Nights of Chill

We keep getting warnings of weather advisories: snow, wind, that type of thing, but it has not happened too badly yet. Friday morning we awoke to our first snow this season, yet it was nothing but a ground dusting. I wanted to take a photo, but it was too dark that morning and by the time I got to work, at a lower elevation, the snow was gone. Yesterday I heard news of another weather system around the corner, but I am not sure if that has been changed because I don’t think it will reach freezing in the next few days. Friday afternoon on the way home from work, however, the mountains nestling our town were covered with fresh snow, and at that time, the way the lowering sun glinted off them was so drop-dead beautiful. I was listening to Great Big Sea (very loudly), and stopped off to get some wine and winter ale for an upcoming party–and it was just one of those days. Great views. Great music. Great vibes. That night, later, it was so cold that I don’t think I ever properly got warm when going to sleep. We keep our heat down very low, especially at night, and usually it’s okay, but by last night we had thrown on another quilt.

My husband returned to his running a few weeks ago after a bout with plantar fasciitis, and I am dreaming of doing the same, but am still dealing with a few things–but they are improving slowly. So I’ve just done some hiking–throw in a little jogging along the trail here and there. I still do not find it hard to run anymore–those years of training have helped quite a bit. I’ve been lifting small weights every night and doing the stationary bike. I miss running regularly though. We’re also supposed to have a worst winter than last–and last winter was strangely winter-like, with snow from November to March. It’s more reminiscent of my youth in Chicago than typical Vancouver winters, which are generally mild and snow-less except for in the mountains. Now if only they would flood over areas in parks so I could break out my ice-skates!

We just got over a season of birthday celebrations (myself, my husband, my mom, my husband’s dad, friends), which has meant movie nights, game nights, and one night at home with friends and a big pot of chili and my first mulled wine of the season. As usual, however, I’m really looking forward to our big Thanksgiving dinner in just a little over two weeks. Morgan’s dad and partner are flying in, and we’ll have our other friends over for the dinner. I usually take this holiday off–it’s one of the few things I’m nostalgic for as far as growing up–these four days off, since Canadian Thanksgiving is in October and still doesn’t quite “feel right” or “like Thanksgiving” to me save for it’s a great time of year to go hiking at Wells Grey. I love the four days off during the Thanksgiving of my childhood, and plan to stick with this time off each year. It gives me time to do a little pre-holiday decorating and preparation, and by that I don’t mean plastic snowmen or plastic anything. I have a few pine candles that I put out every year. This year I want to go for a hike and gather some fresh fallen greens for putting pine cones in. And around this time of year, I also like to dehydrate orange slices. Not only do they make the house smell really good, orange slices are a neat way to decorate. But that’s really all the decorating I’ll do.

These chilly nights are great for writing and dreaming. I recently wrote part 2 of my series on The Ecological Weird at SFF World. I’ve only done a little bit of writing on my own novels in the last two weeks, but have given myself some time to finish them, given my many projects. I’m also finishing up an article about my time spent on the Atnarko River a few years ago for Tales from the River, which has recently been announced at Stormbird Press. And I am putting together a proposal to teach a course in eco-fiction–but it may be quite a while before hearing back. And I’m working on an interview with an author I really enjoy and got to meet recently.

Chilly nights may have been keeping me mostly inside lately, but there is nothing I would rather do than get outside and go on a winter hike or have a big bonfire at night. I don’t even know where one could have a bonfire around where I live, but I have been thinking how nice it would be, especially when we have guests at Thanksgiving. So I’m going to look into it!

The featured image is of my first winter hike last year, and is of an almost frozen Deer Lake.


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