I love Maine. I am from Maine. I can’t imagine living anywhere that does not have four seasons but winter is my least favorite season. I know, I know. There is skiing, and sliding, and snowmobiling, and snowshoeing, and smelting, and making snow angels, and hockey, and ice skating. There is also cold and wet and snow and more cold and wet and snow, and mud and salt all over my kitchen floor, and hats and mitts without their mates all over the place. And boots, I’m constantly tripping over boots!
I begin the winter loving it, and by the time February comes around, I’ve had enough. So what do I do to help myself get through it? I think happy thoughts. What kind of happy thoughts? Well, I think of all the bugs dying. I know we need bugs, and I know we will have bugs, but I believe everything in moderation is a good principle, so winter helps to keep the bug population in check.
Then I think about the snow melting in spring and how the land needs that water. The gardens need it, and I particularly think about strawberries. I love strawberries and I pick them every year. Those strawberries need the spring melt, so we need that snow. Perhaps I should take some strawberries out of the freezer for some shortcake or cheesecake or muffins.
And my children like those foods which makes me think about my kids. I love my children. I also love sitting on my couch in our warm, cozy living room and watching through the window as my children snow blow and shovel out our driveway and walkway. I feel like a good parent when I listen to them sigh and grumble about the injustices of the world as they head out the door to shovel. Gives me goosebumps all over.
Then there is the daily game of make-it-to-your-car-without-falling. Snow is a great covering for ice and it can be very deceiving and you think you have it conquered and then you don’t which you only discover when your feet are suddenly in the air and you are on your back wondering what the heck just happened. Then you have words with your spouse and kids and they don’t seem to see what the problem is, and you’re not quite sure, but they might be trying to hide a chuckle or two.
So I think about how nice it would be to fly to my car (I suppose, if I could fly I probably wouldn’t need a car, but that’s not the point right now) which makes me think about birds and that leads me to think about the cardinals in my neighborhood that visit my feeder. There is something so striking when I watch the male cardinals, just as red as can be, sitting on the snow covered bird feeder. I marvel at it every time. That red on white is crisp and fresh and right. To watch black-as-night crows as they sit on the branches and the squirrels try to outwit my bird feeder is a delight. There really is a rhythm to nature’s ways, and the more you watch the more you see. It’s funny how it works that way.
And I think about how lucky I am to work at Topsham Public Library. It is fun, as storms approach, to help everyone find the items they are looking for so they can snuggle in for the duration of the storm. Suggestions are given and received, and we discuss what we will binge watch (if we don’t lose power), and what snacks and food we make sure we have on hand, and kids are hoping for school cancellations, and everyone is bustling to get home before the first flake falls.
And that makes me think about roads, and I cannot help but feel thankful for Topsham Public Works and the Department of Transportation employees who are out in the storms and bad weather clearing our roads and highways. Thank you! It is certainly something I would not want to be responsible for and they all do a great job handling snow, lots of snow, and the drivers that drive in it. They do it in the morning, during the afternoon, and in the middle of the night while I am tucked in under my warm covers. Thank you!
Stay safe, Everyone! And remember only 33 days until the first day of Spring! We can do it!