Pam Webb

a writer's journey as a reader

Oatmeal Winter

Shakespeare must have experienced a few discouraging winters when he penned the lines for Richard III: “The winter of our discontent.”

Although the line is more metaphorical than literal, concerning rulership and kingly reign, it is a line that reverberates and has been applied to other aspects. Britain claimed in the late seventies with strikes occurring during a freezing winter, and Steinbeck borrowed it as well.

However, Shakespeare’s line aptly fits my present state of mind. Our corner of the world has experienced a ramshackle winter of excessive snowfall followed by excessive rain, which makes for interesting conditions—much like existing in a 7-11 Slurpee cup. Then there is the continuous grey or gray, if you prefer, days. The sky casts the muted shades of blahness, and the snow is no longer a cheery pristine. I call January and February the Oatmeal Days of winter: gray and lumpy all around.

Not that I really believe in the predictions of Old Puxy, but it’s some kind of wonderful when the thought of spring is that much closer. The first Sunday of February made me a believer of prognosticating groundhogs as blue skies and sunshine greeted the day. Even though it was a bracing 36 degrees, I bundled up and sat outside and soaked up as much heliotherapy as I could before the chill penetrated my enjoyment.

And then the respite ended. Back to the slog of rain and snow, which triggers my discontent.

Having had that momentary blue sky day, I realized it’s not the snow that undermines my temporal happiness– it’s the lack of color. The sameness everyday is a mood quencher. Therefore, I have devised my own therapy.

If I can’t count on blue sky winters I will bring color to my own delight.

Safeway flowers
windowsill marbles
Chromecast screen savers

These attempts to brighten my outlook seem to help, especially when I see the forecast is once again gloomy. Winter can create discontent, yet I can always add a little color content to become content.

How do you cope with winter’s gray days?

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7 thoughts on “Oatmeal Winter

  1. Currently I just woke up from a lovely nap where I slept peacefully beside my dog as she snored away while bundled up in her purple sweater! Next I plan to finish watching “Once Upon a Time… In Hollywood.” It’s been a pretty luxuriously lazy day which is perfect for a Winter Saturday.

  2. Cope? I get into a moody slump and wonder, “Why oh why do I live here?”
    When I’m older, I’m going to be one of those Snow Bunny sorts, who travel South in February.

    • That is a plan of merit. Our problemo is the hubs would worry muchly how the house would be faring: frozen pipes, snow load, etc. Until I can reckon to condo life I will continue to buy Safeway flowers and keep my list marbles in a windowsill jar.

  3. Oh my yes. I agree, Pam. We are being dumped on currently with 8ish 😉 inches of snow here. I do copiously use candles, inspirational soundtracks from Youtube, white twinkle lights, and fresh flowers for this time of year. Sigh. We are traveling soon South to visit family so that will be a nice break. Here’s one of our current favorite listens:

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