Hunkering down in the Deep Heart of Winter

Remember Christmas? Winter was only 4 days old, and having a sparkly white holiday seemed like a festive idea. Remember New Year's Day, when the possibility of changing for the better gave one the drive to barrel into 2015 with vim? Remember the rest of January, when all that possibility played out into reality, with some actual success? Remember Groundhog's Day, when we thought that theoretically winter was half over and we're on our way to spring?

Those hopeful days seem so long ago now.

One of our driveway piles--we tunneled right through it this morning after shoveling out for the day.

Now, right now, it's the deep heart of winter. There hasn't been a full week of school since January 12th. I've lost count of the blizzards and the trips out to shovel. The pile of shoveled snow has gotten so high that it slides down again after being tossed up, so I trudge down the street a bit and throw the snow on the front lawn where the drifts are only 3 feet high and not 6 feet high. After resisting for weeks, I have accepted that I must wear layers that include ski pants, fleece jacket under my winter coat, scarf, and neon orange toque. I've given up on running outdoors and retreated to the local gym to use the treadmill. (Exception: our Tuesday morning group always runs outdoors, because we are awesome.) I've given up on healthy habits and making positive changes in my life. I am just hunkered down doing basic maintenance that involves beer, cheese, chocolate, and spicy food. And I tell myself that this is IT. The middle. There will be more weeks of snow and sub-zero temperatures. But this is the nadir. When March comes there will still be blizzards, and snow might even come in April. But soon... maybe a month from now... the cold and the winter will start to lose their power. Spring and the sun and the rotation of the earth and the flower fairies will smite old man winter on the forehead and send him reeling off to think about what he's done.

Here are some photos of our attempts at life while waiting for winter to go away. How have you been holding up? If you live somewhere warm, are you really really really appreciating it right now? (I hope you are, haha!)

A delightful dish of poutine from Flat Street Pub. Smothered with melted cheese curds and rich gravy, this hit the spot on a cold Sunday afternoon.

Quick work trip to Boston. This is the long view from my hotel window. I kind of centered on the Citgo sign.

Closer view of Boston on a side street with 4 feet of snow. They've gotten about 2 more feet of snow since I was there.

Business note: Don't try to get work done while the Superbowl parade is going on. It's loud, and the excitement is contagious. Here's my 11th floor view of the Minutemen at the beginning of the parade.

Breakfast in Boston: Egg-white farmer's omelet at the Highball Lounge (which is part of the Nine Zero hotel on Tremont street). I had this with a ton of bottomless grapefruit juice and coffee.

Boston lunch: Lobster roll at Kelly's roast beef--they say it contains the meat of 2 lobsters and I believe 'em. Quite delicious.

Boston dinner: Filet mignon & shrimp at The Oceanaire, a super fancy "Seafood Room" that happened to be open (and then jumpin' with swanky locals) during the Monday blizzard when we were in town.

Starbucks near Government Center: I've always liked the teakettle merrily spouting steam.

A box of chocolates for my Valentine--it's chocolate scat that was a brilliant fundraising idea by our local environmental education center. I learned about moose, raccoon, otter, and red fox droppings.

Elements of dinner—planning a vindaloo simmer with basmati rice. SPICY!

Next up--school vacation week and trip to New York City!