Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Wait, January! Don't Go!!

I share this blog post knowing full well I may get hate mail, but I have to put forth my true feelings.

I'm sorry to see January go. Winter is "down" time for me. Time when I don't have two full-time jobs. All I have to handle (for the most part) in the winter is my inside work. Of a normal year, once the snow goes and the weather turns hospitable to the human body, I'm outside. Unfortunately, there is no one to pick up my inside work in the spring, summer and fall. So perhaps you can understand why winter allows me to feel as if I have more hours in the day in which to accomplish all I want to do.

I cannot believe it was a full month ago that I was taking down the Christmas tree and stowing the decorations away for another year. It seems like yesterday. What the heck happened to the last month? Regardless, I have to face the fact that what most people consider to be "the long, slow month of January" is gone.

Even way up here in northern Minnesota, February is the last true winter month. Although we can get lots of snow and blow in March, the days give us so much more daylight and in between the bouts of foul weather, we start to experience melting and the very beginnings of spring. So even though it might not always act like it, March is classified as more of a spring month than winter.

I personally wish February wasn't such a short month. Even though it's only a couple of days shorter than any other month, there is so much I try to pack in to it that it always seems to fly by. This year it's going to be a month in which I really have to hit the winter-wanna-do projects.

We're committed to finishing up the remodeling on our house in 2011 and although we've been working toward that goal all winter, there are so many things that are made more laborious and difficult when the wind is whipping and the temperature is hovering around zero. So even though we have been slogging along, I know as soon as better weather comes, we're going to be more and more involved with the tearing down, re-building and generally messy work of construction.

It's downright scary to me how fast life and times are going by. When you are in your thirties or forties or even fifties, it seems as though you have enough of your life left to accomplish . . . well, anything. It's all still possible because you have y-e-a-r-s stretching ahead of you. Not that I plan on croaking any time soon, mind you, but when you find yourself in your late sixties (good gawd, that's getting close to SEVENTY!) it begins to dawn that the time of your life is drawing nigh when you'd like to have all the "work" or "getting set up" done so that you can spend your retirement (ha!) years taking it a little easier or doing more of exactly what you want to do.

So I'm going to do my durndest to take full advantage of this last, wonderful month of winter. More sorting, cleaning and organizing to do. Time spent in my quilt studio. Plans yet to be completed for the remodeling. Many nights snuggled down reading with hubby in front of the wood stove. Cooking creative, nutritious meals using the canned, preserved and frozen treasures I put by at last harvest time. Expeditions on sunny days on snowshoe or snowmobile.

In honor of February, next time I go to town, I'm going to stop at the local florist's and splurge on a few red and white carnations to put in a vase with fragrant evergreen boughs. And it's time to bake heart-shaped sugar cookies to squirrel away in the freezer so they'll be ready to pull out, frost and give on Valentine's Day.

I'd better stop this chatter, get up off my duff and start doin'. Looks as though February is going to zip by just as fast as January did!


Jane said...

It must have been your long lost relatives that were the first to leave the warmth and bounty of the equator and move up to the inhospitable tundra of the arctic. I always wondered why someone would want to do that.

The Apple Pie Gal said...

Gee that sort of made me sad. Don't ya be thinkin' of going no where and you are NOT close to 70. No ifandsbutts.

But you are so right. Time goes so quickly and suddenly you got somewhere you didn't know you were going to and wondering how???

Maybe this month is a good month for us all to find our focus again! We can do it!

Mama Pea said...

Jane - You aren't the first, m'dear, to suggest that my relatives were/are a little tetched!

APG - Oh, don't you be worrying your pretty little head of not being forced to read my blog for a looonnng time to come. Got way too much to do yet to even think about the day I decide to check out. Hubby has always said he's going to live to be 126 but he'll never make it without me to take care of him so that means I'll have to stick around until then. (Gee, I'll only be 124!)

But it is hard to stay focused, isn't it? Gotta work on that.

2 Tramps said...

Aw, you have shamed me - I am on my duff, too, needing to get busy. Cookies? Nice idea... But will you really freeze them until Valentine's Day? I would eat them! In fact, I am drooling right now thinking about it. Cookies would be so good right now but I am going to cook beets - still trying to do the healthy eating here. Oh, but cookies??!!

Susan said...

As much as it pains and shocks me to agree, I agree. Being forced inside, you can overcome the guilt of doing something you love - like quilting or knitting. Or reading, for gosh sake. And boy do I agree with you on how fast time is going. I keep wanting to stomp on the brakes!

