By Jessica Mozo
Ahh, winter. It’s finally here again. Nothing’s quite as cozy as curling up on the sofa with a fuzzy throw, a good book and a steaming mug of hot chocolate (with marshmallows, please).
Sure, spring, summer and fall have their moments. But winter, in all its bitterly cold glory, just might be my favorite season.
I’m not denying winter has its downsides. The sun disappears before I even leave work. Gardens and cornfields look droopy and sad. Trees abandon their leaves. There’s not a cheerful yellow daffodil or butterfly in sight. People are sniffling, coughing and dragging themselves to the drug store for yet another box of Theraflu. And yet, as the beloved song says, it’s the most wonderful time of the year.
I couldn’t agree more. Give me winter over summer any day and especially if it’s a summer like the one we had in 2007, with more than two weeks of sweltering 100-degree temperatures. Talk about misery.
I get downright giddy on those rare winter days when snowflakes fall on Tennessee, blanketing homes and automobiles with white sparkly ice crystals. Growing up in Iowa, I took snow for granted because it almost always covered the ground in winter.
Here in Tennessee, the occasional snowfall is like a gift. I love to sit by the window in a rocker and watch the flakes softly descend, soaking up the peacefulness they bring.
With or without snow, winter’s chill is a great excuse to hole up at home and regain a sense of place. When the weather is nice, I feel guilty not getting things accomplished, whether it’s running errands or mowing the lawn. But bitter temperatures give us a free pass to abandon those tasks and hibernate inside our homes, sweet homes.
If you have a fireplace, that’s icing on the cake. Those of us who don’t, well … we can always venture out and find the warm fireplace at Cracker Barrel. Which reminds me – winter is a perfectly acceptable time of year to cheat a little (or a lot) on your diet. If you’re like me and winter inevitably causes you to gain a few pounds, just blame it on that thick, comfy sweater you’re wearing. You don’t have to don a pair of shorts or a bathing suit for a good six months anyway.
Colder temperatures trigger thoughts of homemade soups, holiday goodies, fresh-baked breads, sweet rolls, apple cider and, naturally, Christmas cookies of all shapes and flavors. I cherish winter in part because it lends itself so well to baking – you can fire up the oven without turning the whole house into a slow cooker.
Of course, one of winter’s greatest assets is the holiday season. I have fond childhood memories of packing the family – aunts, cousins, grandparents and all – in the minivan and taking a leisurely drive to see twinkling Christmas lights. Another highly anticipated family outing is a trip to a Christmas tree farm.
Now that I’m older and my family lives a day’s drive away, I still love this time of year for its unfailing ability to bring us all together again.
I hope this winter finds you only a stone’s throw away from the ones you love, basking in the wonder of the season … even if it is 10 degrees outside.