Tolkien, artist

Thoughts on Winter

 Will this winter ever end? The snow keeps coming and coming. The entire country has just about had it with winter. I actually really like winter, what I don't like is how much work winter causes for us. Mowing the lawn every 1-2 weeks in the summer is a lot of work also, but after 1-2 hours, you're done for another 1-2 weeks. Not so with winter. You can go for a week with no or little snow that may take as short a time as 30 minutes to shovel, and then get pounded by a large storm and have to spend hours and hours cleaning up after it. If we just had our house to care for it wouldn't be so bad. But we shovel out our house and also the old house because I refuse to put it up for sale in today's depressed real estate market. Then we also shovel out my Father-by-marriage and, of course, the shop. So that's four different properties that have to be shoveled out whenever it snows. Today we'll have warmer temps again, but up to a foot of snow, so the shovel will be called back into service again.

Winter Wonderland

Winter is a time of introspection and new beginnings, a time of extreme beauty and deprivation. It used to be the season of hunger - by the end of winter, before spring had really kicked in, all of the stored food would be running low and people would be hungry when they went to sleep at night. Early spring was always the worst. The plants that would be so sustaining later in the year would just be sending out their first shoots, and the waters would be running high from winter melt so getting around to find meat to bring back to the family would be difficult and dangerous. In today's modern world, when we just need to go to the local grocer's to purchase fresh greens and meat for the table, winter is no longer equated with the hunger. Would we be able to survive a winter like this one has been without our modern conveniences? I'm grateful that I don't have to try. Our footprint on this world may be heavy handed, but on snowy days it's nice to know that I can have a hot meal with a salad and stay healthy. Call me happy about that!

Winter Carnival Button

And Winter Carnival is in full swing. The Saint Paul Winter Carnival is our own celebration of winter - activities and events going on for more than a week all over our metropolitan area. This is the 125th annual celebration of our winter celebration, so I have put one of our Winter Carnival buttons above (there are four different images). This button features the ice castle. An ice castle is not built every year, but often is. Winter Carnival celebrates the Winter King and his overthrow from power signifying the upcoming Spring. Sometimes temperatues are so warm that the ice sculpture contest and any other major icy events are threatened. That's not the case this year - the temps have been plenty cold and there is a lot of snow. But eventually the Vulcans (not, not ala Star Trek) will succeed in overthrowing the winter king and spring will come again. So there is hope still - we'll have spring coming yet.
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So there is hope still - we'll have spring coming yet.
I have noticed catkins, and my patches of Lady's Mantle plant are beginning to unfold. They just becomes dead bundles of earth in the winter and look like nothing at all. But the wind is a bitter North-easter and it does not feel springlike yet, even though the small signs are there.
You're right, it doesn't seem anything like Spring yet. But it will come and I live for then. Spring is my favorite season, so I'm sure I'll be posting plenty in celebration of the season as we progress towards it.

Have a fantastic day today!

- Erulisse (one L)
I think spring and autumn are my favorite seasons - spring because of all the new growth, autumn because the colors here are so glorious. Winter? Can be gorgeous, but can also be downright brutal. You have my sympathy on the snow-clearing, it's hard, hard work.
I agree 100%, the colors of fall are so amazing and the greens of spring are so varied. Summer can be brutal - hot, humid, and too many bugs, and winter is backbreaking. I was born in the spring and married in the fall, so both of those seasons have celebratory times surrounding them also.

- Erulisse (one L)
That winter festival sounds fab, I guess it is the counterpart to all that shocelling. I like sunny winter, but gloomy grey winter... no thanks. Spring and Autumn for me, too!
Winter Carnival is quite amazing and a lot of fun. King Borealis and his Queen of Snows are finally defeated by the Vulcans and then Spring can return to the land again. The festival has developed many traditions over the 125 years of its' existence, but we enjoy the ice sculptures, and when we can get out there, the pond hockey. When they have an ice castle we will sometimes go out to it also. We figure that since we live in the snow we should celebrate it.

- Erulisse (one L)