It's cold out there. After 2 warmer than normal winters in a row, I am so very spoiled. It has been many years since we had a stretch of weather this cold, in fact I think that it goes back to the first year we lived here. I had the house beautifully decorated for Christmas. We had frozen pipes on Christmas morning. Which were followed by 3 or 4 very cold days, but nothing like the more than 2 weeks or major chill we are thawing out from now on.
Rocket forward about 35 years and the serious, at times deadly chill that started before this Christmas is still hanging on. For sure my age is showing because I don't find this the least bit adventurous, and the sound of dripping faucets is not nearly so reassuring as it is a version of water torture. We did have one 15 degree day and I celebrated by walking out to deposit compost onto the compost piles wearing no coat and in my bare feet. Call it a protest or a wish or even a charm....but it was pure celebration to me.
The charms of winter are lost on me. But I try gamely to summon up my pioneer spirit and make the best of it. So far we have had power, which is an odd thing since our power often goes off in the middle of a sunny day. I have read and mended and watched more TV than I care to admit to. Wrote a couple more letters and watched more TV. Tended the dripping faucets and the every hungry stoker also keeps me busy.
A bonus to having this happen at Christmas time is watching snow fall, and sitting in silence just looking at the Christmas tree, relishing every bit of the peacefulness that came over me. Looking at the cards and letters I received, and enjoying the tree and other decorations, which always seem so much more magical and filled with the warmth and the richness of memories after the rush and crush of the 25th is over.
To begin with and the nostalgia of winter often gets lost when there is extra work around the requires, needs to be, and simply must be done. I was briefly overcome with the nostalgia of making soup and baking to warm up house, or at least the kitchen, like my Mom and Grandmothers did. Those were dear memories, and I used up all of my flour and eggs making a great huge heap of quick breads, and just for good measure a couple of fruit cakes. The extras were securely wrapped up for the freezer, and were temporarily stored in the gelid mudroom, where the floor is colder on my usually bare feet than snow is.
From there I proceeded to soup, but it really just wasn't the same as when I was a kid. The clam chowder, vegetable beef soup, BBQ pork stew, minestrone and cream of mushroom were all good, however when I was a kid I didn't have to clean up afterward...which really did nothing for my enjoyment of the experience. It is my feeling that winter and washing dishes are my own personal punishments for being a day dreamer. At one point I grew tired of my nice warm kitchen and started opening cans of store bought soup, or my personal favorite Spaghettio's.
Finally we arrive at the point where we will be transitioning to more normal winter temps. No more dripping faucets, no more conserving the water that drips from those faucets, 20 degrees will feel like a heat wave. Sounds good to me. It's time to think about gardening anyway, think and plan and hope.