We are deep into the lazy, hazy days of summer now; watching helplessly as July slips quickly behind us and we round the corner on August.
Hopefully you’ve been spending at least some of these impossibly long days exploring and enjoying all that the Maritimes has to offer.
It always strikes me that when you’re sweating out the summer months, even though you know that winter is most definitely coming, you still can’t fully comprehend of how cold and miserable it’s really going to be. And when you’re deep in the dark depths of January and February, it feels like you’ll never feel the warmth of the sun again. It’s like we develop some sort of seasonal amnesia in order to cope (is this already a thing?).
The really good news is that we’re currently in the sweatin’ and forgettin’ stage of our seasonal amnesia. That glorious stage when blizzards are but distant memory and storm chips have been replaced by campfire chips.
But beware, my dear fair-weather friends, the clock is indeed ticking. I can feel the days getting shorter by the moment. Those stunning summer sunsets and glorious beach days are numbered.
So, get out there and enjoy every second of it! Have drinks at the boardwalk, explore a place you’ve never been, take a sailing lesson or hike that peak you’ve always wanted to tackle. Because seasonal amnesia is real (or not) and winter is coming.
Winter is the perfect time to take on a little home decorating project. It gives you something to do while your waiting for the evening light and warm temperatures to return.
This January I decided to take on redecorating a small bedroom in our home. A room desperately in need of a fresh coat of paint and a new purpose. The task? Turning this drab, unused space into a cozy reading oasis.
The idea took shape when I spotted this amazing print from Sweet Sycamore in a Canadian Living magazine. The idea grew from there.
A great shade of paint (Antiqued Aqua, Benjamin Moore), a comfy chair, some lighting and a few bookcases later and I love my new room! It’s a great place to hang out and chill, with plenty of storage for future book purchases.
I’m still searching for the perfect curtains (aren’t they so hard to find?) and I may add a few details over time but overall I’m very happy with how it turned out. It was a great use of my indoor winter time and now I have a space that is much more useful for me.
A special feature of the room that my husband insisted on are hammock hooks. You know, in case chairs just aren’t your thing. I was resistant at first but it was a huge hit at our annual Stoutfest party last weekend and I must admit it’s pretty comfy (don’t tell my husband!). Also, it’s easy to take down so it doesn’t have to dominate the room all the time.
Have you taken on any indoor winter projects to get you through the coldest months?
I don’t know about y’all, but looking at the bare grass on my front lawn and thinking about what it looked like this time last year is sort of freaking me out. Because this week we’ve had a couple days where we broke records for February daytime high temperatures and last year at this time it felt like we were in some sort of frozen, never-ending hell of snowmageddon. I guess it just goes to show you how very different winter in the Maritimes can be from year to year.
As un-Canadian as it may be to say this, winter is not my favourite season (shocking, I know). I find the short days and the long hours of darkness challenging. Always having to wear snow boots and tracking snow and ice through the house (and then stepping in puddles of cold water in your sock feet, ahh!). Shuffling like an old lady across the parking lot so you don’t fall and break a hip (don’t laugh, it happened to people last year!). I try to make the most of it and I do enjoy an afternoon’s snowshoe or a morning of skiing, but for me, winter gets old pretty fast.
This winter, we’ve gotten off pretty lucky so far, at least here in the Saint John area. Mother Nature makes no promises however, and we could get slammed everyday from now until April (and maybe even after that). In fact, snow is in the forecast for tomorrow. For now, I’ll take more of what we’ve been getting. Thanks, El Nino!
I put together a few comparison shots, so that we can all take a little stroll down memory lane of the winter-from-hell and thank our lucky stars that it’s 2016 and not 2015.
Since we are smack in the middle of what could potentially be a week of epic Snowmageddon proportions, I thought this would be a good time to give you some of my tips for surviving a Maritime winter:
1. Always Be Prepared (for any possible weather event)
Since winter weather ranges anywhere from +15 C and pouring rain to -25 C and white-out blizzard conditions, sometimes within mere hours of each other, you gotta be prepared. Some days this means having handy: your umbrella (usually useless), rubber boots as well as snow boots, up to 5 layers of clothing (layers are your friend) including the puffiest of down coats and in the rare case that you might catch some sub-zero rays, your sunnies.
2. Get Yourself a Snowblower
Seriously, people. I know they are expensive, but how much is your life worth to you? My husband and I spent one winter trying to shovel out our driveway before we said F-This and bit the bullet. Best money we ever spent.
3. Good Snow Tires/4×4
Another must if you’re going to drive around in this haily/slushy/icy frozen tundra we call winter.
4. Put on Your Comfy Cozies
Comfy cozies are my staple at-home winter wear items: warm sweaters, plush socks, flannel pants – all hideous as hell – but comfy as shit. Which leads me to my next tip…
5. Sign Up for a Streaming Service
It storms a lot here so you’re going to be spending a good deal of time indoors in your comfy cozies. You’re gonna need some stuff to do. Binge watching 5 seasons of The Good Wife is a damn good way to pass the time. Which leads right into my next tip…
6. Stock Up on Snowmagedden Supplies
Sure, this means making sure you’ve got lots of batteries and candles and emergency shit like that, but it also means #StormChips. Yes, this is now a thing. Maritimers love their potato chips and when there is a storm coming, you better get to the grocery store quick or your favorite flavour will be gone! Also, don’t forget your booze! There is nothing quite so nice as a hot toddy on a stormy winter night.
7. Make Your Escape
Many Maritimers will tell you that this last tip is absolutely vital to their winter survival strategy…by simply escaping it, at least for a little while. Cuba, Dominican, Florida and Mexico are all favorite hangouts for winter-weary Maritimers. In January, February and March, we migrate like those pesky geese we Canadians are famous for to drink (alot), soak up the rays and try to tan our pasty hides. After a blissful week (2 if you’re really lucky), we trudge reluctantly back to our frozen homeland only to discover 3 ft of snow in our driveway. Welcome home.