Monthly Archives: January, 2017

Weathering Winter

Well, first of all, let me say that fall totally lived up to its promise as my favorite season! It was fantastic! The weather was glorious. The whole New England leaf changing thing, it has not been exaggerated, so astonishingly, breathtakingly beautiful. Everywhere you looked, like even in the grocery store parking lot and on the side part of your yard that no one else can see so you don’t give it adequate attention, suddenly broke out in a riot of colors! Hello Gorgeous (foliage)!
I had a sweet little run of visitors, all quite high on that precious roster of my most favorite people. First my sister came, arriving during a rainstorm so treacherous cars were stalling out on the turnpike. For four days we laughed and teased and talked. While out showing her the local sights, I somehow fell whilst crossing a stream, ending up flat on my tush in a few inches of cold, mucky water, which only made us laugh harder (it’s somehow part of my family lore that I will inevitably end up rear down in slime). We wore turkey hats in public and hiked around Walden Pond. Such a fun visit!
Next, my lovely friend Mr. Kettles, who I’ve known since high school, drove up for a weekend from New Jersey. We visited the Old North Bridge in Concord, on a day so cold that our selfies took on the look of polar explorers, we were so bundled up. And, in the most serendipitous way, we found ourselves at The Orchid House, also in Concord, which was the home of our beloved Josephine March, i.e. Louisa May Alcott, where Mr. Kettles stealthily bought us tickets to a “special holiday tour.” I became quite teary with happiness when I realized the tour included Alcott family reenactors, and remained dewy eyed with joy throughout the house tour, which ended in the parlor with four adorable young ladies who put on a little skit for us, and then led us in singing carols. It was magical!
Finally, my BFF came for a nice, long visit over Christmas. At last I could show her my house, my route to work, my grocery store, all of the things that we talk about all the time. We explored the local countryside and watched movies and ate and drank, and shared a great dinner out with another close friend and basically had a perfect time. The merriest of Christmases!
And then, the holidays and visits were over. The guest room was empty, the next visitors aren’t scheduled for months. Back to work, with the annual, stressful, busy season beginning January 1. It got cold, really cold, like 5 degrees. It snowed and then it stopped snowing, and everything was slushy and wet and gray. I longed for warmth! I longed for California! I longed for my sister and Kettles and the BFF! I realized the weather might be like this for the next 3 months and I felt depressed. For the first time since I moved here, I had doubts about my ability to do this, to live cheerfully in a place where the weather dictates so much of life, about 6 months of the year it’s either cold and dark and dreary, or hot and humid and sticky.
And then, I got over it. I remembered how awesome fall was, and how lovely spring will be, and how nice and novel it is to have seasons that change. I remembered how beautiful it is here. I remembered, quite clearly, how lucky and blessed I am to have a great job, busy season or no, and great friends nearby and far away. I booked a trip to California, and realized I can do that as often as I need to, finances permitting. I got out my cutest scarves and boots and gloves and earmuffs and thought about making soup and stews and muffins and all sorts of treats to keep cozy and warm through winter.
I’ve been here 14 months, and it’s still an adjustment. Perhaps it always will be. Last winter was so mild and everything was so new to me, it didn’t really sink in. Now I’m really in it, responsible for a house and property and all the maintenance that goes with it, and a demanding job, with lots of people to manage and support and try my best to lead. It can be daunting. It can be lonely. It can be cold and dark and slushy. But for the most part, it is also quite wonderful. So, even if the weather outside is frightful, life is still delightful. And spring is only 66 days away!
The end, for now