Yes, I think winter has arrived in the Northland, and I think it will stay with us until next spring--like an unwelcome houseguest that you can't throw out. Like Bill Murray in "What About Bob?" If you've never seen that movie, do so--I think it's one of the funniest movies ever, but people tell me I have a very strange sense of humor, so who knows.
It looks beautiful, doesn't it, in this photo? Well, it can be. I've lived in northern Minnesota and Wisconsin all my life and I've experienced 60+ winters so far, and yes, winter is a beautiful time of the ear. When the snow covers everything, the world is soft and quiet and very beautiful--from inside the house. Going out is a different story. A follower who lives in a much more mild climate remarked that she doesn't understand how we can go about our daily lives in the cold winter and I recall a remark made by a native of Alabama saying about the same thing. I follow a blog written by a Texan who occasionally travels to the north for business and is miserable while he's here.
The Alabaman wondered how we stored up all our food and necessities for the winter because she assumed that we never left the house. Well, folks, that's not true. I told her I go out every day and the secret, dear readers, is layering. She said the heaviest jacket she owned was a fleece or sweatshirt so I explained that I would use that as one of 3 or 4 layers I would put on when I went out for a walk or whatever. That's how one stays warm in the cold winter. Well, let me add that when it gets really cold, like -20 F, even I tend to stay in the house. Also, seat warmers in the car help a lot too. ; p)
Here in the North, we embrace the winter! It lasts too long to simply hole up and wait for spring. You'd go nuts if you did that! When my kids were young, we would go ice skating (outdoors) at least once a week, sledding, and simply playing in the snow--making snowmen, and snow forts, and having snowball fights. I became a competent cross country skier and would ski several miles every day after the kids were on the school bus. My husband and I went to the local college hockey games every week if we could. After I get my new knee next spring, I plan on taking up snowshoeing as a way to get out and get some sun and fresh air as well as walking throughout the neighborhood.
Another thing that's different in the north--every municipality has equipment to clear the snow off the streets and highways so we can still go about our business. You'll even find snow plow trucks sitting and waiting along the highway when a big snowfall is expected so they can get right on it as soon as the flakes begin to fall. It was predicted that we would get 8 to 14 inches of snow the other day but that didn't happen, thank goodness! We only got a few inches and a lot of that melted so the driveways and streets are cleared. But now we're going to have severe cold for the rest of the week. I won't let that keep me in the house, though. Today, I'm going to a friend's house to work on some wool stitchery that we've both been wanting to do, but before I do that, I need to do a few of the housekeeping chores that I neglected yesterday.
This sums up my attitude toward housework!