Here in the northwest, winter made a late appearance throwing us off with a bit of sudden snow and then retreating to mild days of showers and sunshine. If it hadn’t been for the somber mornings and the early nights, I could have pretended it was March. “A mild winter,” everyone remarks, “not like last year’s”. Old Gris, 22 this year, and no longer the lively hunter he once was, sleeps for long hours curled up on the red blanket. Only food and visitors distract him from slumber but even then he soon curls up between two guests and, as is his prerogative, catnaps peacefully.
Still, it is chilly enough to justify all the treats of winter, the afternoon fires, hot soup at lunchtime, dinner simmering for hours and filling the house with delicious anticipation. Dormancy in the garden means more time for reading, drawing, for catching up with all the movies I missed last year, for knitting or embroidering. It may short-lived this winter break I like and so far I haven’t worn my heavy winter coat nor pulled the electric blanket out of storage. And I have yet to make my favorite winter dish, red cabbage with apples and red currant jelly, as my mother cooked it.
In front of the house, the seventeen sprouting rosebushes have been pruned, and as I garden I exchange smiles with young parents taking their toddlers and dogs for midmorning walks. On sunny breaks, the coffeehouse tables are crowded with chatty customers and quiet readers. Yes, there is no mistaking it, it feels like spring in February in Portland, Oregon. Thank you Pamela, for reminding me of the pleasures of this season and those to come.