|We’re ready to welcome winter & the holidays.|
Six years ago I left the gentle breezes and tall palms of Southern California for a forest in Maine where I live with my husband and books. No, I’m not crazy. I’ll get to that in a moment.
Some things haven’t changed. For instance, I write every day. But another part of my life is dramatically different, and that’s due to the weather. I mean Real Winter Weather – no more wimpy climate showcasing roses in bloom and beaches rife with short-shorts. I’m talking about ice so smooth you can see your reflection day after day. After day. Snow tires that cost $500 each. A garage full of snowshoes, skis, and items to slide down glistening white hills at speeds great enough to give you a high. Or a broken neck. I love it.
This month we Rogues are writing about favorite holiday gifts. One of mine has been Maine – to receive, and to give.
Our annual Christmas tree is at the top of the list. We have a lot of white pines and hemlocks (great
|Finn, Kari, & John capture a Christmas tree!|
|Grandkids & me admiring our work.|
for poisoning a character) and a scattering of cedars on our 14 acres. Every year John leads the chopping-down party to select one. Since the trees are ungroomed, they sprawl, but we have a high ceiling so they can also be tall. The grandkids love climbing ladders to decorate them. The only downside is, we’ve had to put screws into the wall so we can tie the trees to them so they don’t keel over. But, oh, each of the trees has smelled heavenly.
|Finn & Sophia on a snowshoeing adventure.|
And there are winter sports. The aforementioned snowshoeing is my personal favorite. We keep all the accouterment downstairs by the door so we can sit on a bench outside to put on our rigs. We have a lot of fun counting how many times I fall each season. Snow is soft though, and I’ve perfected my scrambling-back-up-to-my-feet moves. John never falls, and he never laughs at me. He’s an athlete and a kind man. I just write books in which people die horrible deaths. I sometimes think about that as I’m snowshoeing.
In those short days and long nights of winter, we’re fortunate to live in a cocoon that seems timeless, reassuringly eternal. When the winds roar and the snow dances, we have a private showing of nature at her theatrical best. During the day, we write and work. Evenings, we eat our dinner beside a roaring fire. I count myself sane to have joined John in Maine.
Whatever you celebrate this month, may you find much joy in life.