This week, we celebrated our first bona fide snow day. When Hailey and Robin woke up, opened their curtains and looked out, they couldn't see anything; their windows were covered in ice. Freezing rain had fallen all night (the day after the Nova Scotia groundhog called for an early spring). Everything was topped in a thick layer of ice, so school buses were cancelled and we stayed in. It felt so relieving to take a break from it all, do a bit of baking, watch a movie, colour birthday cards for Toots and light candles. We gave in to the call of the cozy.
Abby got out her new Easy Bake oven and made teeny tiny chocolate chip cookies for us all. The little girls donned their aprons, and helped me knead the dough for some bread loaves. In the afternoon, we ventured outside to slide all over our front yard while I chipped away at the ice. Then it was back inside to watch Horton Hears A Who, pop popcorn and do a bit of writing and colouring.
February is a time of giving in, at least for us. There is usually a cold going around (knock on wood, we're in the clear so far), a snow day or two, biting cold, and a handful of celebrations to prepare for. Once in a while, we indulge. It's an art, the practice of cozy. There is a certain dress (flannel jammies, slippers or moccasins, unkempt hair), an aroma (candles burning, baking in the oven, a wood fire), a sound (folk music, winds blowing) a pace (everything slow and deliberate) that lead to a vibe that is all about being cozy. Hibernating. Being together.
It begins to feel like winter has been so long, by February. We got a late start to the cold weather this year, but I am already over the limitations it brings. I hope our groundhog was right; we want early spring! I received my seed catalogue this week, and am already making plans for the gardens. I'm thinking more tomato varieties, more potatoes, basil, parsley, another blueberry bush, some bee-friendly perennial flowers and another raised bed.
We have eaten all of our canned tomatoes and applesauce from last year, but have a bit more frozen parsley and strawberries. When those run out, we're back to relying on what's affordable and local at the store (mostly root vegetables, greenhouse-grown greens and cold storage apples) until fresh produce begins to grow again. I think this, too, makes winter seem so long. The absence of prolific fresh produce means we are eating more slowly-digested comfort foods.
Thankfully, February's quiet and hibernating mean my writing usually explodes. I have a million new ideas and I have to focus on one thing at a time or risk muddling them all up. So my pen is busy, and I am happy with that!