It’s Coming, Ready or Not – A Rant

early winter CharlottesvilleAnd you know I don’t mean Thanksgiving. Or Christmas. You do know that, right? I notice that the newspapers, the internet, the TV, are all full of stories about the seasons coming, by which they mean Thanksgiving and Christmas — just as they have been full, of course, about the season past, which is to say Halloween. This is certainly an effect of capitalism, which the media, being its children, cannot ignore. It’s their business, after all.halloween-five


Halloween? Buy lots of candy! Thanksgiving next, buy your turkey here! Christmas after that, be sure and shop! Maybe it’s not all about capitalism — I do suppose there are still plenty of folks for whom the coming holidays are occasions that don’t  necessitate the buying or selling of something or for whom the buying and selling is just a little bitty part.

But, can we talk about what else is coming? Can we talk about winter? Because that what else that’s coming is cold. It is occasionally sparkly and often grand to look at, but the bottom line is, well, it’s cold. Cold, cold, cold. Followed by more cold, cold, cold. Accompanied by freezing rain, sleet, hail and snow. Even Florida gets a little uncomfortable there, for a while at least. I’ve heard that it has already snowed in Maine. I imagine it’s true about somebig-palm-florida-2012 other northern-ly or mountain-ly parts of the country.

Here in Virginia, where I write this from, we get to hold onto our illusions a little bit longer. The trees have flamed, but many are still green. Leaves have fallen, but not allof them. Not yet. The bare, ruined choirs are waiting in the wings. Are we ready? Is anybody ever ready? Well, people who go skiing of course.




I’ve already seen my first “Pray for Snow” bumper sticker. It’s good to have something to pray for, I guess. Even if it is for other people to go without electricity and freeze in their beds so the slopes will be full of stuff to slide on.

Yes, that is an unfair remark. We would still get all that lousy whether even if no one enjoyed it. I can’t fault the people who enjoy it. Envy them, yes. I can do that. I can even remember liking winter sports — though I must confess that even as a child I liked the slide down the hill way better than the climb up it. But seriously, besides the winter boots and the weather stripping and the whatever — now tires? remember snow tires?  — there’s something else we need to do to get ready and I know that’s to appreciate what we can For those of us who don’t do winter sports, that’s the comfort of being indoors, enjoying the feast if you get one, or just enjoying the fact that you’re inside and it’s all out there. Happy holidays to come.



Text and photos – Susan Shafarzek store-window-happy-holidays

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