For the first half of this week, it seemed as though we’d skipped fall and headed straight into an early winter.
Grey clouds hung heavy over the valleys, mist clinging to the ridges and blanketing hills. A cold rain fell softly, continuously, all day until evening, when the sun would peek oh-so-briefly from between the clouds low on the horizon.
The floor on my bare feet was cold in the mornings, the sheets cold at night, and I started wondering about gas bills and the old, old furnace that kicks on with a rattle in its throat.
The brilliance of fall leaves were dim as they hung, bedraggled, dripping, from the trees. The birds hid in my evergreen hedge and did not sing.
I did not sing, either.
Not that I usually do, but generally good old winter doldrums don’t hit until AFTER the holidays, when it’s February and winter still and I haven’t seen the sun in ages.
But for whatever reason, those three days of cold weather settled quickly into my soul, and when the sun peeked out as it set I watched it desperately, willing it to sink a little slower.
I guess I’m still weary from the last winter, from the blizzards that hit twice in Maryland, burying us under feet of snow. I guess I’m still a little too close to digging paths for a moving truck; carrying boxes down icy steps; tracking snow and salt and mud in and out, in and out.
Luckily for everyone around me, the sun is back out today and I’m planning to lodge myself in the front, western window and soak it up. I’ve got a month or two before it’s really cold again, and I’ll enjoy it. But I’m also planning my winter survival plan, with things like:
Drink hot chocolate every night.
Get the fireplace inspected so we can use it.
Keep candles lit and nearby after dark so that I look at the flame and think I’m warm.
Eat marshmallows whenever no one is looking (yes, I have a problem).
Go to the gym even when it’s cold (to make up for the marshmallows).
Count down the days until spring.
Ok, that last one might not help much, but really – I like spring and fall, but I love summer and dread winter (except for Christmas, of course. Can we have one day of winter? Or maybe a week?).
Somebody want to buy me a winter house?