Friday, December 12, 2008

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year!

’Tis the season…

Winter is my favorite time of year. I know, I’m crazy. But I did elect to go to Penn State because it was snowing the day I went for a visit—April 29. (Well, okay. That was only one of the reasons, but still…) In the four years I was there, I never hated the snow. I was the first one out in the quad making a snowman or taking part in snow fights. Even with my (ridiculously) long driveway nowadays, I’d rather shovel it by hand then use the tractor. (Although, that is fun if the chains stay on.)

People talk about the sense of isolation in the winter, with being closed in, but I love it. I turn on the fireplace (note to self: next house, have a wood-burning fireplace. Gas is nice, but it just doesn’t have the same effect.) and curl up on the sofa in my office with my laptop and wool blanket (from Mom’s trip to Ireland – thanks, Mom!) and tap away at the keyboard. I just discovered my local cable provider has a channel that is just a fireplace, complete with crackling, logs shifting, sparks, the hiss of a real fire…

I’ll make a cup of hot chocolate and stir it with one of the candy canes I buy after Christmas every year for this purpose. Nothing beats peppermint in hot chocolate on a cold, snowy day. Turn on some Christmas carols (The Ventures is a favorite) and delve into my manuscript.

So, today, the fireplace is on. The fireplace channel is on. The hot chocolate is steaming next to me as the candy cane melts. My blanket is warm and comfy and the laptop is fired up…

So...where’s the snow?

What’s your favorite way/time/season to write?


  1. Judy,
    I am SOOOOO with you! When I grew up in RI, I used to hate the snow (I still despise being cold). After moving around and living the south of Spain and in Florida, my parents were sure I'd never come back to the frigid north. Well, we moved back here six years ago--this time with kids--and I have come to appreciate the laid back, hunkered down coziness of winter. I love when it snows and everything is canceled. It's like Mother Nature telling us to take a break, for heaven's sake. While I love the summer, too, there is so much pressure to take advantage of the good weather that I feel like we never take a breath. So yes, I love my (wood-burning) fireplace and my down throw and my laptop. Winter rocks!

  2. I'm a summer by the lake person, myself. I did get very excited about the snow when I first came to Canada from England. I learned to ski (backwards) and ice skate (stopping on the knees is my best trick) and drive in snow (have an affinity for ditches and sheep), but I can do the hot toddy thing by the fireplace without breaking anything except a sweat.

    All in all, writing by the lake in the summer with the wind in the trees and the water sparkling like diamonds, or inside while a summer storm whips up the waves, calls to me.

    On the other hand, winter comes around every year and I always get through it. And Judi we have lots of snow, I'll send you some.

  3. Thanks for the lovely post, Judi. It brought back lots of memories of days spent back in Northern New York, where I grew up, watching the wind whip the snow outside while I curled up indoors with my cocoa. I don't miss the length of the winters, which occasionally ran all the way through April, but this time of year I do miss being inside looking out at a world turned to white. There's nothing cozier, and the outdoors was often as pretty as a postcard.

    It's been gray and rainy here, which I find perfect for writing. And yes, the fireplace is on. I think I need to find some cocoa!

  4. The trouble with hospitals is that they never get canceled, so I really dread snow on the nights I have to drive that 30 miles to work. The rest of the time, I don't mind it. My house is heated by a wood-burning stove, and it's quite cozy. Plus, I keep a copper kettle on the stove that once belonged to my Pa, so there's always hot water for tea!

  5. Hey Judi-

    Come to Chicago and you can have all the snow you want! Well, it hasn't been too bad just yet, but it always finds it way here, whether it's in time for Christmas (the only time I tolerate it), or it comes in brutal February (winter never ceases to leave Chicago nicely).

    Nonetheless, while I hate being out in the snow, if I can be inside, cozied up with a good book, it's nice to watch as it falls..


  6. Hey Judy! My favorite time of the year is fall, but I admit to being a sucker for winter beauty and festivities. Having to commute in it has ruined a little bit of the pleasure, but I guess you have to make some concessions. Your blog put me in the mood for some snow!

  7. I grew up in the Calif. mountains where it snowed quite a bit. As a kid, I loved it. School was canceled several times a winter for us lucky mountain kids! I very fondly remember sledding and sucking on icicles and throwing snowballs until the massed piles of snow on a pine branch fell on our heads! Incredible times. There is nothing as beautiful as the pristine whiteness of a snow covered landscape.

    Then, somewhere in my young adult years, it lost it's charm. My body revolted against the cold that had never bothered me much as a kid. I hated driving in the stuff and hated how it too rapidly turned into muddy slush. After living briefly in Arizona I became an avowed warm weather gal!

    So, I never miss the snow - until Christmas. It never feels quite right to have no snow and temps in the 50s during December!

    Weird factoid: all my young life we never had a true 'white Christmas' in the sense of waking to freshly fallen snow on the 25th! It always snowed the days before and was starting to melt, or would snow later that night or the day after! Kept hoping, but it never was. LOL!

    Wonderful holiday post, Judi! Thanks!! And Merry Christmas.

  8. Hi everyone! I was writing today, so it was nice to come home to the memories everyone shared.

    And, yes, I'm sitting in front of my television with the fireplace channel on - volume is turned up nice and loud. Now I need to find a candle with that woodsy, campfire scent.

    happy holidays!