Hiberna Pacis

Nope. Contrary to your common sense radar, “hiberna” doesn’t mean hibernate. It means winter. At least, that’s what my Latin dictionary says. Whether winter should be handled by means of hibernation is less clear.

Personally, I’m in favor. I think it’d be fantastic to pack on an extra thirty pounds once the leaves start turning (Halloween? Thanksgiving? Christmas? Can’t think of a better reason for all the excellent baking), have a blow out Christmas season, and then sleep from January straight through to March.

I hate a lot of things about winter, most notably being sabotaged by the cold every time I step outside and the fact that as soon as the air dries out my skin basically turns into dust. Blow on me and I create my very own, me-sized blizzard of skin flakes.

Not cool.

So this is me, trying to make peace with winter. I live in Michigan. It would be nice to be able to appreciate the longest season of the year…

In that spirit, let’s see if I can come up with 10 things to love about winter in my neighborhood:

  1. The excuse to try every moisturizer on the market. I’m a bath & beauty junkie, so this maybe more exciting than it sounds.
  2. Those days of big, fluffy, gorgeous snowfall. I like a good postcard sort of day.
  3. Hot drinks! Coffee, tea, hot cider, cocoa, chai—everything has a new appeal when the weather gets nippy.
  4. Awards season. I love a good Oscars party, but I’m also perfectly happy to cuddle down on the couch alone in PJs too. Okay, with maybe a wedge of fantastic cheese and some baguette rounds. Plus, all my favorite sartorial and snarky blogs cover the red carpet the whole next week, so really what’s NOT to love?
  5. Winter sports. I’m mostly just saying it because it sounds like something I should mention, but we do go skating a couple of times every year, which is always fun, and I’d actually like to go skiing again. Who knows. Maybe this will be the year we do.
  6. The Plymouth Ice Festival was bigger and better than expected. Wikipedia tells me it’s the oldest and biggest ice carving fest in North America, but the actual website makes no such claims so I AM TORN. Regardless, it was a good time.
  7. Focus. Nothing like not leaving your home for 3 and 4 day stretches for really cranking through the work load.
  8. February celebrations. The second week in February is basically a week long party for us. Our anniversary opens the week, Carl’s birthday highlights it, and Valentine’s is the grand finale. Which reminds me: I need to get busy with the birthday shopping.
  9. Comfort food. I love all the hearty, steamy stuff like meatloaf and roasts, soups and hot sandwiches. Winter is a great time for dinner.
  10. Vacations! Winter is also a fantastic time to go south. This is the third winter of our marriage and the third winter we’re going someplace warm for a week. The sunshine is necessary—so is the swimming, the relaxing, and the chance to get non-gym-related exercise.

Well, I do feel marginally better about winter, but as I read over the list I’m forced to admit that only about 3 of them have anything to do with actually interacting with nature/the season. Most of them are coping mechanisms.

Baby steps, people.

I’m happy to glean from you all, though. What are some of your favorite things about winter?


4 thoughts on “Hiberna Pacis

  1. I still appreciate some things about winter having grown up in a place with two seasons (wet for ten months, dry-ish for two). The snow for example is so lovely, especially when it’s outside and I’m inside. The cold is very hard to cope with, though. This year especially I’ve been a cold weather woos. The dry air used to be the bane of my winter existence, but this year we installed a whole-house humidifier, and it is the most delicious of home improvements (aside from at the very beginning when we thought the roof was leaking because we turned the humidistat up too high and wound up with wet spots on our vaulted ceiling from the condensation against the cold roof). All it takes is being out of the house for half the day, and I can feel the awful dryness in my hands from being in un-humidified heat. But at home, all is bliss. I highly recommend that little DIY project for when you guys get your house.

  2. They have whole house humidifiers? That’s genius.

    What a brave little list. I approve and sympathize. Maybe I’ll try the exercise myself and see if it engenders any good feelings. Am living on tea and cocoa just now and dreaming of my garden.

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