Don’t get me wrong. I’m definitely a summer person—but for reasons that are purely selfish and self-accommodating. And I realized this after much thought.
You see, what I love about summer is that I don’t have to wear a lot of clothing. A simple frock that I slide on over my shoulders and allow it to fall over my body means that I will get into my car and drive comfortably without having cumbersome outerwear to deal with.
A simple five dollar frock–Rondini Sandals and a long but lightweight wig make it so easy to dress during the summer months.
Let’s not even broach the subject of driving barefoot simply because I drive that way during all four seasons.
I also passenger barefoot. I dunno. Summer is the time to let the feet be free!
And truthfully, although I love the beach, I am getting sick and tired of the damage it has done to my skin—even with sunscreen and sitting under an umbrella—that seed of damage was planted when I was a child—from my summers at Rockaway Beach to Long Beach when I lived in NYC to those at Fire Island, the Jersey Shore and the Cote d’Azur as an adult when the damage only got worse.
Let us not even go to the subject of my surgeries from sun damage! It’s my own fault!
In addition, I also love the longer days—and to be completely honest with you—that reason is because I’ve always despised driving at night—but due to my new job being part-time (with benefits] and leaving at 3:30 in the afternoon, I’m not driving in the dark. Anymore.
Lastly, although I love and adore our home—I love being in a townhouse. Now that the kids are on their own, we don’t have to deal with curbside appeal. We have an HOA fee for that. But, living in multiple dwellings often means that you have to deal with certain “stuff”. Our “stuff” is our neighbor’s overly aggressive dog who they insist letting practically live on their deck. Our summer dinners on our deck are a thing of the past as of last summer.
No thanks to the dog next door, we can no longer enjoy summer meals on our deck!
And so, I have a new-found fondness for that dark, monochromatic time of year. That season where hibernation seems to be on the minds of more than bears. I think a good number of us like to spend more time under the covers during this time.
Ahhh. Winter Solstice. My favorite day of the year because after this short day, they get longer.
When I was a child, I loved winter. It was, in fact, the coziest time of year. Headed to school all bundled up, coming home to hot cocoa while doing homework and studying. Getting into pajamas earlier than usual, feeling satisfied when my mom cooked a comfort-meal dinner then being nestled on the sofa between one of five siblings to watch a TV show or two before heading to bed.
How many of us when through this winter ritual getting ready for school or play?
Weekend afternoons were spent ice skating on the lakes until our feet and fingers became numb. We didn’t have snow days back then. The school buses drove slowly through the snow making that crunching noise as the wheels hit the packed-on snow that covered the road. Winters seemed longer but it may have just been because we weren’t impatient with our lives back then. We lived each day at a time.
Back in the day, winters seemed colder and snowier and ice skating at Brightwaters Lakes was a weekend thing!
I’ve somewhat returned to that patience. And at my age, have learned to appreciate winter, once again, for what it is. Although not a snow person anymore—the shoveling is taxing and driving through snow and icy roads is not only dangerous but it is stressful. There are other things I can now safely say I love and enjoy about winter.
I can do without snow but I love this painting. I have no idea who the artist is but they caputured winter perfectly!
I love my daily commute to and from the office through Valley Forge Park. It’s enjoyable to admire the foliage and lack thereof during the seasons. What I love about the winter is that you get to view the naked trees with their branches and split-end like twigs extending out like nerve endings. You get the shape of the bones of the trees.
On the way to work through Valley Forge Park CAVEAT: Nobody was behind me and I drove very slowly while I snapped these pics!
The bare trees and my music make for a very soothing commute!
I also love to see how the trees change on a seasonal basis!
Honestly, even a dismal scene can be a thing of beauty in the winter! It’s what you make of it and how you look at it!
And the lack of color is wonderful for a neutral-toned lover such as myself. I love my color in the summer and during the holidays. Otherwise, I’m happy with a few tones that make life appear similar to black and white photography.
Had it been a cloudy day, this would have been a beautiful black and white photo!
And my diet withstanding, I love the weekend meals that I make in the winter. Saturdays are spent running errands then coming home to cook a restaurant-dining-at-home atmosphere in the privacy of our home. We don’t have to deal with noisy or complaining diners. I won’t lie, we do enjoy our dinners out but we don’t do that often. We save those evenings for special occasions. I enjoy the baking and it comes to a stop in the summer!
