I concede. Winter is here.
The falling snow outside my window only emphasizes what I already knew. The flannel sheets are on the beds, the stakes are in the ground to guide the snow plows, and I've made the appointment to put the snow tires on the car. I'm expecting a repairman for the gas fireplace, which stopped working in the days after last winter's blizzard when we had no electricity and were using it for heat.
I do not love winter. I grew up in the Midwest and swore I was heading south at the first opportunity. I did, but thirteen years later we ended up in Chicago. I learned the value of performance outerwear while standing on the El platform and wore waterproof mascara around my watery eyes in the biting wind.
Winter in New England is better than it was in Chicago. The wind is not so fierce and the sky not so gray. Now that I live in the suburbs, minivan travel eliminates the need to brave the elements each time I go out. Mountains are accessible, providing a winter activity other than sitting indoors and waiting for winter to end.
But I'd still rather be somewhere warm. Winter here is too dark, too cold, and too much indoors. I feel like hibernating from now until April. Even while my family skis this winter, I will stay home alone to build the fire, bake the cookies, and read. I learned in the flat, cold Midwest that winter is a time to hunker down, to work on indoor projects and participate in indoor sports. My attempts to overcome my fear of heights to careen downhill did not overcome my upbringing.
My kids will be thrilled with today's dusting of snow, but to me it signifies only that the long, dark winter has truly arrived. It's time to warm the hot chocolate, make a list of home improvement projects, and devote more time to reading and writing. The season of hunkering down has begun.
All photos are from last winter. It's not this bad yet.