I don't know if there is enough wood in the world to knock on to superstitiously keep this statement at bay. Here goes: So far, it hasn't been a bad winter! Not like this photo from 2013!
Last week I wrote about one of my words of the year, Hygge, and a lot of you were excited about the concept and hadn't heard much, if anything, about it. (I hadn't either till recently.) For those who want a wonderful discussion about hygge, check out this link from On Point on WBUR/Boston where the show was devoted to a lively and fun discussion. (They don't speak of sheep on the show, but knitting or crocheting is a very hygge thing!)
So, you might wonder how those two connect -- light winter so far (knock knock) and hygge! Well hygge is all about being cozy. And when I chose it, who knew what winter -- the time I really need to cozy up most of all -- would be. So I decided to share a few photos from winters past so my Southern friends (who seem to be getting it worse than we are right now) and my Down Under pals can see what Michigan winter can look like. Below is the Ditch several years ago.
And below is a golden oldie -- one of the joys of the Scanning Project. Dad and Grandma, endearing for so many things -- notably the chic fashion of the farm wife! Dad isn't the picture of fashionista perfection either!
They had it tough back then, living on a farm with a good deal of property. While I don't remember hearing about cows, I know the barn was full of chickens, including Dad's pet Pedro, who ended up on the dinner table. Dad was never big on chicken after that. There was no "staff," no snowplows. Just Grandma and Grandpa (who is notably absent in these shoveling photos!)
My grandmother was a tall woman -- 6'1" -- so when you see those snowdrifts next to her, you know it was a pretty hard winter.
Despite the fact that many photos of me as a child show me scowling when outside...
...I loved winter far more than I do now.It was much closer to the ground when you fell and the snowsuits provided a certain amount of padding that a pair of jeans and a parka don't!
And there is something hygge about eating snow. Clean, fresh snow.
Or building a snow fort or sucking on icicles. Really? My mother let me do that?
I loved sledding and snowballs. Winter was fun!
It became less fun the older I got but even by high school I managed to make the most of it. I would stand with my friends for hours in the front yard at Christmas. We would stop traffic as we'd stand in a holiday tableau, moving slowly, like animated mannequins and trying not to let steam escape from our noses or mouths.I remember people stopping, trying to make us laugh and occasionally trying to figure out if we were real. Our cast of characters varied, depending on who was available but we always had fun.
This all started because Dan, the one in the red who grew up to work for the State Department overseas (now retired) lived in our 'hood and one day when mom came home from the store she commented that his family had a nice Christmas display of a life-sized caroler mannequin holding a candle. Well, it was Dan. He'd do all by himself (a lonely business), so we decided to take the show down the road to our house -- at the top of a "T" in the streets -- and add a few characters. He brought a tree and floodlights from the church where his dad was a pastor. We'd do it for as long as we could stand and when traffic slowed, would come in for a hot-chocolate warm up.
Now Rick is a winter guy.
This year's winter with only one substantial December snowfall that melted within a couple of weeks is frustrating him. He would spend all winter doing this if he had his way.
And definitely not this.
For which I am greatly relieved. The other day he rode his bike over (we were in melt-mode then) and then it iced up outside and the bike ended up in my hall for two days -- till he walked it home.
Whether it is snowy or not, Lizzie's birds will gladly eat us out of house and home.
And I am glad to feed them, partly because it's the right thing to do and in part because it provides us both with great entertainment! (That tree is finally down.)
From where I sit, the best thing about winter and snow is just how pretty it looks when it has just fallen and it feels divinely romantic. This...
And not this, which is more of what our typical winter is like!
So, while we haven't had the snow of some of the photos here so far, it's still pretty darned cold and I am longing for a little more heat and a little less ice.
And I'm hoping to get it soon! But not, I think, here.
So, till next time, stay Hygge!
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