Here in the Great Lakes, our winter seems to drag on for half the year. This is a place where TV weather forecasters talk about Snowmageddon and Snowpocalypes, By February we are so over it, and by March, using the words “March” and “madness” together doesn’t always refer to your basketball bracket. Our winter began in November this year with a storm that dumped two feet of snow on the area. By Thanksgiving, schools had already used two of their six snow days.
So how do we deal with being stuck inside, endless gray days, and no fresh fruits and veggies? I’ve got friends who trail ride on fat tire bikes, friends who ice fish, friends who ski, and (always, right?) friends who run. Every day, blizzard or no.
Me? Not so much. I’m pretty averse to anything that might be called ‘exercise’. If I had to choose, I’d say walking was my go-to exercise. Summers will find me walking our riverside park for a nice 5k stroll—geese, ducks, squirrels, a canopy of trees, bikers, dog walkers. You can’t get much better than that. And I used to trudge out, no matter the winter conditions. (Yak tracks are an absolute requirement.) But wading through unshoveled walks and slip sliding away one too many times has dimmed even that pleasure for me. (It might very well be time for a treadmill, who knows?)
So what are my top choices for weathering winter?
Books, books, and more books: No surprise there, right?! I know I read more in the summer when I’m not in school, but there’s nothing like a blizzardy Sunday to make me stay curled on the sofa. This year I’ve kept up a pretty brisk pace, which is probably a good indication of just how much snow we’ve had.
Coffee: My drug of choice; it’s warm, smooth, and creamily delicious.
Putzing: Winter is a great time to rearrange furniture, weed out crowded closets, and organize cupboards. For some reason, I am drawn to make my cave neat and tidy and efficient when I’m stuck inside. Then, when the sun shines brighter and the breezes blow warmer, I’m ready for spring cleaning.
Turn inward: It’s this time of year that I set goals and plan for not the distant, but the near future. Like spring and summer. In order to get a good site, we need to make camping reservations six months out, so my thoughts turn to campfires, hobo pies, and walks in the woods. I think about additions to our garden and yard, and otherwise transport my mind past the snow and into greener days.
In a word—hibernate. And even though that sleepy groundhog saw his shadow this year, I know that in a few short weeks (probably about four, by my count) the robins will be back. And when the robins arrive, I breathe a deep sigh of relief.
It won’t be long now.