We’re mid-way through February and just out of five weeks of naughty winter. Bitter Arctic cold followed by a sixty degree swing in temperatures with freezing rain and ice storms, downed trees and power outages. Next came another band of snow … “Lake Effect” snow and more snow. Then wind, blowing the snow, making it skitter and scatter across driveways, rooftops and roads.
We’re a hearty bunch, us Mid westerners. We’re used to winter, and some of us (me) enjoy all four seasons. And, growing up in Canada or living here in Michigan, I’ve found the weather is always a safe topic no matter where you are – the gas pump, the grocery store, kids’ game or coffee shoppe. Weather is a favorite and “safe” topic in the check-out aisle, “So did you come through the storm(s) OK?” “Any damage at your place?” Quasi-strangers commiserating on a common theme affords a sense of community I long for.
This year, winter has kept us in more than out; yesterday was an “out” day — brunch with the Elders. The restaurant was packed with folks happy to be out and about. You’d never know it was 20F outside because inside, conversations flew easily over coffee being poured and the smells of bacon and sausages sizzling. People lingered, stopped by nearby tables to visit, and the chatter of so many confirmed all were happy to be there.
The reason for our gathering was two-fold: 1) celebrating a birthday and 2) creating a reason to get out & get together! It was Uncle Ron’s 81st birthday ~ he laughed and guarded his allotment of my home-made treats like a Quarterback shielding the ball. His sister, Auntie Karen, smiled with delight at the bag of paperbacks and cookies I handed to her. Not to be left out, Grandpa John, Hubb’s Step-Dad, tucked his cookie stash into the cab of his truck while shivering over one last smoke before heading home. We make it a point to get together on a regular basis and, for the reasons listed above, winter gatherings are always the feistiest.
Arriving home, Hubbs headed off to for a nap; I chatted on the phone with my cousin then snuggled into a chair with a new book – my 7th this year. Leaning in, sipping tea, I felt warm and wonderful and yes grateful – grateful for seasons and reasons that remind us that home is a wonderful place to be.
“Books, for me, are a home. Books don’t make a home–they are one, in the sense that just as you do with a door, you open a book, and you go inside. Inside there is a different kind of time and a different kind of space.”
How about you?
- Any (winter) damage at your house?
- Read any good books this winter?
- Spring is just 31 days away 🙂