Strawberry has a Wintery Meme for us this month, with some wintery questions. Ironically, I had taken wintery pictures and already blogged about them, so I decided to pull out some old wintery pictures - and there were fewer than you might think. Apparently, I don't go to many winter sims, and when I do I rarely dress appropriately. I had such fun answering these questions, and really look forward to reading everyone elses. Winter is such a striking season - not the spring I adore, but stark and pure and murderous.
- What is the December/Winter season like where you live? – I now live in one of those seasonless places, but I grew up with seasons and went to school in upstate New York, where winter takes over for half the year. One of the things I love about where I live now is that my birthday month, February, is actually a pleasant month to live during; everywhere else I've lived, it's been horrid - neither the shiny puffiness of snow, nor the warmth of spring. I do sometimes miss snow, but most of my missing of it is a dream of childhood; snow is much less fun when one has to still go to work.
- When you think of winter, what’s the first thing that pops into your head? – My first year of college. Halfway through November, about four feet landed on he ground all but overnight. Various people across the school built things out of snow, and there they remained until the thawing in March. I had known lessar snows - six inches or a foot - but this was my first time meeting Snow in all of it's power. Secondarily, I think of one of the ice storms of my High School years. Everything was covered by half an inch of ice, and the whole area was just shut down for days at a time. There were brown-outs going on all over, so I ended up starting a fire in the living room and keeping it going into the evening to keep that area of the house warm. It was the first time I ever appreciated why fire has been so powerful through most of history; it's relatively recently that heat was a matter of turning a dial instead of a great deal of physical labor.
- Have you ever played any extreme winter sports? – Not at all. I'm a hopeless skier, a halfway decent skater, and mostly made snowpeople when I played in the snow.
- What do you like most about this season? – I love the effect of the snow and ice on the landscape. It looks so gorgeous - the pure white blanketing everything with the gleam of transparent ice on branches and grass. I used to be transfixed by it, it was so lovely; somehow pure and frozen all at once.
- Do you celebrate Christmas, Hannukkah, Kwanzaa or another holiday during this time of year? –I personally celebrate Yule, as I'm Asatru. I like to do an offering of alcohol to the Disir on the first night of Yule, Mothernights, and I've always dreamed of doing the full twelve days, with offerings to each of the Halls in Asgardhr, but I've never managed to pull together the research and time I need to do so. Really, I should start in January and take a month to set up each night, so by the time it's next December I'm ready. With my family, I celebrate a non-religious Christmas, as the rest of the family is culturally Christian but effectively metaphysical, agnostic, or atheist. We do stockings on Christmas morning, and presents in the afternoon, and an afternoon of time spent together, eating, and good fun. We also have a very impressive tree, with ornaments that go back generations and honor our Danish ancestry.
( More pictures here. )