I made escargot last night for a starter. I do not do this in the summer…
On Friday, I made 75 Gougeres for The Frenchman. He’ll have a supply to last through February!
Even my music tastes change with the seasons. During Spring and Summer, it’s more classic rock. Fall is my Scott Joplin season and with Winter comes my beloved Christmas music, classical and smooth jazz. The later two calm me down.
I can’t get enough of Wes Montgomery’s Snowfall on my Spotify Winter Jazz playlist. I LOVE this one! It’s so wintery and calming!
Winter is also a time to binge on new Netflix discoveries. I am now official hooked on KDrama–AKA Korean dramas and comedy series. Definitely worth watching and well-done–especially the historic dramas!
I finished Extraordinary Attorney Woo (left side pic) on Netflix. It’s about an autistic attorney and it was fantastic. I also just finished the 20-episode The King’s Affection–a historical melodrama taking place during the Joseon Dynasty. This was epic. History. Drama. Mistaken identity. Love. Comedy. Tearjerker moments. It’s got it all!
And I will admit, even though I can’t stand outwear, I enjoy my time in sweaters and winter clothing. To a point.
And notice–no socks! Not even in winter!!!!!!!!!
The weather may be chilly—and downright cold on some days but I love the warmth of our home. I feel cuddled and coddled.
Hmmm. snuggled up on the sofa with a blanket and Netflix or a book. During the winter months it is all that is needed!
And I love my visits to Longwood Gardens when Roman visits.
Longwood Gardens at Christmas or anytime during the winter is fine by me!
In fact, I’ve been inspired to become a member of a local arboretum—Jenkins Arboretum & Gardens. I visited last week for the first time and fell in tree-hugging love. The huge deck area has me waiting for Spring when that first burst of warm weather allows me to sit on a chair or bench within the gardens and get lost in a novel!
Jenkins Arboretum in Devon. In the winter, it’s like having a huge garden to yourself!
I stumbled upon this cut-down tree trunk at the arboretum. Look. It’s older than I am!
I sat on one of these chairs last weekend for quite a while just reflecting upon the beauty of the bare trees. It was glorious!
How about you? Is winter a time for reflection, self-improvement and hibernation—or are you disgusted with the cold weather?
That chicken sweater is darling!
Thank you Monica. That sweater is OVER a decade old–any older and it could drive a car or vote! It is the original French Hen sweater from J. Crew. Back in the day when quality reigned! I came close to trashing it a while back but I’m glad I saved it. I love this sweater! XOXOXO
I used to be a “child of summer” but like you, I have had one MOHS surgery and two other skin cancers removed and I don’t like the idea of dealing with more. I live in the SE now but grew up in Western NY. I have fond memories of sledding, skating, etc in the winter. What I like about winter now is that it is perfectly acceptable to wash my face and put on my pjs early and curl up with a book or a good show. I will continue to look forward to summer-I like the warmth ( not so much the humidity 😉) but enjoy each season for what it offers. Happy Winter 😊
Kathryn. Are we related? LOL. The whole skin cancer thing. OMG. Most of my sun-loving relatives and friends I grew up with on Long Island are in the same skin boat! Its all those summers of beaching. My husband and his summers in St. Tropez have given him two bouts of melanoma but he refuses to stop worshipping the sun………..What can I say about that one! XOXOXOXO
If my winter looked like yours I’d be fine…but it’s -18C and a load of snow fell on Friday 31cm!! So hibernation is the name of the game! On top of it we are doing dry January. Not that we drink a lot but January is a good time to cut back, we don’t travel south and go to Québec City in February. We are JUST taking down Christmas because retired people are lazy people🙄 On top of it there has been no sun, today & yesterday were ok nice of Mother Nature to shine the sun on our snow removal efforts. I have about six books come available from the library through the Libby app and I have told myself that the Christmas decor must be gone before I download any books. Son #2 is coming over tomorrow and promises to take it all to the basement IF it’s packed into the fifteen rubber maid tubs AND I make him dinner!
