Posts Tagged ‘winter’

‎I have a night stand that is actually a dresser. When hubby and I bought new bedroom furniture a year and a half ago I requested a large night stand, preferably one that didn’t match the one on his side of the bed.

I saw it in a decorating magazine; mismatched night stands are supposed to look unique. Well, considering all the crap that I cram into my night stand, this was one decorating craze I could get behind.

My dresser has three drawers. The top one almost exclusively houses my nail polish collection and I should probably be ashamed that it takes up the whole drawer but I’m not. The second drawer holds the half dozen books I’m reading at the moment as well as a few random magazines that I flip through when my brain hurts too much to read actual words. The third drawer holds my pajamas.

And I discovered a wonderful thing this winter, this wicked, never ending, brutal winter. The bottom drawer, the one with my pajamas, sits right near the heating vent underneath it. So close in fact that at the end of every long, chilly day when I open the drawer and pull out my pajamas, they’re warm.

Wonderfully, right out of the dryer warm. Blissfully, like a hug from my mom warm‎. Maybe I just haven’t experienced ‎enough of the world but in my opinion there are few things more wonderful than a warm pair of pajamas on a ‎cold winter’s night.

And now, whenever I think the universe is perpetually out to get me, ‎I think of my magic pajama-warming drawer and I smile.

It really is the little things.

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‎It’s cold here. So cold that it’s all people are talking about and that’s saying something considering the wide range of other topics at our disposal. So cold that a coworker of mine sent me an email this afternoon of a screen shot taken from the Weather Network website; it warned of a “life threatening” wind chill for later tonight.

That’s cold.

It’s the kind of cold that forces you to throw fashion out the window and slap together the warmest outfits possible. It doesn’t matter if things match; it doesn’t matter if they look like something from your grandmother’s closet. ‎If they are warm, you will get your fair share of envious glances from strangers passing you in the street.

And it was on a day similar to this last winter that I ended up with my hat. My ridiculous, silly, unflattering and yet (in my opinion)n completely adorable, hat.

I bought it at the grocery store which was probably my first mistake. There are some fairly fabulous ‎fashion finds to be found at the grocery store but this was not one of them. Add to that the fact that it was on the discount rack, proof that it had already been passed over by pretty much everyone, and you get the idea. It originally caught my eye for my daughter. It’s the kind of thing that a 9 year old can wear and look adorable; or a 36 year old can wear and look like an ironic fashionista at best, or a pathetic hipster at worst.

But I bought it. I bought two actually, one for each of us. That caused my daughter to employ her newly ‎discovered eye roll and to make me promise we would never wear them in public at the same time. Ah the unspoken joys of motherhood.

I wore it a couple of times last winter and then stuffed it in the back of the closet to be discovered again a few weeks ago. It made me smile to see it there on the shelf and I pulled it down and have been wearing it ever since.

It’s a wool toque, bright fuschia in colour, not offensive so much as overwhelming. But the cherry on top so to speak is that it has a huge pom pom on top, so big that it kind of flips and flops around when I walk.

I am not prone to acts of ridiculousness. I generally do things that make sense and are expected and my wardrobe basically reflects that. I’m not someone who normally wears fuschia toques with huge pom poms. It really isn’t me.

Or it never used to be, but for now I really don’t care. I love it. I love colour and the fact that I don’t have anything else in my wardrobe that is pink, and probably never will. I love that it covers my ears to keep me warm and also releases fuschia wool puffs all over the place, sticking to my jacket and scarf and clothing. I love that it cost me a grand total of $2.87.

But most of all, I love the pom pom.

I love the fact that it is bigger than my fist and is so soft I sometimes rub it ‎on my cheek when I think (hope) no one is looking. I love that I can feel it bobbing up and down when I walk and that basically it looks like a huge polka dot on top of my head.

And you know I feel about polka dots.

When I catch sight of myself in the mirror, I fully comprehend the ridiculousness of the hat and how ridiculous I look in it, but for some reason I don’t care. Maybe it’s a sign of middle age? Maybe it’s the same phenomenon that started the whole Red Hat society? I never understood before but I’m slowly getting on board.

So tonight ‎when it’s -25 and I’m walking through the parking lot, my ears will be warm(ish) and there will be a smile (probably frozen) on my face.

Because there, perched on my head will be my fuschia toque with the pom pom dancing away on the top.

‎A little bit of awesome to warm up a very cold day.

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‎They told us to expect snow yesterday. “They” being those weather people who seem to get it wrong twice as often as they get it right. So when I turned off the lights and climbed the stairs to bed last night with nary a flake in sight, I wasn’t all that surprised.

But this morning I woke to a winter wonderland.

There’s something indescribable about the first snow. It’s like I completely forget through the course of spring and summer and fall and then when it happens I’m amazed all over again. Of course by January I’m completely over the whole idea of it, but for now, on this day late in November, I’m sufficiently in awe.

It’s not enough snow to ruin my day. The roads are clear, the trains will run and other than the possibility of wet socks, all will continue as it regularly does.

But for the wonder of the trees.

