Anyone who knows me knows I am not a fan of winter. Last summer, my daughter, who is of the same mind, gave me a sign to hang on my fridge that says, “I’m sorry for the things I said when it was winter.” Given my druthers, I’d be a snowbird but my life is not arranged that way, so the next best thing is to laugh at myself and accept the realities.
And yet, the other week, when we had an ice storm, I found some of the realities very enjoyable. On occasional mornings, we get up to visitors. Several deer come into the yard and hang around for an hour or so, digging out grass to munch. They can be a nuisance, but since they haven’t nibbled my garden or flowers, we co-exist amicably, and it makes me smile when one looks in the kitchen window while I’m putting on the coffee.
Late one afternoon, I looked out onto the meadow and was almost blinded by the brightness. Every weed and blade of grass was encased in ice and backlit by the sun. The following morning on my way to town, the same scene greeted me in the pastures. It made me feel sorry for people who live in town and aren’t offered this wider point of view.
Just so you know, the only time I don’t feel sorry for people who live in town is when we’re snowed in. Or when we get a blizzard during calving, or tired iron causes the equipment to break down at a critical moment.
Okay, sometimes convenience would be nice, just like wintering in Arizona, but there’s a lot to be said for acceptance, and the neighbors are pretty quiet around here. Red tail hawks and eagles don’t say much when they’re out hunting breakfast, and pheasant conversation is pleasant. The coyotes complain a lot but that’s the nature of coyotes, and every gathering has a loudmouth. I’d complain too if my dinner was hiding in a hole under a snowbank. Oh yeah, I guess one of the realities is that I do my share of complaining, even from a warm kitchen with dinner close at hand. Sorry for that…
We don’t have, nor do we want, one of those yard lights that comes on at dusk and competes with starlight. I don’t know how much they add to the electric bill, but ours is high enough already. Since we don’t get fireflies this time of year, I’ll take the moonlight sparkling on snow as a substitute.
I suppose one of the reasons for having a ton of activities lined up for winter months has to do with our need to combat the tendency to depression that arrives with the season of short sun, but I’m pretty content to build up the fire in the wood stove, brew a cup of something hot and comforting, and contemplate the lights on our Christmas tree.
If you are one of those enthusiasts who loves to play in the snow and finds the cold energizing, more power to you, but please don’t brag about the glories of winter. I’ll find them on my own, and when I can’t, my motto is, “If we make it through December, everything’s gonna be all right.” Soon we’ll be getting ready to welcome the sun home.