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Donna Barker

Making it through the winter

OK, I admit it, there are some winters which are easier to like than others.

This winter has been one of the harder ones to enjoy, at least for me. I like snow and cold as much as the next person, but then again, maybe not. It seems like this winter has lasted a lot longer than its allotted time.

However, there have been some positive results that have come with this winter, in spite of its repeated snowfalls and/or frigid temperatures.

For instance, I have done a lot more reading for pleasure this winter, and I now have a new favorite author.

About three weeks ago, on a Friday afternoon, I stopped at the library on my way home from work to pick up a couple books to read because another snowy weekend was forecast. I chose a mystery by Irene Hannon, which turned out to be almost like a Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup to me … I couldn’t stop until I finished it.

I love those can’t-put-down books. I went back to the library the following Friday afternoon and picked up a couple more books by Hannon, her first two books in a three-part mystery series. This past Saturday, I picked up the final book in the series.

On Sunday afternoon, as I was sitting in my living room with my Hannon book in hand, I couldn’t help but think how long it had been since I’d read a mystery series, actually how long it had been since I read any three books in a two-week period. I’d missed reading for just the fun of it.

The winter seems to have brought back to life the reader in me, which is a very good thing.

Thanks to the winter weather, I’ve also been reading my cookbooks a lot more and trying out some new, healthier recipes, filled with vegetables, which I haven’t done in a long time.

Another nice thing about this winter has been the fact that I only had to drive 35 miles per hour once on my way to work from Wyanet to Princeton. (As before, I apologize to any drivers who were behind me.) There’s been a lot more challenging driving days for me in previous years. Or maybe, I’m just getting braver.

But one of the best parts of this winter for me is the fact that I now have bragging rights over my daughters when it comes to difficult winters. It has become a Sunday morning tradition for me to take photos or videos on my phone of our front yard and neighborhood and send them to our daughters in Salt Lake City, Seattle and Mahomet. For once, they don’t outshine us when it comes to challenging winter days.

All things considering, life has slowed down this winter for me, not so much by choice but because I was too often intimidated by the snow and cold. And, that’s been a good thing.

Maybe there is a small silver lining behind every snow pile.

But still, I think the best charm of this winter will, no doubt, be that day, that week, when we tell winter good-bye and welcome spring.

Shaw Media Staff Writer Donna Barker can be reached at dbarker@bcrnews.com.