It would seem insane for my cold-loathing self to love January in Minnesota, but I have finally come to embrace that fact.
I love winter this year. I love the temperatures that are so bitterly cold that Daryl and I made vaporized hot water clouds in the street over and over again for the kids. I love having so much snow that schools are canceled again. I love going for a walk with the dog and my hubby in a world so white and blustery that we feel as if we’re the last people in some strange snow globe world.
Every time one of my Facebook friends posts another gloating message about how fun it is to live in Arizona or some other place that gets no winter, I think to myself that they just don’t get it.
Yes, it’s brutal. It tests us. We miss the sunshine. We miss being able to spend lots of time outside. We miss our gardens. We get cabin fever and we snap at each other and drive each other a bit mad.
But it’s also so much more than that. I talk all the time about how we homeschool by the seasons, and I do believe there is a need for every season that we live.
We are so busy as a family during every other season. Spring is full of gardening, traveling, rejoining the world. Summer is pageant time, nature studies, gardens, foraging and a million opportunities that never seem to come up any other time of year. Fall is harvest season, more foraging, more travels, more opportunities, conferences, our anniversary (and new wedding every year) and so much more.
And in winter, we rest.
I love the forced solitude and quiet of winter. You’ll stay home, inside with your family, like it or not.
Sure, we get out a lot to trek to the science museum or go grocery shopping or meet up with other homeschoolers for tubing and winter fun.
But we also hole up inside…
We read piles and piles of library books we’d never get to any other time of year.
We do melted crayon art experiments.
We play on the computer.
We watch family movies.
We read family read-alouds.
We play piano.
We do homeschool projects.
We take pictures of frost on the windows.
We simmer pots of scented water on the stove all day to humidify the air and then track the difference it makes on the gauge on the wall.
We take long baths with books and magazines.
We take silly selfies with each other.
We assemble racetracks and marble runs and makeshift forts.
We cook and bake with all those wonderful treasures we grew and foraged and carefully preserved last summer and fall.
We learn new things.
We sleep in.
We have long talks.
I’m getting ready to head out in the morning with Anna and Fiona for a week in the Twin Cities with friends (old and new). It should be fantastic fun. I am so glad that it’s in the midst of this calm so we can truly savor it.
And I’m so glad that there’s lots of cold, gray, white, miserable winter left before life bursts out for us again.