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This morning I checked in with a friend who has been living in Carbondale, Colorado for years. She’s a real mountain goat. Barely tolerates summer, but thrives in winter. She’s already started skiing for the season (there’s plenty of snow now in Colorado’s high mountain altitudes). She told me that tonight’s dinner is going to be a hot, cheesy fondue, and wine from a local vineyard. Tonight, the temperature is supposed to hover around 20 degrees.
Gaaacckkk. Me no winter. But a funny thing happened after we talked. I pulled up an old video of us in Aspen, on that one amazing trip I took there, and a warm, wanting feeling came over me. New snow. Big boots. Hot cacao. My awesome new cross-country ski set (no steeps this winter). Long nights. Candlelight. Hiking. Awesome hats. Indoor parties. Hot soup. Weekends at museums. Hot cider. Jewelry making. Crocheting. Snuggling under the blankets. Doesn't sound too bad.
But let's have a quick reality check: winter in Connecticut ain’t winter in Colorado. Colorado has a culture and landscape and vigor that amplifies and beautifies even the coldest, longest winter. Connecticut doesn’t have that allure. I’m not knocking Connecticut (too much), but let’s get real about this: if you must winter, better to winter in Aspen than Hartford. Enough said.
Still, the feeling came over me that winter might not be so awful that I must spend any more of my time on this planet dreading it. My Carbondale friend has a great mantra for life – see the gorgeousness in things, live to the maximum, ski a lot, be of service, and spend your time with dogs.
OK. So, I made my mind up this morning that this weekend, I’m going to finally store my summer clothes and shoes, beach bag, sarong, and sunscreen, and bring out the winter gear. I’ve been putting this off for a while. I guess I figured that if I left the winter boots in storage, winter would never come. That’s how puerile I am.
I’m going wax those skis this weekend too. Today, I’m going to scout out spots to trail ski other than Salmon Brook, a local and smallish preserve where I’ve taken these skis in the past. There's a place in Farmington I've heard about with 12 miles of trails and an affordable season pass.
I’m going to stop dreading. The gardening season is over, but it will be back, and now it’s time to have an attitude of gratitude about the turn of the season. Maybe there’s a trip to Carbondale in the cards this winter. My friend unwittingly gave me some of her buoyant energy this morning, some of that groovy outlook she carries with her everywhere. She also gave me an idea for a vegan fondue. Thanks, girl.