Snow finally found us yesterday. Not enough to be an inconvenience but enough to make things pretty. I’m hoping to take my camera for a little walk today but will be just as happy to settle in with a book and gaze out the window.
Southern Ohio in the winter tends to be dreary. A blanket of snow disguises the flaws and makes everything look better.
This winter has been extremely mild. So mild, in fact, that we’ve hardly seen any snow. Everyone is ecstatic except for me.
Ohio is bleak and ugly in the winter time. Trees are stripped of leaves. The grass is dead and things are muddy because we’ve seen lots of rain in lieu of snow. It’s depressing.
Snow makes everything look pretty, as though the world has been tucked in for a long nap under a fluffy white blanket. One of my favorite pastimes is stomping around in it with my camera, trying to find new ways to make the trees and hills of my yard look fresh and new in pictures.
I also enjoy hiking in it.
And, of course, spending a quiet weekend cozied up with a book in a chair where I can glance up at the falling snow Is nice too.
We often have snow for Martin Luther King weekend so I was hopeful. Nope. More rain.
Ohio weather quickly shifted from cool and rainy to downright hot and humid. That’s what we do here. About 349 days out of the year are uncomfortable for one reason or another – humidity, heat, rain, snow, sleet, high winds… and during the shoulder seasons you’ll sometimes experience all of this in a single week.
My next statement will likely win me some hate mail but since I NEVER complain about winter, I reserve the right to say this at least once.
Yesterday’s heat made me miss winter.
You can only take off so many clothes and, when it’s humid, the only place to find relief is in the air conditioning. You can’t even breath when it gets this humid. But when it’s cold you can still bundle up and go outside at almost any time of day. Plus, there’s nothing more purifying than a deep breath of fresh air on a chilly winter day.
Besides, isn’t it pretty?
So here begins my summer quarantine where all outdoor activities occur early and late and where the rest of the day is spent sprinting from one air conditioned oasis to another while trying not to have a heat stroke or sunburn along the way.
If you need me, I’ll be sipping cold ice water in the air conditioning and counting the days till fall. Whatever you’re doing today, enjoy the day but try to stay cool and safe.
I am fortunate to live close to several Ohio State Parks but have struggled to get outside this winter. Rain, cold, early darkness, my busy life and occasional laziness have largely kept me inside.
This week I’ve been dying to breathe some fresh air and stretch my legs. There’s nothing like a hike to clear the mind and help reframe troubles into something better.
So I headed out to Old Mans Cave in the famed Hocking Hills yesterday. There were flurries in the air and it wasn’t quite thirty degrees but proper layers kept me warm enough. Unfortunately, the entire park was basically a sheet of ice. There’s no preparing for that.
I hiked about 2.25 miles and didn’t fall despite the fact I was wishing for ice skates most of the way.
It was a short hike but quite challenging and indescribably beautiful. I’m glad I went and was equally glad to get out safely.
People often say they don’t like winter hiking because of the cold and I’ll never understand that. Despite the cold and ice, yesterday’s hike was far more pleasant than the hot, humid ones of summer in Ohio.
If you’ve never done it, my advice is to layer up and plan to reward yourself with some pancakes afterward like I did!
Most of what I write here involves the places I go and adventures I’ve had over the years. I love to travel and treasure hunt in places near and far and never tire of packing my bag for the next trip. Truth be told, while I do love my adventures, I’m also perfectly happy at home. There’s nothing like a long weekend to remind me how much of a homebody I really am.
This Martin Luther King Jr. weekend I have spent cooking, cleaning, reading, practicing a new hobby, listening to records and exercising. I’ve stomped around in the snow with my camera and curled up on the couch with a Blue Bloods marathon. I’ve spent some time assessing how much stuff (too much, in case you’re wondering) I have and reworked how I use a few things. A clean, organized home is a happy home. It’s even happier when there’s hot chocolate involved.
Winter is the perfect time to stay inside and take care of your nest. It’s also a great time to plan the year’s adventures and to save money for fun when better weather returns.
If I had someone to come home to, I’d probably be very happy coming home and making him dinner and spending my weekends hanging out together. Since I don’t have that kind of life, I’m free to go traipsing off to parts both familiar and unknown.
Today I’ll go back to work and take comfort in knowing that when I come home tonight, I’ll make myself a good dinner and put another record on the turntable. Right now, the homebody in me believes there’s nowhere to be that’s better than where I am.