Old Woman Winter.

Monday, January 14, 2013

These sluggish days of mid-January,
my mood always reflects the weather.
Bright, sunny, crisp and energized some days,
grey, cold, downright icy the next.
Kinda' sounds like Old Woman Winter herself.
Yep.  That's me.  
A moody bee-ah. 
I used to detest winter.
I'm learning to love.
I've been in the Midwest for 34 years now.
About time to buck up and own the other WORLD of ice, snow and cold that is Minnesota between November and April.
My 4-year-old has.
Like a dog in the backseat of the mini van,
he hangs his head out the window on the ride to school.
"Ahhhh. . .fresh air," he says. 
No matter that the air is 5 degrees.
This month in the New Year,
I grant myself permission, 
to fold to my natural inclination to hibernate.
Escape and isolate.
To do everything and do nothing.
To wake up early and sleep in. 
To quite literally, see where the winter winds take me,
on any given day.
When prodding friends ask, "Dude!  Where ya' been?"
My answer.  "Nowhere.  Everywhere.  Doin' nothing.  Absolutely nothing."
A little confusing, if you ask me.
But it's that time of year, some days 5 degrees and snowing.
Some days 35 and sunny.
You just go with it.
But I secretly now love the frigid winter nights.
Where temps dip to single digits,
the wind howls outside,
rattling the window panes and the (still) hanging garland and lights against our railings.
We're cozy and nestled, tucked away inside our little stucco house on the corner,
tip-toing to baths and bedtime over creaky wood floors, whispering humidifiers and Garrison Keillor on Pandora. 
Although the radiators in our humble abode are as sluggish as I am,
we bundle up, add blankets, thicker socks. . .
find respite between these old walls and warmth from an old fireplace.
This time of year,
I LOVE driving the quiet, tree-lined streets of my town,
past other old homes
and smile at those who still have their Christmas lights up, their trees still up even!
It makes me happy.  
To know, they TOO, are maybe procrastinating moving forward.
Or maybe they don't like to let go either,
rush things.
That they appreciate the TRUE season of Christmas, 
which BEGINS Christmas Day.
So it is January, here.
instead of Facebooking,
I'm spending more time
Hangin' with this little guy the few days it's just the two of us.
Maybe traveling to the sweet little town where my childhood is tucked away,
to pick up some books I ordered from the coolest little bookstore.
Or stopping on our travels home,
to take pics of winter horses.

(I swear I heard him say, "Ah, excuse me.  Can I help you?")
I've taken up XC skiing.
Ski tights are NOT slimming.  Just. . .really tight.
I'm teaching myself to skate ski by watching YouTube videos.
And I look like a total asshat out there.  Tight tights and all.
But I love it.
There's something about being greeted by winter morning wind.
It wakes up your senses,
fires up your lungs, solidifies your breath when you first step out into it to bring out the garbage,
warm up the frozen car.
And there's nothing like coming in from it,
greeted kindly in return, 
by a warm cozy kitchen,
kicking off heavy, snow-laden boots,
muttering a "bbbbrrrrrrrr. . ." as we drop scarves and coats and mittens heavily to the floor.
It's winter in Minnesota.
And in my usual winter quest for slowing the pace,
being present, 
being lazy,
I kinda' like (and tend) to leave that wayward dinosaur, 
that unfinished puzzle, the lost crayon and stray sock,
because I know someday
they'll be gone.  
We've been occupying our winter mind frame with 
couch cuddling, eating and coffee sipping, and of course,

Charlie hates it.  He has my level of patience for MOST things. . .
He will NOT give up on anything, but bitches in frustration the whole time.
When he finally gets it?  He'll be skating circles around us.
Grace, on the other hand, digs it.
Despite the blazing sun, no one really wanted to be outside this day.
We made them come out with us to pull them from the Wii that has been powered on since Christmas.
Regardless of our mini adventures away from comfort,
I've grown fond of the clickety-clack of the dryer,
the zippers of well-worn jackets and snow pants and mitten hooks knocking the drum of the dryer as they turn.
Rosy cheeks and frozen hands a sweet sign of adventure.
Are you seeing a theme in my winter photos?
Laziness.  That's us, baby.
Even our snow man was done half assed.
But that's how we roll in the winter.
Sluffin' through.
Moving when the spirit moves us,
Nestling in when we need to. 


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