This Is Winter


Don’t let the sunshine fool you. I took these photos while standing outside in -7 degrees Fahrenheit/-21 Celsius air (-25F/-31C wind chill at the time). Lest you wonder why, I was on my way to start my car. When your car is old and you’re parked outside in weather like this, you need to start it every day, even if you don’t go anywhere.

The car gave me attitude, acting like it didn’t want to start (I have a sudden flashback to my teenage years and how I was in the morning), but I was determined that it would start.

The next day, the temperature was a balmy 14 degrees to allow for more snow. Wheeeee!

On the day that I’m writing this, earlier I crunched outside (snow crunches, in case you are wondering about my verb choice) to start the car and to brush the powdery snow off so that I could head to the store, since we’re expecting—you’ll never guess what—more snow.

At the time (6:48 a.m.) the temperature was one above zero. A thirty-two-degree day seems almost tropical. I can’t remember the last time we had one. Maybe the week before last? Three weeks ago?

It’s amazing what you get used to. I’m now used to the rhythm of going outside, armed with my tools, just to be able to move my car.

My best friends now.


The shovel is the MVP. Not shown is the windshield screen a pastor gave me out of pity.

I can’t help thinking of the line spoken by Richard in Richard III, Act I, Scene I—the first line in the play in fact:

Now is the winter of our discontent.

But you have to read the next line to get more context:

Made glorious summer by this sun of York

Okay, maybe that line doesn’t provide a ton of context. It is interesting how Richard is being sarcastic here as he contemplates his misery during a supposedly happy time, thanks to his brother becoming King Edward IV. This is not a post on Richard III, so I won’t go into the why of this, though you could check out David Morrissey performing the soliloquy from which the above line derives. (If for some reason the video below disappears, click here to view it.)

But the contrast of happy days (summer) to dark days of war epitomized by winter was too apt for me to ignore. And yet . . .

I have to let the temptation of yearning for summer, or even spring, pass. It’s so easy for me to long for what’s to come (warmer temperatures), instead of living in the now (the freezer).

After all, freshly fallen snow enabled me to spot these:

Coyote tracks from a couple weeks back; the pack has taken shelter somewhere else lately.

I’ve also gotten to know several neighbors simply because we were all out shoveling snow around our cars.

This is winter. This is now. And yes, that wreath hangs on my door.

When the snow photo above was taken, the temperature had climbed to 16 degrees Fahrenheit /-8 Celsius. Good job, Winter! I knew you had it in you.

Photos by L. Marie

42 thoughts on “This Is Winter

  1. I am admiring you and your courage, Linda , to work ln the cold to start the car everyday.
    You have a weather looking siberian. In my town in northern France we usually have rain in fall and winter but since last Saturday we have a dreadful cold.
    Love ❤

  2. I suppose you can be thankful you don’t livr in New Jersey. My friend had over 35 inches of snow from a recent nor’easter. Yuck! At least you don’t have to commute!

  3. Marie, I like how you mix quotes from Richard III and the homely shovel, a necessity for you these days. Kudos to the pastor who gave you a windshield screen and to you for finding gratitude in the jolly wreath hanging on your door and in the thought of spring. Here’s a quote for you: “If winter comes/can spring be far behind.” P. B. Shelley’s Ode to the West Wind.

    May the wind be at your back should you brave the cold. Otherwise, stay toasty warm inside!

    • Thank you for the quote, Marian! I am staying warm, though I will have to venture out and start the car soon!
      I had taken the wreath down because my other neighbors took theirs down. But then I saw some other wreaths up on another floor and thought, Why should I give in to peer pressure? So I put it up again! 😊

  4. We’re supposed to get a lot snow next week. Got hit pretty hard over the last two weekends too. At least for our area. The cold and snow definitely makes me yearn for warmer days. Hope it heats up there enough that you can let your car rest for a day.

  5. I like the idea of a temperamental car giving attitude-no use to you though when you have to be somewhere. And I LOVED the coyote tracks.

  6. Liked listening to the soliloquy excerpt and love your wreath – it should stay!
    I’ve been on the fence with posting my poem “Snow Joy” since I’m not experiencing the Reality of it like you guys…just the longing for it! HA!
    But now, think I’ll just push publish without any feelings of having to apologize for it! HA!
    Glad your old-faithful is still being faithful to start up!

    • I read your lovely poem, so I’m glad you posted it, Laura! 😊 I remember the joy of throwing myself on the ground and making a snow angel. And snow does indeed have a joy factor. So play on!

  7. You are indeed hardy and brave to venture out in weather like that, Linda! Your car thanks you, I’m sure, even though it has attitude. I love the Shakespearean reference. The soliloquy was great! Stay warm!

  8. I like your photos of your snowy land. I also think that our shovel is the MVP of the month. When I read or hear the soliloquy from Richard III I think of the movie, The Good-bye Girl. It was the first time I ever heard the soliloquy and because the movie was a comedy I mistakenly thought that the Shakespeare play must be one too. 😁

    • Oh my goodness! Hadn’t thought of that movie in years! I remember seeing that. That was back when Richard Dreyfuss was in so many movies!

  9. Yes, it’s been so cold where you are this year. We’ve had a lot of snow in NYC. We’ve already passed our annual average snowfall, it’s snowing tonight, and after this 2-4 inches, we’re supposed to get more on Sunday and Tuesday. I hope not Tuesday, because that’s the day my daughter, an in-person teacher, gets her second vaccination. (At least for her, things are looking up. She’s planning a trip to Houston for spring vacation in April.)

  10. We’ve been snowed in for the last week but it doesn’t take much snow for that to happen – we’re never prepared for it! Plus being snowed in doesn’t feel much different from our normal lockdown this year… I admire your attitude of enjoying the now but I admit I’m more than ready for spring to arrive. Then I can start complaining about the rain again… 😉

    • I know what you mean. Same four walls, regardless of the elements. But this year, so many people are snowed in. In the States, unexpected places (like Texas) have an abundance of snow and cold temperatures.

  11. Believe it or not, I often think of moving back to central New York state just to experience winter one more time. Even though the cold can be brutal, I miss crunching through the snow. When I was a kid, it was a winter sport to crunch through the snow … and that’s if you were lucky and there wasn’t a hard sheen of ice that would make you do a split instead of a step. I remember how we’d always have to warm up the car for 10-15 minutes before driving to ensure it wouldn’t stall. I definitely didn’t enjoy traveling in winter (I often think of winter as a season for children, not working adults), and I still remember the bite of the frigid air on my face and fingers, the steely cold coming up through the soles of my boots. But snow can be so beautiful, and especially moonlit nights! There’s a stillness in winter air, like life is suspended and holding its breath. But … I’m talking about one season. My heart goes out to you and all the work it takes to live through one winter after another. And this has a particularly tough winter, too. But, yes, enjoy where you are now. I love your wreath!

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