Moonlighting with Judy Cools

March 12, 2012

Winter

 

 

Judy Cools

By JUDY COOLS

mcp blogger

 

OK, I’ll admit it: Winter is not my favorite season. I was born in Michigan and have lived here all my life. As attractive as the “endless summer” sounds some days, I think I would ache for the change in seasons if I didn’t have it. I’d be a little lost in a climate of steady weather day in and day out. But still, I don’t like winter. I tense when family is out driving in the snow and ice – or when I am. My back screams when I shovel snow. I get weary of changing screens for storm windows and vice-versa. As the years go by, a fall on the ice looks less and less like a momentary inconvenience.

 

We’re years away from even considering any kind of move to a more temperate climate. So in true “when life gives you lemons, make lemonade” style, I’ve set out making a list of the things I like about winter. I sometimes have to remind myself of it when the days get long and I get grumpy. But after all, if winter’s here and if I’m here, I should make the best of it.

 

I like how bright it is at night when snow cover in the woods reflects the moonlight. I take the dog for a walk and don’t even need a flashlight most nights.

 

Footprints in the snow delight and fascinate me. I know our woods are full of critters, but to be able to see where they’ve been during the night, or which one raided the bird feeder is a big boost. Deer hoof prints on the deck raise an eyebrow, when we didn’t believe they actually come in that close. And then there are the soft circles in the snow where deer have slept in our back yard. All of these are treasures lost without the snow offering its evidence.

 

Winter can be beautiful, even if you don’t like the cold and the wet and the wind. Sunlight on new snow, or the scenes that make you think “Christmas Card” are some of my favorites. Frost patterns on glass are another. And salmon-colored sunsets streaking through stands of bare trees.

 

Winter is a chance to snuggle into favorite clothes that are too warm to wear the rest of the year. It’s a time for cradling a hot drink in your hands and filling the house with the essence of day-long pots of soup, stew, and chili. It’s a chance to be in your home and settle in, clean a closet, file some papers, do something you won’t want to do when warm weather calls you outside.

 

It’s possible to hear Lake Michigan from our woods – all the more so when the trees have lost their leaves and the winter winds cause the Lake to howl. I like that, too. In spring before those leaves grow out, we see the pileated woodpeckers coast through the treetops, and the occasional bird of prey.

 

OK, enough redeeming qualities for us to stay a while. And there are enough qualities to make some pretty good lemonade.

 

 

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