I would speak to the condo association about the dog next door. You have a right to use and enjoy your property. I would be so annoyed. If he’s barking continuously or threatening growling I think animal control should check out the situation. Some people should NOT own dogs.
Hi Al, I may think differently if I lived in Canada. To be honest, this is the first winter here in a long time that the sky hasn’t been gray every day and we’ve had a good share of sunny days. It’s cold but sunny today—I’m off from work for MLK Day. Something my old job didn’t recognize as a holiday. Oh. the Christmas decor was taken down before Roman arrived–but when the kids come they always have their dinner reservations at our chateaux prepared.
Actually, quite a few residents complained about the dog next door so we’ll see what happens………to be continued! XOXOXO
Thank you for the recommendation to watch Extraordinary Attorney Woo. It is so good!!
Oh Audrey. That series was incredible and I’m hoping they decide to come up with a Season Two at some point! XOXOXO
Season two is coming next year! 😊
I loved what you said about trees. Winter trees are so beautiful for all the reasons you gave. I love the short days allow me to do my indoor projects without thinking I ought to be outside. I am 72 and I still carry the outdoors thing since childhood. And then there is the pleasure of longer days and getting out into the garden or parks. It is the joy of seasons. Joining the arboretum was a cracker idea. Christine
Hi Christine and thank you! I have to say, we are all seemingly obsessed with big ol’ shade trees and the lovely foliage but we never conemplate the beauty of the bare trees and their skeletons. They are just as beautiful! XOXOXO
Love this post, Cathe, thanks for writing it!
Thank you Tracy! Happy you enjoyed! XOXOXOXO
I’ve always been a winter person. In all fairness though, I’m in W central Florida, so “winter” is relative. If we have to cover the outside plants for a freeze warning, it’s a big deal. It’s still green through winter, with some red, orange, & gold in the foliage, mostly vines. The only bare trunks are what hurricane Ian took down & we haven’t cleared & cut yet. This is the time of year when I do outside work because there are no mosquitoes & if you do encounter a snake, it’s moving slow because of the cold. Just can’t function in the heat/humidity anymore. Growing up on a barrier island south of Tampa has left MOHS scars from years of sun exposure, back when we didn’t know what sunscreen was, so we’re in the same boat on that.
Enjoy the pared-down, introspective winter, it’s a good time to refill our inner resilience stores. Your posts are the highlight of my day. BTW, have you watched Astrid on PBS? Love that show. Stay warm. XOXO
I also have shifted and have become a winter lover! I’m no longer a sun worshiper like I was in my younger years. During Covid I became an avid walker and did it in all types of weather; rain, cold and snow. So much better than those hot summer days. It’s so peaceful walking in winter’s wonderland.
Another great post that’s spot on!
Love your stories… keep it up!
Oh..It’s Alden by Estetica in the shade Caramel Kiss
I used to absolutely love the winter but that was a long time ago when I did plenty of skiing. Now it’s hibernation for me because the frigid temps chill me to the bone, and my knees wouldn’t be able to get me down a mountain anymore.
Glad to see you made it out of Covid ok!
You are looking so trim and absolutely darling in the sweater and trousers. I love all seasons – I love my garden (tiny) and I love plants so every season is exciting to me as things emerge or change, there is always something wonderful to observe happening out there. What I don’t like, is certain weather – such as black ice, I hate skittering about like a fat overstuffed penguin, pretty much anything else is fine by me just not landing on my capacious great ar5e when I am out and about. Much as I loved living in Scotland, the village where we lived never seemed to grit footpaths, it was hellish.
Right now winter is delightful, I love changing up things to match the season and mark the passage of the year, such as an air diffuser for the house or a change in fragrance for me (Fragonard air diffusers are the absolute best and there is always one that’s perfect for “now” the mint basil one is sublime), I change my skincare, I wear different jewellery – not that I wear much, and I do a bit more drama with the makeup when I wear it – it’s fun to change things about. I even like packing things away with the rituals of sorting and making right. I also seem to have more time for following my favourite blogs and instagrams etc
It took me a while to adjust to making the best of the seasons in the UK, but now I love that they have a real sense of change through the year. I’d really miss a decent winter if I left here 🙂
Hello! What wig are you wearing in the first picture please? You have on the blue summer dress.