Winter a good time for piddling

Published 6:00 am Friday, January 12, 2018

In the cold days of winter, or the snowy icy days, when I don’t have to be on a schedule or have a deadline, it seems that I lose track of time. I always have projects I’ve stuffed away for winter, and sometimes actually work on them. But often as not, I pass winter days piddling.

I couldn’t even tell anyone what I’ve done today for sure, but I’ve been busy at one thing or the other all day long and watching the clock for church time to arrive. The routine started with a shower and getting dressed, but skipped breakfast because of phone calls. I’ve done some laundry, put away some dishes, and straightened a few things. I’ve checked emails, and had a couple of hours of TV in the background. I went to the post office, did a few errands in town, and it’s almost time for church. The day is basically done. How in the world did I do all this when I had to work full-time?

I love to be outside, even in the winter, when the sun is shining. But on very dark, cold days, or blustery, snowy ones, I’m content to stick right in the house. My house is a peaceful place. I enjoy a few days of being housebound because of weather just for piddling.

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I think there is a natural biorhythm that comes with the shorter days of winter, which requires us to get more rest. It almost feels like a time we need to recharge our batteries to be ready for the rest of the year ahead.

The town I grew up in in Illinois has a website devoted to memories from growing up in Steger, Illinois. Today’s post was about the blizzard of 1967. It was a doozy. To date, it is one of the worst on record there. Cars were buried under feet of snow. Snow drifts reached to the housetops. Factories shut down because it wasn’t safe for workers to try to get there. Stores sold out of food and people had to drag sleds to the grocery to bring food home because cars and roads were buried under the snow. For the children it was a play land of snowmen, snow sculptures, igloos, and snowball fights. For the adults, I’m sure it was a nightmare.

We’ve never seen a storm like that here and I will be happy if we never do. There is a fine line between being housebound for a few days because of bad weather and being stranded and no one able to get in or out for days at a time.

Some of my relatives are snowbirds. They head to Florida for the winter and go back to their homes in the north around April when it is warm enough to see the ground again. This was a good year for them to head south.

Winter isn’t even half spent. We don’t know what surprises are in the weather for the next few months.

I have a stack of books I want to read, and the Bible on top that I need to read and study daily (but need to be more disciplined). I have old video series like Pride and Prejudice or Monarch of the Glen to watch on television. There are always junk drawers to clean out, soup recipes to try out, phone calls to make, and mad dashes to the store when we hear bad weather is on our doorstep. Closets could always use some paring down. There is no shortage, but in really cold weather, most of us just don’t want to do these things.

It seems to me that men benefit most from cold weather. They get off work, get to hunt, play in the snow, and rescue people with their four-wheel drive vehicles. Where women can usually find something to do in “nesting” in the home, men celebrate the opportunity to show just how tough they are by pitting themselves against the challenges of winter weather and teaching their children how to make the most of a good snow storm.

Whatever way others choose to pass the winter months, I think I’ll enjoy piddling in the little things I would never do on a warm, sun-filled day.

Reach Judith Victoria Hensley at or on Facebook. Check out her blog: One Step Beyond the Door.