Here in snow country we are settled in to what is a very long stretch of potentially boring days. The holidays are over. It is a very long time till we will get outside on a regular basis. The snow that seemed so beautiful at first is now dirty and the snow banks are piling up. Our vehicles are all the same shade of brownish grey, but if we go to the car wash our doors will freeze shut. People get grumpy. Of course, not everyone lives in a cold climate, but even in warmer places the days till springtime can get long. Help! Please give us five suggestions for combating cabin fever and staying cheerful in our monochromatic world?
I'm also in snow country, although it's not like it was when I lived in rural South Dakota. So my five suggestions are a hodge-podge of things we do now, and things I did to pass the time when I was literally "snowed in."
1. Find a "movie of the winter." I used to do this because my town was so small that we didn't even have a video store. So I developed the habit of finding a movie that I didn't mind seeing over and over again, whenever we were snowed in for a few days, and the number of TV stations went from 4 to 2. Some "movies of the winter" included: Gigi, Strictly Ballroom (great Australian movie), While You Were Sleeping, and Roman Holiday. Yes, my movies of the winter ran to "chick flicks." Two other "movies of the winter" that I'd like to recommend: "The Major and the Minor" (with Ginger Rogers), and "The More the Merrier" (Jean Arthur/Joel McCrea.)
2. Take up knitting, or counted cross-stitch. I got a lot of cross-stitch done during snow storms, while watching "the movie of the winter" and the weather news. More recently, I have taken up knitting again. I'm working on a bright red scarf: the greatest contrast possible with winter white.
3. Have a dog that likes winter. Our Scout gets me up to play in all but the coldest weather. Sometimes it's ok just to watch her play. Other times, a brisk (and I mean brisk) walk does the trick. After the walk, it doesn't hurt to have a husband who is so impressed that you walk your dog in below zero temperature, that he gets up and makes oatmeal.
4. I really really really like lap blankets. I have lots of them, in bright colors. They are fleece, knitted and quilts, small cozy wraparounds that make evenings in seem less boring.
5. Finally, there is the Great Midwinter Getaway that my husband and I have been taking for the last three years or so. It's not even that far away. We just try to take two or three days off in the middle of winter, go to a near-by small town and hole up in a hotel.