by guest blogger Maya Rodale, writer of historical tales of true love and adventure.
I've always been one of those "ugh, winter" people, but last year didn't seem so terrible--in spite frigid temperatures and snow and slush--because I finally figured out how to make it work for me. Look, it's not my favorite season, but it doesn't have to be a long, dark, frigid slog. Here are my tips for surviving winter:
Surrender to the season. There will be bone-chilling cold, beautiful blizzards, and the wretched wintry mix. Weather will be inconvenient. Skies will be grey. We'll all get really sick of potatoes, apples, and the stuff in the freezer. I'll wager on it. I'll also wager on this: Dreading these things only makes them worse. Accept that they will happen and...
Find the great stuff about the season, and indulge! For me, it's cross-country skiing, ice-skating, hot chocolate with homemade whipped cream, and hot baths.
Dress appropriately. I can just hear my mother groaning now, after all those bitter fights over hats and warm coats. Last year, I bought a waterproof, quilted coat. I got proper boots so my feet stayed warm and dry. I got a hat and gloves. I wore leggings under my jeans and thick, fluffy sweaters. I was a much happier camper.
Enjoy winter food. Thick stews, freshly baked pies (I love this pumpkin pie), and a Sunday roast--stuff that's been cooking low and slow all day, if only so the oven will heat up the house. There is good eating to be done in winter.
Plan a tropical vacation. If you can afford it, actually go on said tropical vacation. A massive midwinter jolt of heat and sunshine is massively uplifting. But studies have shown the most benefit and pleasure from vacations is from the planning and anticipation of the trip. I've got Fodor's Caribbean 2012, with full-color pictures, on my bedside table.
What are your favorite things about winter?
For more from Maria Rodale, go to www.mariasfarmcountrykitchen.com