January 18, 2009

The way home

The way home

Desolate is the word visitors sometimes use to describe the winter landscape of Snowstorm Region. “I can’t imagine living here,” a friend once told me when she visited in January. In subzero weather, the trick is to search out pockets of warmth and colour to combat that seasonal desolation.

I spent the weekend doing just that. Friday night, I went to a movie with my husband, so that we could eat popcorn and drink lemonade, and imagine what it would be like to keep getting younger while everyone else is getting older.

Saturday morning, my friend Beautiful Hair picked me up, and we drove across glittering white hills to the small town where Gorgeous Eyes lives. In her cosy kitchen, we drank tea and ate spicy tomato soup and talked about our lives, while a yellow Tibetan prayer flag flapped in the icy wind outside the big glass doors.

Saturday afternoon, my husband and I went to the home of Monking Friend and Contagious Laugh to hang out with a dozen friends and play silly games in front of the fire. We came home in time to join the gang of young people at the house for a candle ceremony in honor of Shaggy Hair Boy’s eighteenth birthday. By candlelight and saberlight, we told stories about the freckled-faced little boy who has turned into a young man.

This morning, I brushed the snow off the car one more time, so that we could drive past red barns and white fields of corn stubble to get to the ski slopes. We spend the day snowboarding down the slopes in about a foot of fresh powder, and in between — eating french fries and hot sauce in the lodge.

It was a busy weekend, filled with friends and families, and the warmth of the fire. As we drove home from the ski slopes, the wind whipped snow across the fields and roads, a landscape of desolate beauty.

Desolate

15 comments:

Songbird said...

As long as the wind isn't blowing...it's beautiful.

Rana said...

It's funny - desolate isn't the word that would have come to mind. Cold, yes, desolate, no. There are too many trees and roads and fences and plants for it to be desolate, to these Western-raised eyes.

jo(e) said...

Rana: When friends from the Midwest come to visit, they usually say things like, "there are so many trees here!"

Sandy said...

I think it looks desolate in the really cold weather because everyone is inside!

Like that top photo especially.

Leslie F. Miller said...

I don't see desolate, either. I don't see barren or sad or lifeless. There's a well-worn path in the road, and the trees are comforting. I just see cold. And I imagine kids laughing outside just to the right of the trees.

Inside the Philosophy Factory said...

Jo(e) -- the midwest pals must be from the plains... where we are in the northern part of the midwest there are plenty of trees!!!

I tend to like winter because we have a good reason to stay home and be cozy. The summer seems to demand that we get OUT and DO SOMETHING every day -- because cold weather is right around the corner.

lom said...

I could live there, I love the snow

New Kid on the Hallway said...

I miss the desolation. I like my very sunny desert clime (that still gets snow), but I kinda miss REAL winter.

BlackenedBoy said...

I can't agree with your friend. That same desolation she finds so dreary would absolutely enchant me, as did in Native State when that region of the country still experienced bad winters, before global warming robbed us snow.

Is Shaggy Hair Boy already eighteen? My goodness.

I adore winter, and far from pitying you I envy you your location.

The beauty of it is so brilliant and so magical.

bsouth said...

Sounds like you had a beautiful weekend, looks like you live in a beautiful place. Belated happy birthday to Shaggy Hair Boy

Queen of West Procrastination said...

Wow, are those trees ever gorgeous. I'm with New Kid: those pictures make me miss real winter.

Kathryn and Ari said...

What better way to deal with cabin fever than in the company of people you love. It sounds like a wonderful weekend--and a perfect way to enjoy these quiet winter days.

Sarah Sometimes said...

This post made me laugh a bit--at myself, I mean. Saturday you went out to two social events and hosted one, while, here in Big City Like No Other, I thought it was too cold (at about 11 degrees F) to go outside and could barely force myself to go out and get some much-needed groceries. Of course, I can also plead exhaustion after a long week at work. Not being on sabbatical and all that.... :)

Happy Birthdy to Shaggy Hair Boy--I always remember being there for his 13th!

jo(e) said...

Oh, that means it's been FIVE YEARS since your last visit.

We need to kill these cats off faster.

YourFireAnt said...

As usual, Jo(e), you have captured CNY's essence in these wonderful shots. Just lovely.

BB: Just wait till you read her February blog posts, maybe starting around the 16th....

Jo(e) If you need the potato salad then, just call. It takes an hour, at most.

FA