I went to Scotland. Castles, mountains, wool, history galore. A writer’s heaven.
As a kid in Western New York I loved winter and faced total confusion as my grandparents complained about the cold and snow. As long as I could make a snow man, ice skate, or even better, go sledding/tobogganing, I was thrilled.
The years have blinked by and now I “get” what they meant. It’s tough to drive in ice and snow, and worse to walk in it, especially in Russia where the ice can be inches thick on the sidewalks. If it’s hard for me and I consider myself in okay shape, how hard it must be for the elderly who need to walk to get to the kiosk that sells their favorite (most affordable) fruit or bread.
My children get a week off at the end of February for Winter Break, and we used the off-season prices to afford a trip to Edinburgh, Scotland. Friends and family in the States thought we were crazy–Scotland, in the winter? It’ll be cold, rainy, miserable! Nope. It was chilly the first few days, but a relative heat wave to us. And the last couple of days were downright balmy. In the 30’s at night, but 40’s, maybe even 50 during the day.
Enjoy the photos–if you’re still in the grips of Father Frost, wherever you are, I hope they give you hope for the coming Spring. By the way, it’s 9 degrees Fahrenheit as I write, -2 wind chill.
Our family went to a winter resort north of Moscow this past weekend. Whatever winter activity you dream of doing…cross country skiing, ice skating, cruising the frozen Volga river on a snow mobile–it was all there. But from all of the great activities to chose from, I have to say walking on frozen paths and taking in the spectacular scenery was my favorite way to pass the time. Oh, and the Turkish bath! My newfound quest–can I have a Turkish bath installed in my dream retirement home?
I actually forgot how much I love a sunny winter day. I grew up in Buffalo New York, so I had plenty of winter days, and know what a dazzling effect the sun has on new fallen snow. But I’d forgotten…living in the middle of Moscow, I’ve gotten used to getting from point A to point B as quickly as possible (usually via metro, where the tunnels are so warm and cozy). It’s often overcast and rather gray in the city, as well, which made this sunny weekend all the more invigorating.
As a child I loved the winter–it was hands-down my favorite season after a beautiful autumn in Western New York. But as the years have gone by and I’ve had the privilege of living in sunnier climes, I somehow decided that I don’t like to feel as though I’m freezing.
It’s time to regain my love of winter and enjoy the beauty of a frozen wonderland.
While I may live thousands of miles from home, I keep in touch by getting the daily weather updates for Annapolis, MD and Buffalo, NY on my email account. My friends and family on the east coast are taking a major hit right now, with historical back-to-back blizzards and record snowfalls. The most important thing in all of this, as always, is to stay safe and healthy. If you have your health, and it’s safe to go outside, I encourage you to get out and soak in the spirit of winter. It’s beauty is like no other.