Sunday, February 06, 2022

Sunday Afternoon Tea - When a Snowstorm Forces Quiet Days

I don't know what it is about a snowstorm but I often find myself staring out of the window at the almost hypnotic falling snow.  I try to forget what it will be like getting out of the driveway, much less the unplowed gravel lane.  Instead, I love the way the blowing snow makes a house almost womb-like.

Snowstorms seem to provide one with an excuse to hibernate, to enjoy those quotidian tasks that can be enjoyable when no outdoor activities are possible.  Except perhaps for ranchers and homesteaders that must care for their animals.  

I did have to put on my down coat and dress like photos of Eskimos from picture books of childhood to keep an outdoor kitty warm and fed.  Which included throwing out an icy Frisbee a few times a day and refilling the bowl with unfrozen water.  I can't imagine what it is like taking care of large animals.

I threw wet towels and the blanket that covered her Mouse "house" in the dryer each morning and again before bedtime to keep her as warm as possible on subzero days.  Her Creator already helped by providing a luscious and thick coat of fur this winter.

I did pretty much the same kind of hibernating, although thankfully the pipes did not freeze and the water ran smoothly from the faucet in the kitchen.  I perused favorite cookbooks and looked through recipe cards to find good winter storm ideas.  I already had beef stew in the freezer and it was defrosted for dinner one evening. 

Snowstorms give us an excuse for slow living. These were certainly the days for comfort foods like soups, a casserole, homemade bread, and a batch of brownies.  I set everything needed for baking on the kitchen counter to come to room temperature and then lost myself in the process of mixing and just... puttering. Eventually to enjoy the warmth coming from the oven to the surrounding area.

A couple days before the snowstorm began, when we were just under a Winter Storm Watch, we went into town to run a few errands and while we were at Lowe's, I saw that they had the Method Daily Wood Cleaner and the Wood Polish I've wanted to try. I have used other brands for decades but if these worked, I could use them easily and more often.

So, on the day the snow and winds had lessened a little, I used the wood cleaner on most of the living room wood furniture and on the dining room table.  When it had a chance to dry, I used the polish on everything.  I have always found polishing wood to be therapeutic, much like polishing silver.  

Everything looked beautiful with the exception of the dining table, which definitely will still need a couple coats of lemon oil polish.  It gets used a lot. I will not need the excuse of near blizzard conditions to clean and polish more furniture, especially the antiques.

I have learned through the years to embrace the season of winter.  Perhaps it is from all the years we lived in Western Michigan, where the Lake Effect snows made for early winters as the cold winds blew over the warm lake.  Winter in Michigan is long so one either finds a way to embrace it or they move to Florida.

I need to remember how much I have enjoyed the slow living, the quiet, the hot beverages and the throws that kept me warm.  I often thanked God for central heating and flannel sheets when so many people in the world are cold and hungry.  Knowing this does not make me appreciate them any less but acts as a reminder to somehow help the helpers.

I am thankful that my husband had cabin fever and got out to buy groceries today.  This time, I remembered to add milk to his list.  I'm not ready to brave the elements quite yet.  I have an appointment mid-week which will require it then but I want to extend this time of grace a couple more days.

It has taken me all day to write this blog post.  I guess slow-mode is where I'm stuck at the moment.  While writing, I have had Emily Barker's lovely song Nostalgia on replay in another tab.  You will recognize the song if you have ever watched Wallander, the Kenneth Branagh version.  It is the opening song for every episode.

Just as this song sets the mood of the broody Wallander episodes, it provides the mood for my thoughts right now. I am certain after driving in the snow and ice, I will be looking forward to Spring.  However, quiet days are appealing at the moment.  

Mentioned in this Blog Post

Nostalgia by Emily Barker... here.

Image:  My neighbor's barn after a previous snowstorm.


Terri said...

I would love to say that I love your posts. I have found much comfort in many of them this winter:) This one really hit home since we feed about 400 cows thru the winter. There is nothing easy about being a rancher this time of year, but my husband does it very well. I am out there with him, but the heavy hard work is all on his shoulders. Thanks again for posting. I don't comment often, but really appreciate you.

Sherry said...

i love the winter season.. where i live snow often falls even in early june then we have 2 weeks of spring then it's fire season. my roots are in northeastern illinois - i remember hard snows and bitter cold especially living on the shore of lake michigan. florida. yep. my father moved there from illinois back in '70.