Winter's approach

It's hard to believe that just a month ago these leaves were bursting with color. As I write this, it's 23 degrees Fahrenheit (-5 Celsius) outside. I just took out the trash and recycling bins, and had to put on a coat, hat, and gloves. (I almost wrote a statement of complaint, but then I remember how hot it was in Vienna this summer without air conditioning.)

For some reason I don't mind the cold - not really. I actually like my winter clothes a lot better than my summer clothes. I like wearing long sleeves. And flannel pajamas. And my black velveteen pants. I like being able to wear black every day if I want without someone advising me to wear pastels or "summer colors." I was never a summery, beachy sort of girl anyway. I hate wearing shorts. I hate being in the sun for very long. I certainly don't like the feel of sand on my skin. Ew. 

Give me winter over summer any day. Give me winter Sunday afternoons spent in the kitchen, making stews and soups and occasionally baking bread (which I make completely from scratch and without a bread machine), with the Colts playing (and winning) and everyone at home relaxing. 

I even like snow - as long as I don't have to drive. Being from the South, I'm the person you DON'T want on the road in front of you when any kind of winter precip starts falling. Sorry. But I *do* try to stay off the roads during these times. :-) 

I like walking in the snow. I like bundling up in layers and putting on my big coat and my Sherpa hat and boots (and sometimes, my snowshoes) and getting out there in it. There is nothing - I mean truly nothing - like walking in the snow at night, seeing the falling snow reflected in the streetlights, and feeling snowflakes falling on your cheeks. And then going inside and sitting by the fireplace with a big mug of hot chocolate or apple cider or mulled wine. 

There are things I don't like about this time of year. The short days are hard, especially when it's dark when you wake up and dark when you get home. But I just think of my friend Jaana in Finland, where they only have a few hours of light during the winter, and I stop complaining. 

Bring it on, I say. Oh yeah, baby.

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