Do you know what day this is?
Of course you do. February 2nd!
Do you also know that this is Midwinter Day?
If you don’t believe me, check it out on your calendar. February 2 is almost always exactly halfway between December 21 and March 21, the Winter Solstice and Spring Equinox, respectively.
I’m embarrassed to confess that I lived most of my life without knowing that the Groundhog Day premise—“If the groundhog sees his shadow today, 6 more weeks of winter”—meant very little. There will definitely be six more weeks of winter, literally.
Midwinter . . . what does that mean to you?
Here in northern Indiana, we seem to be enjoying the January thaw into February. My neighbor has raked back yard leaves that somehow never made their way out to the curb last fall when the city vacuum trucks came roaring through. Now that the trucks are tucked up in their garages, my neighbor has to bag the leaves and put them out for the regular trash pickup.
I get out more often to refill bird feeders. And trips to the store, church, or Y are less fraught with the early morning questions, “Are the streets safe? Is there ice in the parking lot at the Y? Are the schools closed/delayed?”
Midwinter also means nothing is written in stone. Tonight’s forecast for a clear tomorrow may do a 180 ("Surprise!") and leave us with icy driveways, snow-covered vehicles that cower by the curb, and wind-wind-wind. I can tolerate a lot more snow and cold than wind.
Indoor activities thrive in Midwinter. Sewing and knitting are always available or whatever hobbies you pursue—and believe it or not, I’m almost finished with the larger bed-size quilt for one of the great-grands. After I ship it to him, I’ll post a photo.
Letter-writing has returned. Sometimes it’s a long letter posted by emailing it to the recipient. Sometimes it’s folded, enveloped, stamped, and mailed via USPS. Greeting cards disappear out of my drawer and end up clipped to the mailbox for the letter carrier to pick up.
Cooking—not as much as in former years. But I’m doing a little more baking and freezing the results. Banana Walnut Brownies (gluten free) are a new favorite.
Reading—am I ever glad I heard about the 50-Book Challenge! My January list surprised even me . . . 12 books, some rereads, some new; and I have a list of new ones I want to look for at the library. (Thanks, Liz, and everybody else who passed the word!)
Hope your Midwinter is a peaceful time before the spring-summer-fall schedule of life events takes over.
And if it’s an active time—basketball, Super Bowl, church dinners, lunch with friends, whatever—enjoy that also.
My goal is to take each season as it comes; try to enjoy what it provides; avoid criticizing the weather and circumstances beyond my control (still working on this one); and look for the good in each day.