Wednesday, 4 January 2017


For the first winter in almost forty years, Jim and I will be feeling no southern sunshine on our backs, viewing no turquoise Caribbean waters nor hiking any saquaro-dotted Sonoran Desert trails in glorious Arizona. Why? In March, Jim will go under the surgical knife at Sunnybrook Hospital to correct hip replacement surgery mangled three years ago. We have been warned that both his surgery and recovery will be lengthy. Is Jim is worried. No! Relief is finally in sight.

And so you ask, "How will you stand those glum short days, the depressing darkness, frigid temperatures, blustery snow and treacherous ice?"

Throughout my Real Estate career, I professed that success was "between your ears". How strongly you believe in yourself will ultimately define your career. Retired, I now lecture myself on enjoying and savouring each and every moment I am in. So why not savour winter? Just think about it; I don't even have to commute. I swim with a woman whose husband so dislikes flying that she has resigned herself to not journeying south for the winter. Connie told me that once she decided to like winter, she found herself actually looking forward to it.

I can do this; loving winter is a mindset!

I am going to appreciate snowy days when my world is silently blanketed in white, when I can catch big fat snowflakes on my tongue and when I can marvel at how Mother Nature creates sparkling individual snowflakes from water droplets. I am going to relish those sunny cold days when the sky is impossibly blue and, in the absence of mosquitos and flies, I am going to enjoy brisk invigorating walks, squeaky snow beneath my feet. I am going to lovingly laugh at the antics of my grandchildren as they make snow angels, skate or hit the slopes. Morgan and Zachary love winter; Grammie will follow their lead.

During the tranquility of early morning, I am going to stand in awe of the pink line of sunrise visible from our kitchen and cheer on dawn as it pushes back the black lines of winter's nighttime. Mother Nature's palette is always to be treasured.

A list of "to read" books glares at me from my nighttable. How can a simple list make one feel so guilty? With our fireplace radiating warmth and colourful light and as snow swirls outside, I am going to curl up, feet warming in wooly winter socks and revel in my escape into the world of good fiction. Look out list! Speaking about wooly socks, winter clothing is actually my favourite. Sweaters, sweatshirts, turtlenecks, hats, gloves, scarves......I love them all. I take great delight in layering. If it is cold outside, dress for it. And hey, my body issues disappear with each additional layer.

Winter food is comfort food, especially soups and stews. This is the time of year I most enjoy my kitchen. Inviting aromas permeate our home. When's dinner? And I am going to savour warm beverages enjoyed with good friends in the cozy atmosphere of the Tin Cup. A good cup of coffee, laughter with friends, the hiss of steamed milk being prepared and happy chatter. Let the cold winds blow; it doesn't get much better.

As I have grown older, I have increasingly come to understand that ALL of life is a gift. So much of winter in Canada is beautiful and I am going to embrace it. Yup! I can do this!


  1. On my daily walks, I often plug into a podcast like TED Radio Hour (a compilation of 3-4 TED talks). Yesterday`s subject, coincidentally, was the `secret to Happiness`. The four expert psychologists and others provided some interesting theories. The one that resonated with me was the last speaker who talked about `gratefulness`. When Jim can do a very ordinary thing like walk without pain, he will be grateful. When you enjoy the majesty of a beautiful winter`s day, be grateful. The more grateful you are for every moment, the happier you will be. And remember, every moment that you get over and over again, provides and opportunity to be grateful.

  2. My favourite response......ever!

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