the cold season is upon us


I love fall & winter (& early spring). I have never liked heat or humidity — childhood summers were best when we escaped to the Bay Area, California to visit family and have a respite from hot & humid New York. Summer is difficult for me. I’ve actively worked on cultivating a love for it over the past several years — but it isn’t a comfortable place. I hate sweating, I hate the anxiety and self-consciousness of shorts and sleeveless dresses and swimsuits. It is harder to hide with so much daylight and warmth.

Fall & winter brought all kinds of favorites : first my brother’s birthday (where I could hang around, bugging him and his friends, and got to eat a piece of birthday cake), then Halloween, and on into November : my birthday (complete with party, cake, and presents) and Thanksgiving — watch the Macy’s parade in person or on Television, getting a chocolate turkey to eat, and the big meal with my family. Finally, real winter would begin in December, with the promise of snow days (only if you did all your homework and put a spoon under your pillow), Christmas, and winter vacation.

Cold weather means other, smaller delights, too : long flannel pajamas, baking (& enjoying the heat from the oven instead of shying away from it), hot tea in evenings and not just mornings, boot socks, candles, and a gentle push inside, towards the chess board and the bookshelves. Cold weather is an excuse to turn inwards, not in a navel-gazing way, but towards each other, towards processing and settling down and internalizing. Starting on November 1st, I listen to at least part of the Rachmaninov Vespers every single day until spring. Cold season is definitely my season.

I’ve already been planning our holidays (we won’t be traveling this year, due to my job) and starting to think about how it will be to have our first Christmas just-us-two. Every year of my life, except last year, I’ve celebrated Christmas with my mother (and most years with my brother, and until his death, also my father), at our home, in New York. Most years, I’ve been with our dog Pip, too! Last year we spent Christmas with David’s family. But this year I will work on December 23rd, then have Christmas Eve and Christmas Day on the weekend (very glad for how the calendar worked out this year), and return to work on the 26th. And although I am nervous about having the holidays with just us two, I am also a little bit excited about something new and different, and about working on our own traditions for the little family we have become.

Happy cold season, everyone!