I couldn’t take my eyes off them on my drive to the station. I wanted to pull the car over, jump outside, and take a thousand pictures. But I couldn’t, didn’t, so I will have to settle for trying to imprint the images in my mind.

Mother Nature has done her magic today. Every surface is covered in white. Every tree branch and twig and blade of grass. It makes me feel incredibly large and infinitely small‎, all in the same breath.

It’s been a forgettable week so far. Forgettable in its sameness and repetition; seen through tired eyes and weary tears. I haven’t been feeling well this week, that dull ache that tells of oncoming sickness but is not yet at the stage where you have an excuse not to function at the usual level. So instead I trudge along, uninspired, exhausted, uninterested.

So this morning when I woke up to the beauty outside my window I felt like it was a little gift just for me. Like Mother Nature is trying to help me perk up a little, to see the wonder that exists in even the most regular of weeks.

Because everything seems better when there’s a little icing on top.

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More snow.

It honestly seems like winter will never end.

But today Mother Nature must have realized we’re all getting tired; tired of the inconvenience of it all.

Because today she used the snow to paint us a beautiful picture.

Today the snow has frosted the trees, from the largest branches to the smallest twigs. All the way from bottom to top and left to right. It looks like snow from a fairy tale, right here outside my window.

I want to stare at it for hours, taking in the unexpected beauty of it all. To accept the realization that this is the silver lining.

So I will take a breath and appreciate, if even just for this moment, the gift of this beauty, and the peace it has brought. For all too soon it will be gone, melted away before my eyes and forgotten in my mind.

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As with most kids, there was a time when I saw snow as an adventure. Growing up in a place that didn’t get a lot of snow meant that it was quite the novelty when it did arrive. When you live in a city with less than a dozen snow plows, more than a dusting of snow usually meant schools closed, roads impassable and lots of free time spent sliding down the nearest hill on whatever flat, smooth object you could get your hands on.

I have a vivid memory of laying down in a pile of newly fallen snow in my backyard one evening, staring up at the sky while the flakes tickled my cheeks and eyelids. I remember thinking that the sky, even though it was nearing dark, was roughly the same colour as the snow I was laying in. I wondered how that was possible and since that moment I have always loved a “snow sky” as I coined it.

I grew up in a house at the top of a steep hill. Great if you were a daredevil and liked to go really fast down it on your bike, but not very conducive to winter travel. On really snowy days I remember my mom having to park our blue station wagon (complete with stylish wood paneling) at the bottom of the hill and we would have to do the hike on foot. There were usually a handful of other cars parked there as well and we would usually pass some neighbours doing the exact same hike on our way up. When it only snowed once or twice a year, snow tires were seen as an unnecessary luxury.

Our driveway was also steep and had a concrete retaining wall running along one side. My older brother somehow determined that the wall ran at the exact perfect slope for beer bottles to slide down so we used to make bobsled-like courses for them to dip and dive down. We would drag buckets of water outside to ice up the track and make the bottles go even faster. Of course inevitably we would spill a bucket of water (or two) and break a beer bottle (or six) turning our driveway into a steep, slippery skating rink littered with broken glass. It’s a wonder our family didn’t spend more time in the emergency room.

But all that has changed now that I’m an ‘adult.’ I live in a place where snow is the norm, not the exception, for at least four months of every year. We’re supposed to get a doozy of a storm tonight and through the day tomorrow and I’m dreading it. The roads are going to be awful, public transit is going to be a disaster and all I can do is stare out the window and hate every flake as it falls.

No matter how hard I try I can’t seem to find the sense of wonder that used to come with a good snowfall. When you’re an adult, snow means disruptions, plans made and broken, alternate arrangements, and back-breaking shoveling. Thinking about it all just makes me feel old and tired.

Winter wonderland? Not so much.

Sometimes being a grownup really sucks.

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I thought this would go differently, this thing with you and I. It started off with such promise, celebrations, clean slates, forward looking, planning, preparing. It was supposed to be a month of new beginnings, fresh starts, everything new with no mistakes in it… yet.

But it didn’t turn out that way.

I know I will never be able to forget you, to forget what you took from me. Your heavy handed lessons taught me things I didn’t want to learn. Your wicked winds chilled me all the way to my soul; I often wondered if I would ever be warm again.

But just when it started to feel like I would be stuck with you forever, I came to the realization that it’s time for you to go.

Tomorrow you will be nothing more than a memory; and I will get to decide how often to think of you. Maybe the next time you come around we’ll be able to be friends but for now, it’s over. I’m not doing this anymore.

We’re through, and it’s not me, it’s you.

Goodbye January, and good riddance.

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she walks

The fog settles gently on the ground, touching the snow and creating an indecipherable line where the snow white ends and the fog white begins.

She walks.

Looking ahead she sees the road disappear just past her view.

She walks.

From time to time a house reveals itself, pushing its way through the grey and then disappearing again as she walks by.

She can’t see what is coming ahead; there is no future.

She can’t see what has gone; there is no past.

There is only now, this space between the ‘will be’ and the ‘has been.’

And so she walks.

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