Thursday, March 20, 2014

The Measure of Winter

"Nonna's Farm," photograph by Terry Rowe
A few hours before the official start of Spring, a few winter reflections. The usual quantitative measure of winter is the average low temperatures, how many days below freezing, how many inches of snow.

My measurement of winter is more personal, although still quantifiable.

How many layers of clothes did I wear before heading outside? At least three, topped by a down vest and then a coat. Gloves, scarves, and hats required.

Did I break out the snow boots? I did, they’ve spent the winter in my kitchen by the back door.

Did the snow shovels come out of the shed? They lived on the side porch this winter and got quite a workout.

Was the bill for heating huge? It was. Ouch.

How many days was my office closed because of weather? Four, although not a day of rest – snow had to be shoveled, cars cleared off, and other chores completed to keep the house and property safe during storms.

And, the last, most telling measure of a long cold dark winter is how many pots of posole did I make? Five, posole is a traditional Mexican soup / stew. It’s hearty and filling. Every time I knew we were in for a long cold stretch of it I’d make a bit pot of posole and have filling food for days.

So today, facing the last few hours of winter I have taken its measure and we are complete. Onward to spring.