Whether the weather be fine
Or whether the weather be not
Whether the weather be cold
Or whether the weather be hot
We’ll weather the weather
Whatever the weather
Whether we like it or not.
I think it is safe to say that few of us have liked the weather recently. December 2013 and January 2014 have been cold, snowy and windy, with an odd hour of freezing rain thrown into the mix to make life even more interesting. The past two months have been “the coldest December and January since 1949” according to the media.
I have heard it said that there is no such thing as “too cold” if you wear enough clothing. But I believe there comes a point when no amount of clothing can make the outdoors safe to go out in. Our ancestors learned that the hard way. Living with nature means respecting its power.
The occasional snow day is a vacation, but too many snow days begin to feel like imprisonment. We get ‘cabin fever’; we feel ‘bushed’.
What to do on snow days to keep boredom at bay and enthusiasm high? These ideas are culled from a variety of sources:
- if the weather permits, spend time outdoors. Make snowmen. Have snowfall fights. Fill the birdfeeders. Make snow angels. Go tobogganing.
- Bring out the camera and take pictures.
- Bring snowballs inside, put them in plastic bags and then into the freezer. Next summer you can have snowballs in July.
- Put a blanket on the living room floor and have a picnic.
- Make a fort out of blankets, chairs and boxes.
- Bake cookies.
- Read books. Make books, such as a picture book for grandparents.
- Remove the labels from empty tin cans. Paint the cans or cover the outside with pictures cut out from magazines and flyers. Now you have a pencil holder.
- Have a make-believe snowball fight with cotton balls.
- Talk, sing, tell stories.
Snow days can be little windows in time, an enforced slowdown and an opportunity to connect with family members.
I once commented that snow days were just another day when you worked from home. A friend reminded me that I had the power to make it a snow day if I wanted. I don’t think he meant that I should play hooky, although I think that playing hooky is not always a bad thing.
I think he was reminding me that how we handle snow days and other unexpected disruptions in our routine is up to us. And how we mark this time has an impact not only on ourselves individually, but also on the family members who live with us.
Granted, it gets more difficult after two months of winter than it was at the beginning of the season.
And there is light at the end of the tunnel. The days are lengthening and Groundhog Day is just around the corner. Once we reach February 2, the rest of the winter is a (sometimes long, sometimes slow) slide into spring.