land is blanketed in snow. I love Cowgirl's excitement when the first flakes fall and she rushes outside to capture them on her tongue; how impervious to cold she becomes when sledding is involved; and how winter days require frequent hot cocoa breaks. And I love the quality of introspection that cold weather and white landscapes evoke.
But, I ask you: Is it my imagination or has winter become dirtier? As a kid, I don't remember all the grit and grime associated with snowfall. Okay, trips into New York City we would joke about gray snow (yellow snow - yes, we knew about that!) but now it seems like slushy, gritty, brown snow quickly arrives on the heels of a fresh snowfall. And I am weary of the grime which is everywhere: on cars, coats, bags, boots, garage floor and rolling around on my wood floors where bare feet are assaulted by the tiny but oh-so-sharp nuggets.
Even my winter boots - veterans of many years of snowy walks - have collapsed under the strain.
that's electrical tap holding the sole of my left boot on (meanwhile, i track the journey of my replacement boots from one snowy fed ex center to another)
Coupled with the exhaustion of lugging around the weight of extra clothing (remember my Moose-walking outfit? At least 2 layers of everything and I walk him 2 to 3 times a day) and I am ready to hang a white flag and surrender. But as Cowgirl reminds me "we never give up - do we mommy?" and so with the going tough, I got going.
When the winter blahs threaten, here's what I do:
Grab my camera and take pictures. Under the guise of being artful, I find the exercise of looking for interesting shots engages me at a time when I would normally lapse into moody reverie. It gets me moving, looking, thinking and present.
Experiment a bit. Which can mean interesting disasters.
i got the crazy idea that it was too cold inside for the film to proper process and not having a radiator, i thought I would pop the pictures into a warm oven. of course, i forgot about them being in the oven! hence the interesting blue effect (and a curdling you cannot see in the scans)
Paint paint paint. If gray is the landscape outside my house, well, I can find rainbows within.
Mix things up: indoor picnics, dance fests and ice cream cones when it is 5 below zero.
When all else fails, I surrender to the blahs and crawl into bed with a good book or my drawing pad.
Also helpful - putting my woes into perspective:
Things could always be worse!
What home remedies do you have for the winter blahs?