This winter was the winter I vowed not to get the blues. Vitamin D depleted, shut in, subzero temperatures, snow drifts the size of pyramids, numerous school closings delaying summer vacation to a mid-June start — none of that cold, icy noise was going to bring me down. I had a plan to navigate the months of December through March. This five step plan was nearly fool proof, aside for a few side effects and setbacks:
- Intex PureSpa Inflatable Hot Tub
This is a genius invention for those thrifty individuals who do not want to splurge on a permanent hot tub yet are driven to dip their toe into the idea of owning a hot tub. Research on this $400 tub recommends not keeping it outside if temperatures drop below 32 degrees. My husband John and I ignored this, enjoying the tub in the teens and single digits. After two months we moved it into the garage because the hot temperatures couldn’t subside the frosty winds.
- Ski, ski and ski some more
Making tracks through nicely groomed white corduroy is fun. Riding up the three person lift with my son and husband is memory making. Every weekend we trekked a half hour to Powder Ridge Ski Resort in Middlefield, Connecticut. This is the little mountain that could having closed two years ago only to reopen with new owners this season. It has been fun watching my son develop as a skier, catching air on a ramp and coaching mom to take a few more risks in my mediocre skiing.
Trekking atop four feet of crystal white snow is a serene experience. Crisp, sharp air, that is so quiet, it is only interrupted by what the wind pushes past you and your crunching feet. Blue sky the color of a robin’s egg is such a contrast to the white and bark brown of winter. Snowshoeing feels like you are exploring a new, outer space. You are an astronaut alone on the moon, leaving just a trail of foot prints that say you were there.
- Read or buy readers
I rarely read and have a handful of books that have remained half read. I had many excuses not to read until I broke down and bought a couple of reader glasses at the CVS. I stopped reading, because I couldn’t see the words. It’s amazing how much easier and appealing reading is when you can see. So winter is giving me the time to make up for the years of not reading or rather the procrastination of not going to the eye doctor. I am seeing the optometrist in April.
Along the theme of realizing I need glasses, I have also learned this winter that being in your mid-forties means you don’t care what people think anymore. This plays into the fact that I now swim during Adult Swim at the local high school pool. Me and every man over the age of fifty congregate between 8:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m. to do some laps. We arrive at the pool armed with our swim caps (mine is purple), goggles and my must have, nose plugs. I am quite the site, but I feel as though I am stopping the atrophy that winter seems to cause to my muscles. After a few weeks I can feel and see muscles I forgot I even had. The feel of the water, scooping up divers the seven year-olds forgot to claim from the rec swim is reminiscent of childhood and reassuring that summer and pools and more activity is weeks away.
The winter blues stayed away, although there were days it hovered around, waiting to sink in, but nothing that a good book, or a snowshoe trek or a quick game of Uno or a hot tub visit couldn’t handle.