I sent my sisters a message today that said, “Guys, this is the time of year when things start to get hairy.” I was hoping they’d suggest some fun activities. Instead, my sister Lucy replied, “Y U no shave?” which is funny to me because even though that isn’t what I meant (I meant hairy as in “alarming and difficult”), it’s true that I shave less in winter for insulation purposes.
I was lamenting that we’ve gotten to that unfortunate time of the year when the high holidays are over and a massive expanse of winter still lies ahead. The ground is white, the sky is white, the trees are naked and buckling. It’s a long way to Memorial Day, with little in the way of celebrations to get us through– unless you count Valentine’s Day. However, that seems to come and go in a mere shiver.
It’s the time of year when you start seeing Sandals commercials for tropical destinations like Turks and Caicos and Mexico, Florida even, showing people splashing in turquoise waters and getting massages under cabanas next to their pina coladas. There’s a reason they save these seductive visuals for January, February and March. The marketing masterminds know we’re at our most vulnerable and that we’re ridiculously likely to hop online and book ourselves out of here. I came dangerously close to hightailing it to the Dominican Republic last March on a too-good-to-be-true Groupon. I later came to find out one of the mothers in Violet’s preschool class did book that same trip and loved every minute of it. Who knew that at $299 all-inclusive (that’s flight, hotel, all meals) everything would be copacetic?!
Here in the Northcountry, I don’t bother looking at my weather app from now until April, because there’s only one thing it can say. Two words: damn cold. DC for short. Is it sunny? Cloudy? Snowing? Doesn’t matter because whatever it is, it will be DC. I don’t need a daily reminder that my extremities will be crying and my hands cracking. No matter what I do to my skin, I’m going to look like a corpse, thanks to Vitamin D deficiency (sunlamp time?) and general malaise (Seasonal Affective Disorder?) In fact, I have my weather app programmed to one locale and that’s Patagonia. Every day January through March, Patagonia will read a balmy 75 degrees. It makes me feel better to look at it. Sometimes there are torrential downpours and that’s always peachy, but mostly it’s just a summer paradise. I can practically smell the greenery through my screen…
A wise friend said it helps to make a list of “Things I’m Looking Forward To.” I need to do that. First on my list will be setting up camp in an enchanting little wonderland called The Butterfly Place, self-described as “Regional & tropical butterflies, birds & koi fish housed in an indoor garden with a walking path.” Aka a manufactured summer. Aka heaven. It’s about 105 degrees in there, a sweltering greenhouse, and that’s where you can find me come February when it opens. If you see a dubious mass in the corner, with a little cot set up and several eco-loving water bottles, that’s me.
What’s soil & sand?