Lorie said...

Yes, I too agree. I think that is why I have put off the garden planning and seed ordering, that means I have to think about the spring garden, and I am just not ready. I need more hibernating time!

Mama Pea said...

2 Tramps - Yep, I would put them in the freezer. (No good to eat without frosting anyway!) We had cooked beets for dinner tonight also.

Susan - Do you think we'd have any chance of slowing time down if we all "stomped on the brakes" at one time? Hey, how's the weather? Are you getting the big snows?

Lorie - I say welcome to my hibernating world, oh like-minded person! Let's try to hold spring back, eh?

Erin said...

Whaddaya mean January's gone?! I just realized that when I read your title! I too, have so much I want to do yet this winter, but it's almost over for me. I know what you mean about being "settled", I try not to think about it, but we'll be in our 50's by the time we get to "the house" where we want to be, seems like this is something that should have been done already LOL. I still don't believe your age one bit so I agree that if you're telling the truth, you'll still be blogging at age 124, no problems there!

Freedom Acres Farm said...

I was just thinking TODAY how nice it is to slow down and get way more done inside when I don't have to be in the garden (even though I love to garden) and outside chasing kids. I don't want to hurry up and get more done inside though - I want to continue my slow easy pace while I can LOL

Happy February!!

meemsnyc said...

Hahaha, I say good riddance to January. It brought us more snow than ever, and I'm so glad we are inching towards spring. Even though the inching is oh so slow!

Ruth @ Hope, Joy and Faith Farm said...

I agree with you... tho we don't get the snow like you do, when it is nasty out, I can hibernate and get things accomplished in the house that get left behind in the nicer seasons. I don't feel guilty curling up in bed at 7 pm with a good book when it got dark at 5 pm, but when it's light out til 9 pm, even taking a bathroom break feels like a waste of time.
Time passes in the blink of an eye... and I'm 47! When in the heck did my kids grow up, and Christmas was yesterday, wasn't it?

MamaTea said...

Great post, MamaPea. Thanks for helping us to keep it in perspective!! You are just a spitfire and I appreciate being able to read your insights. :)

Sue said...

While I love and appreciate the down time winter provides, and the fact that I actually get to SEE the inside of the house, with not much in the way of snowmobiling and NO skiing at all, I'm ready to move on. I am stir crazy to get my hands back into the soil. I want to get out and get some real exercise-I'm all sqooshy from all the sitting around. I will NEVER want to live in Florida, but yea, a bit of warmth right now sounds good. I'm looking forward to Arizona next month (and grandson hugs and smooches!!!!!!)
Well, happy cooking,sorting and enjoying your quilt studio. And I will still be reading/painting/cooking/and sorting....but with an eye toward March!

Mama Pea said...

Erin - Most of the time it seems as if we're always "behind" at something . . . or many things. If we could only structure events more to our liking, eh? Methinks that might bring on it's own set of glitches! You're doin' okay, Girl. I'm doin' okay. We'll just keep doin'. :o)

Freedom - You may have just the best attitude! We spend too much of our lives rushing, because it seems we have to. Learn to take time to smell the roses and all that? Being in a calm state has been proven beneficial, right?

meemsnyc - Nuthin' "wrong" with your take on it. We've all gotta do what works for us!

Mama Pea said...

Ruth - So often in the winter time, my hubby or I will say, "It's 6:30 and I'm thinking of a shower and jammies. If it were summer time, we'd just now be going outside for another two hours or so." It's like living in a different world depending on the season.

Mama Tea - A spitfire, huh? Not usually a word I use to describe myself (although I consider it a compliment), but I did get a little riled up a day or so ago and spit a little fire! It kinda felt good and in retrospect it was probably a healthy thing for me to do. Yeah, just call me Mama Spitfire. ;o)

Sue - With all the beauty you are able to create outside, it's no wonder you'd rather be there!

Anonymous said...

Oh gosh, you know...I've had that feeling, that life is going by WAY too quickly. I won't be one of the hate-mailers! :D
I love winter, and you're right, January flew by. We're having a nice blizzard right now and I went out in the yard...it was so peaceful!

Mama Pea said...

Rain - How cool to go stand out in the yard in the middle of a blizzard! We've had bright sunshine all day here today. We have so much snow on the ground that it was positively blinding out there . . . should have had sunglasses on to avoid a twinge of a headache.

Enjoy your snow!