Settling in for Winter

Christmas came and went in a flurry of decorating, baking, gift buying, church services, family gatherings and I loved it all, but now it’s time to settle in for Winter. We have almost three months of it to go and no matter where you live, it’s time well spent if you will do it.

I use to really love Winter as a child because it brought Christmas and sledding and making snowmen and snow angels in the snow. The cold didn’t bother me hardly at all even with my stocking gloves(I had no others) and wearing my brothers’ old buckle artic boots. I didn’t care how I looked because I got to go outdoors with my older brothers and go sledding down the big hill just down the road from our house. Winter meant hot tea and cinnamon toast on snowy school day mornings, piles of blankets on the bed where my room was so cold frost formed on the inside. Winter was my daddy making popcorn balls and bringing armloads of wood inside to fuel the big stove in our kitchen. It was my mother’s delicious suppers eaten around the table with all my family, snug inside while the weather roared outside.

Now that I am an old lady( I don’t feel like one) the cold weather really bothers me. Right now I have three heavy blankets on our bed and a mattress pad that has duel heat controls and mine is always on the highest temperature these cold, Winter nights. Sometimes I think it would be grand to be like the bears and hibernate all Winter snug in my cave. But I would have books to read also so as not to be bored. I’d lose weight like the bears do and come out in the Spring slimmer and ready for the warmer seasons.

But, alas I must just settle into Winter and enjoy it the best I can. Hot baths, snug beds, lots of reading, sewing quilts, making hot soups and baking delicious things. Going out to care for the dogs and the chickens who have to endure this weather the same as I do. The cold weather doesn’t seem to bother the dogs or chickens at all as long as they have a warm place to sleep and they do. Feeding the birds and watching them flock to the bird feeders almost running over each other in their greed for the sunflower seeds and cracked corn I leave out for them. I love watching them from my big chair while I have a work in progress on my knitting needles.

I don’t hate Winter. I think it’s good we have a little time to slow down and adjust our bodies to a slower time table while we await Spring’s warm weather. Sometimes, when I have a lot of quilts I want to make, I feel like Winter isn’t long enough. And it’s good we have to slow down our driving and take care. It’s not always rush, rush, rush everywhere even though there are a few who still drive on ice like it was eighty degrees out and the roads are dry as the desert. I just hope they don’t hit anyone in their haste.

We can’t dodge Winter so we may as well enjoy it as much as possible. The one really good thing about this time of year is that the days are getting longer little by little. Soon we will notice it stays lighter much longer in the evenings again. We will stay up later. I don’t know about you, but in Winter I go to bed a lot earlier than I do at other times. Like as I write this it feels like it should be about 9:00 and it’s 7:00! A hot bath sounds good about now. Then warm pajamas and turn up the heat on the mattress pad and I’m ready to settle in for the night.

Just think of Winter as God’s gift to us telling us to slow down, watch the snow falling, give our loved ones some extra attention. I use to love having my children home from school during the Chrismas holidays. They would play games all day or play outside in the snow. Monopoly games could go on for days. I loved every minute of it. But I also was glad when they went back to school and I had the house all to myself for a few hours.

Here’s to lovely Winter. The snow, sleet, ice and all. It’s ours to settle with and we will. Bye.

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