I have a friend who lives in the south. She wrote to me this morning boasting that the back of her legs were warmed by the sun as she strolled through her neighborhood.
The backs of my legs are also warmed, not by the sun which I havenít seen in a few days, but by the fire in my kitchen Round Oak wood stove and feeding my fire warms my heart as much as my extremities as I start my holiday baking. As a matter of fact, the fronts of my legs are warmed too- by the cat that does figure eights through them nearly non-stop until I accidentally kicked him when I turned to reach for the cinnamon, forcing him to swallow his pride and belly up to the dog for companionship.
Let my friend have her year-round summer. I love Maine winters.
Now, having said that, let me say, I also love a good spring run off and indulge in one of my own just about the time the snow does the same. And while the melting snow turns Maine into a mud bath, I can be found in a bathing in the Florida sun. Taking refuge in the south from Maineís mud laden spring does not mean I feel the same about Maineís winters. I like my mountains the way I like my doughnuts: sugared. And the blanket that warms me the most is the freshly fallen blanket of snow.
In winter the days are cleaner, the nights are clearer and the air is crisper. Icy conditions bring people closer.
The garden is empty; the root cellar is full; the preserves and the thermostat are up. The nights are long enough for more than one chapter of a good book; the mercury is short enough for wool. Bring it on, winter- you are welcome here.
L.E. Hughes is a columnist, writer and owner of Diamond Corner B&B in Stratton, Maine. She welcomes your thoughts and comments: firstname.lastname@example.org.© December 2005 Lew-Ellyn Hughes. All Rights Reserved and Retained by the Author.