Monday, February 25, 2013

Enjoying Late Winter

The wind rose around 4 am this morning with a gust that rattled the window and clanked the blinds. I got up to close the window (we always sleep with the window open at least a crack). After crawling back into my warm bed, I didn't go back to sleep right away, but listened to the gathering storm. Soon, rain hurled against the window, sounding like pebbles thrown in a fit of temper. 

The official start of spring is still more than three weeks away. Yet so many of us are impatient for sunny days, for an end to winter. Winter's lingering presence can create impatience which wears on a person until one feels ragged, much like those cattails in the photo. 

It occurred to me in the night that wishing away these late winter days denies the value of time, of the gift of each day. Rather than merely putting in the time until spring, I have decided to embrace, as well as I can, the last of winter. Here are some things I wrote down this morning: 

* Observe the slow tilt of the earth leaning towards the sun and revel in the fact that each 24-hour cycle adds a sliver of light to the lengthening days.
* Choose a couple of good novels for evening reading.
* Add fresh flavour to soups and stews with lots of fresh herbs, chopped and sprinkled on top. Garden shops are selling pots of herbs - set them on a windowsill and clip away.
* Open the windows (or a window) for a few minutes each day to let the clean, crisp air blow away mental cobwebs.
* Wear something bright. My winter wardrobe is mostly grey, black and cream. A soft, or bright, pink scarf makes me feel just a little bit perkier.
* Rearrange something, tidy a closet, or organize drawers.
* Make certain to use the frozen fruit and vegetables in my deep freeze. Blackberry cobbler, blueberry smoothies, rhubarb compote on pancakes - now is the time to enjoy the work of last summer.
* Go outdoors even in inclement weather. Bundle up well, turn my face into the wind and pretend I'm a Bronte character striding the moors. Then come in and enjoy a hot cup of tea or chocolate.
* Start a new project, or finish an old one. Both bring satisfaction.
* Indulge in fistfuls of tulips and daffodils purchased from the market.

What are you doing to add pleasure to late winter days? I'd love to know.


  1. I think it's time that I take at my closets and drawers. And maybe go for a walk outdoors more often now that the weather is a bit milder. If it's not cloudy be sure to watch for the moon rise tonight. It's the full snow moon. Thanks for these great ideas. I may look like a Bronte character tomorrow on my walk. Pam

  2. Until I read your list, I was feeling just as ragged as you mention. Yes, I often have the sense of "just getting on with it." Since winter'll be with me much longer than it will be with you, I might as well get a grip. Besides, I just learned that the Mediterranean diet is the way to go. Who can't be happy with all that olive oil and macadamia nuts?

  3. That was quite the storm we had, wasn't it - blustery and rain pounding. I like to lie in bed and listen to the rain. We lived in the desert for several years and rain became a city-wide celebration - running about in the rain - drenched and happy. Now we bundle up and try to stay warm - but I still love a good storm. I like to go up to Birch Bay during a storm - sit bundled up on the beach and watch the weather. On these days I can't see Vancouver Island - but on sunny days I can - I love both kinds of days.

    I buy daffodils by the bundle as soon as they hit the stores. I get them in tight, tight bud and watch in amazement as they open - and usually by the second day they are all open - and the house smells so good.

    I like all kinds of weather and appreciate the rain we have here, after living in the desert. Although I have to say - sun almost every single day was wonderful too.

    Other than the daffodils, I am reading and crocheting a Granny Square afghan like everyone used to have on their sofas when I was a kid. I've always wanted one and now is the time. It is bright colors with black to connect the squares - my goal is to have it put together (I'm half way there) by spring - we'll see how that goes - but I've made a good start.

  4. Such lovely ideas. I determine to implement some of them. I am not an outdoorsy girl at all, but I am always invigorated when I make myself get out for a bit, so that might be the place to start.

    (I'm afraid that I need to make a similar list for summer's end. That is the time of year that I am wishing the days away...)

  5. I love this post and the sentimaents and thoughts and list of things to do during winter. Yes we should embrace each day instead of wishing the seasons away and enjoy every moment to the full.
    Thank you so much for sharing this with us - it is a wonderful reminder to us all. As for me, we are still in the heat of summer - I will try not to wish it away - the cool air will come soon enough. I must make more time to walk in the early mornings and late afternoons - the best time of day.
    Thank you for stopping by my blog today to say hi. Have a wonderful week.

  6. Thank you for this - good tips for the gray days we've had in my corner of the world. I did bring home tulips and freesia last Friday and they are still happily brightening up my tables today :-)

  7. Such lovely post x

  8. I like your list, Lorrie, we should cherish these final days of winter. right now though I'm sitting in bed feeling very sorry for myself, stuffed up with a head cold and sore throat.
    A hot cup of tea is just what I need.

  9. Lorrie, I love your list. I think I will take your outlook for the rest of the winter:) Thank you for reminding me to stop and just be. Take care, Jen

  10. Lorrie, I love your list and agree with (and love, love, love) everything you suggest to brighten these late Winter days.

    Right now I'm still fighting a monster cold and feeling sorry for myself, but am planning for the days/weeks ahead and all the projects awaiting me around the house and garden.......once I'm well and the weather warms up.

    Meanwhile, it's cold and raining again today and I'm still in my PJ's and robe, BUT later will venture into the garden briefly to cut a bunch of daffodils to brighten the kitchen island; burn a lavender candle; pull together a big pot of healthy soup - veggies are waiting; and bake our favorite cake - apple, prune & brandy - that last ingredient SHOULD help the head cold, right!!!!!!!!

    Here's to you, and hope your day is wonderful.
    Thanks for your recent lovely comments - always SO appreciated and loved.
    Hugs - Mary

  11. This is good advice any time of the year, even when the broiling summers (here) make you long for winter. Being content and looking for good is what its all about. You have said it so well1

  12. I like your attitude...most of the time we spend wishing and frittering away hoping for spring to come. And then when it does we are so busy we don't get to enjoy it.


  13. I love the idea of savoring every day and creating a list of small things that bring joy. We're living where it isn't cold, so my list of joys is a little different...but some things are the same in any climate. Doing a task that can be completed (and will stay completed for a while) such as straightening out a cupboard or drawer has always been something that makes me feel good! And loving the fact that each day is a little bit longer...that's the same thing this time of year no matter what the outside temp!

    A thing I'm trying to to remember each day now is to make menu plans arounde what's already in the cupboard and freezer. Because it all has to be gone when we leave our winter home in a couple of months (or so).

  14. Great ideas...for making the most of this season. I need to be reminded that my freezer is full of fruits waiting to be used! I too wear mostly greys and blacks all winter...and am needing some colour by now.

  15. I guess for me enjoying any break in the clouds and just the sky. The grey can even be pretty at the right time of day.
    I enjoyed all your ideas even if I only live them vicariously. :)

  16. Anonymous9:05 AM

    What a wonderful post. I've been thinking the same things.
    I'm planning my garden crops, enjoying the sunshine, watching the days grow longer, using up my garden bounty from last year, keeping our home welcoming.


Thank you for your comment. I read and value each one, cherishing the connections we can make although far apart. Usually, I visit your blog in return, although if you ask a question I try to contact you directly.

Hopeful Signs

Have you noticed how much brighter the days are? Even on the rainy, cold days we're experiencing there is a sense of lightness that assu...