January 24, 2011

Baby, It's Cold Outside...

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Winter Is Certainly Here and I have a tendency to complain about it.
And when I recently posted on Facebook that it was minus 8 degrees Saturday morning, I certainly got a lot of responses. Well, it was minus 20 this morning!!

I am not a winter person. I don’t like going outdoors when the temperature is in the single digits and less so when it is in the negative zone. Most of the year I don’t use a hair dryer and only do so when the temperature is below freezing. I hate driving up Belden Hill when it is blowing snow and I still remember sliding out on black ice four miles up I88 on my commute into Binghamton and that was at least ten years ago.

It no longer makes sense for me to drive to a local state park to go skiing or snowshoeing because when I do go out it is for such a short time. I’ll go up and down the hill behind our house a couple of times and then rush indoors for a cup of hot chocolate.

In July I wrote here:
I intend to not grasp summer. And I’ll try not to complain when it is SO hot and humid...to remember that this summer weather is what I crave when months later I’ll complain about icy winter roads. But now I want to get outdoors to breathe in the summer air, to pick a few weeds out of the garden, to pluck a few berries off a backyard bush to top my cereal, to read on the back deck. Summertime...the living is easy...the time is now.

So, I do appreciate summer and spring is my favorite season….the season of promise and new blooms, of fresh bursts of color, of the re-awakening of smells and tastes, the time to shed the coat, to be outdoors more. I get impatient for spring to arrive.

But with focus on my One Little Word, Present…it is my intention to be more Present in winter. To both be mindful of winter's positive seasonal attributes and to be aware of the Gift of each day.

Some of my favorite winter activities include:
Reading novels  in the living room with the woodstove cranked high, cooking and eating a pot of hearty soup accompanied by good bread, more Netflix watching, more online volunteering (Voices of the Future at World Pulse), working on organizing old family photographs and scrapbooking and participating in online workshops and classes (I’ve already mentioned Strathmore’s free art journaling workshops and One Little Word at Big Picture Scrapbooking). I also taking an online class via Ed2go.
And  traveling, getting away from the cold. I am.looking forward to seeing family in FL and being warm.

Alan has a number of winter activities outdoors like stacking wood, and preparing equipment for maple syrup season. He continues to walk/run most mornings outdoors -- while I am indoors "jumping around" with an  aerobics DVD.

One of the winter activities I most appreciate watching Alan do is plant. The photos are of him planting onion seeds. This week he planted 200 onion seeds of three different varieties. He'll tend them for the next few months and they will be ready to plant this spring. Alan said that last year he didn't start onion seeds till February -- and showed me that the results, onions that we store and are eating now, were smaller than they could be. To me, the whole process is magical and hopeful. In essence, we are now eating in winter 2011 the seeds that Alan planted in winter 2010.

Add to the reality, the provocative metaphor....What will I start this winter and grow throughout the year? 

How does your life change seasonally?
Where do you spend winter? What do you like/dislike about winter? And what are you starting to grow now that you will tend through the year?

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