A day or two ago I wrote about the horrors of living in suburban America, where the houses actually keep you warm. In the context of that rambling, I almost sounded like I thought that was a bad thing.
I remember sitting beside my lovely draft-less window in my favorite room of my favorite house, book in my lap, coffee or cocoa in my cup, watching as a snowstorm turned everything into a fairyland. Those times were fleeting (I knew who had to suit up and go shovel the shit out of the driveway) but very pleasant.
And these days I often think winter is just a five- or six-month drab, swaddled, uncomfortable sentence I have to serve so I can enjoy summer, as if I were some unusually ugly Persephone. Seems like I’m constantly having to futz around with stuff, just to make it tolerable. How cold will it get tonight? Will the water freeze? Will there be enough electricity? Will the chickens be all right? Hell, will I be all right? It’s a pain.
But every now and then, maybe just for a little while, even clueless ol’ Uncle Joel gets it right. I look around after an day of chauffeuring and cleaning up after dogs, futzing with chickens, scrounging fuel, cooking stew, getting everything in place before the storm breaks. Then, as the snow builds up and the sun fades, I look around and find that everything is peaceful and in its rightful place. The stove is drawing well so it’s not cold in the Lair. Ghost and LB have found detente over the one cushion space allows, the girls have divided the big chair – and me – between them. I’ve got stew (New! with Pork!) in the pressure cooker on the counter, fresh bread in its box. I’m sitting beside my lovely if somewhat drafty window in the only room of my favorite house, book in my lap, coffee WITH cocoa in my cup, watching as a snowstorm turns everything into a fairyland.
And it occurs to me that, as much as I bitch about winter, this is not at all an unusual way for me to open an evening. And that I should focus more on what I’ve accomplished than on what I haven’t yet, and more on what there is to enjoy than what there is to endure.