‘Proof’ Yourself Against Winter

Right now, we are all enamored with fall. The cool crisp air; the beauty of the leaves; the glory of the days. But before long winter will be upon us. We have a tendency to think of it as the period of ‘Doldrums’. But as my wise friend, Gary Truckey, pointed out in a post he wrote for his La Ferme Sabloneuse Facebook page ‘Snow Storms Part IV’, winter doesn’t have to be dreary. Gary lives in Wisconsin, and their winter is something we in the South rarely experience. He should know all about ‘doldrums’. However, I think he has found the magic cure. Through two of his favorite writers, Richard Adams and Kenneth Grahame, Gary asks the same question:

Are we ‘proofed against winter’?

We spent the summer growing fruits and vegetables, then preserving them. We try to put up as much as possible to feed us through the winter months. Although we don’t have snowdrifts like Gary, we still do not enjoy getting out in the bitter cold, just to go to the grocery store. It is so much easier to reach in the pantry or freezer and have a warm, nourishing meal on the table.

It’s Not All About Food

But, it isn’t just about the food we put aside. We should also ‘proof’ ourselves with the mental and spiritual food that is needed to nourish our bodies and souls. Gary says it beautifully, “As for us humans, there is truly a visceral, primordial sense of well-being; … Winter gives us the time to meditate, pray, even create by writing, composing, quilting or crafting, and even the opportunity to seek out other like-minded individuals to compare notes and ideas.”

In our hectic lives, we have forgotten what it means to slow down. Winter is designed to do just that – slow us down from the fast pace of growing, hunting and gathering. We may still have to go to work, but during our ‘off’ time, we need to refocus our efforts on family.

Time to Stay Home

This winter, instead of packing our schedules with unnecessary business, why don’t we stay safe within our home? Turn the television, computer and video games off.  Go outside and take a walk. Spend time with your family. Hand down familial stories to your children, so that your past may not be forgotten. Teach your children – or yourself – to be creative. Knit. Crochet. Quilt.  Work on handmade Christmas gifts. Write a story together. Play or listen to music. Get the story line of Sergei Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf and learn to identify the characters by their instruments. Or just cozy up in a blanket and read.

Are you proofed against winter? If not, start making plans now to do just that, so you will be ready for the first snowfall (or, here in the South, that first cold, rainy day). Set aside a few good books. Stock up on popcorn, hot chocolate and tea. Create a ‘Snow Box’ and fill it with movies, craft projects, games and other things that you can do on a cold winter’s day. Start making a list of recipes you would like to try, or things you want learn, and tackle them over the winter. Take this time to renew yourself, body, mind and spirit. Take a page out of Gary’s book – ‘proof’ yourself against the cold, dreary, wet days. If you do, you may just find yourself looking forward to the next winter!

Want to spend your winter days learning something new?  Check out these fun and easy Crafts!

Would you rather be reading?  Check out my recommended choices in Product Review

Julie Murphree is a blogger, newspaper columnist, and speaker on all things ‘Living a Simple Life on the Farm’. She is the author of \\\'The Farm Wife – Living a Simple Life on the Farm. She and her husband have 60 acres in NW Louisiana where they actively work on living as sustainable as possible.

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