Winter is a great example of living the life you find.
I mean, look at this picture. Who would choose this? Who would really, truly choose this over, say, a beach in the Bahamas, if they had a choice? It’s cold, it’s wet. And it’s really, really cold. But as I backed my car up today to take sort of a running start to the hill that’s my parking lot at work (what with stopping half way up yesterday and spinning my tires), I knew I’d get through this winter just like I’ve gotten through all the others. It’s just something you do, something you compromise in order to be close to all the grandmas and stay where the cost of living is lovely and your kids are safe throughout your neighborhood. Plus, there’s the whole enjoyment of the changing seasons – which I do have.
It fascinates me to think about where people are born and whether or not they stay there and what leads to the decisions that moved them on – or not. I kind of take pride in being able to love where I live, since it’s not exciting like New York City or warm like California or visually stunning like Chicago. It’s the life I’ve found – at least so far. I belong in it, and because of that – I even like its winters. But in case – just in case – I forget about that whole home-is-beautiful perspective when the middle of January rolls around and warm weather seems so far away in both directions that you wonder how Alaska even has a population – I thought I’d make a handy dandy list of just a few things I like about Missouri winters.
1. I look good in layers. I’m way more secure about my body than when I was younger. But still, neither my very pale skin nor my chubby ankles really need to see a summer day more often than they do.
2. Snow is pretty. I really, really can’t fathom a holiday season without snow. It physically saddens me. I think I could get used to being warm without having to wear long underwear and sit so close to the fire that your skin starts to bubble, but I’d have to at least know that somewhere it was snowing. Being here, I don’t have to wonder about that.
3. Being cold encourages snuggling. I like quilts and sweaters and curling my legs up underneath me in a big soft chair or couch. I like sleeping under several blankets. I even like that painful cold feeling of the sheets just before it gets all cozy and warm. (As long as it actually does get cozy and warm).
4. Gloves, scarves, boots…seriously, winter can be so chic.
5. “Winter Wonderland” and “Let it Snow”.
It’s okay if you want to tell me those songs are just as fun when you can walk outside in December without a fur-lined coat. For me, though, these are the things that keep me happy I live here. If you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go laminate it and tuck it in my journal for those bitter days in January when the end of March sounds like a literal heaven on earth.