The bright side of winter (from a die-hard summer fan)
I know, it’s funny for ME of all people to be talking about the bright side of winter.
Anyone who has known me for more than a few minutes knows that I’m a die-hard summer fanatic. I love the sun and the heat and even a little bit of humidity (I was less enthused about humidity back when I lived in Montreal where it can be utterly disgusting in the middle of the season; Halifax makes it way more bearable!). I’m also that one person everyone knows who is always cold. I’m currently sitting at my laptop while wearing thick jogging pants, a long sleeve t-shirt, a pullover hoodie, and I have the space heater humming beside me. Even with all that I’m still side-eyeing my grandmother’s quilt and wondering if I can navigate typing if I drape it over my shoulders.
The struggle is real.
So obviously I’m not exactly thrilled when we enter the long winter season. It gets dark so early and the temperatures drop, we often get long stretches of grey skies, and we either get rain or snow. This winter we’re actually getting a boomerang back and forth between them, going from snow to freezing rain to rain to flash freezes to dry roads to snow, and lather-rinse-repeat.
All that to say that I am counting down to the warmer months when I can go to the beach and drink my weekend morning coffee on the back deck and sit outside until 10 pm without getting shivery. All that being said though, yes, there ARE some bright spots in the otherwise bleak winter, I just learned that I have to look a little harder for them sometimes.
Here are some things that make MY winter a little bit brighter.
Really enjoying a hot cup of tea.
Obviously you can drink hot tea at any time of year. In fact, even in the hottest days of summer I will still drink hot coffee in the morning and hot tea at night. I’m not a big fan of iced coffee or tea to be honest. But there’s just something extra cozy about a steamy cup of tea on a cold day at any hour. The feeling of wrapping my chilly fingers around a hot mug is so satisfying. It’s just something that isn’t quite as full of anticipation when it’s a sweltering hot summer evening.
Curling up with a bunch of fuzzy blankets and a book.
In the summer my favorite place in my entire home to read is my back deck. In the winter my deck is often covered in snow or ice so it loses its rank for obvious reasons. At that point my two favorite places for reading are my living room (in the recliner chair) and my bed. They’re tied because both work well with a pile of blankets and whatever I’m reading. Bonus points if I’m in my fleece pajamas and have a cup or the aforementioned tea. (And extra bonus points for cute mugs!)
Soup! So much soup!
I can’t speak for everyone but I know that I almost never eat soup in the summer. It’s just less appealing unless I happen to catch a summer cold. In the winter though, I can eat soup for any occasion. Sick with a cold? Soup. Recovering from the flu? Soup. First day eating after a fun bout of gastro? Soup. Wednesday afternoon? Soup. I love it, especially if it’s nice and thick (versus something more broth-like). In fact I had a whole can of split pea soup to myself today for no reason other than it was a friggin cold winter day. It helped. And no, I did not share.
Time for play!
Okay, personally I prefer to play around when it’s not below freezing but if there’s snow down on the ground anyway, I must admit it’s fun to put on the snow pants and thick gloves and head out for a little goofing around. Breanna and I made this silly scene of a snowman zombie attack and it was so much fun that we made one in the back yard AND one in the front. I hope the one in the front yard brought a chuckle to anyone passing by.
As someone with a photo-taking compulsion it would be really tempting for me to put a big fat hold on any kind of photoshoots until the weather warms up. And admittedly, it’s not always easy to set up a shot when it’s snowing, the wind is blowing, and your fingers are freezing as you fiddle with buttons and timers. But it’s worth it because some of my favorite photos I’ve ever taken of myself have been out in the snow. The trick is to use a self timer, find something to prop up your phone safely (like a glass) or use a tripod for your camera, and have a sense of humor.
And also a sense of crazy. That helps a lot too.
Well, usually anyway. It loses its beauty a bit when it starts turning to slush out on the streets and it’s hard to see how pretty it all is when you’re shoveling the end of your driveway for the 5th time because the plows keep pushing the snow back in every time they go by. But there’s a lot to be said about how rich a blue sky looks in the winter or how the snow sparkles. Even after a bout of freezing rain you’ll find the trees shine like diamonds. It truly is a beautiful season when you can look at it with the right frame of mind.
I am still looking forward to summer. My sandals and my shorts and my bathing suit are all waiting. I know it’s coming. Eventually. But in the meantime I will try to punctuate my countdown with a little bit of gratitude for this harsh season.
Excuse me, I need another cup of tea.