Vermont, Sometime in January

Midwinter. Need I say more?

I remember a Vermont winter when I was in my twenties where January was sub-sub-zero. 25 below zero, in what seemed like a cold snap that wouldn’t snap.

Not so, this year. Rain, slush, ice. Some sparkling skiing days.

The cats drape on the couches, dreaming of tuna perhaps, their little furry faces rubbing our hands. Midwinter is that particularly good place for work — or at least the kind of work I do, much of it at a laptop and not re-roofing a house. My daughters and I talk about swimming, of wandering in wet sand along the ocean, of ice cream cones (so dull I am, preferring vanilla), but in January that’s all imaginary…. for the moment. In a warm, well-lighted house, that’s just fine.

Let’s pull some blueberries from the freezer and make muffins — and another little silver pot of espresso, too.

So much money made
by clever temple priests
using peonies

— Issa

IMG_7105

By Brett Ann Stanciu

Brett Ann Stanciu lives with her two daughters in Hardwick, Vermont. Her creative nonfiction book, Unstitched: My Journey to Understand Opioid Addiction and How People and Communities Can Heal, will be published by Steerforth Press in September 2021. Her novel about rural life in Vermont, Hidden View, was published in 2015.

8 comments

  1. I remember that cold January as well…MANY moons ago! One can’t forget that kind of bone-chilling cold. This year it’s sort of the winter that wasn’t. I looked out this morning and thought ‘this is disgusting’. Your attitude was infinitely better 🙂

    1. I’m just so darn glad we finally live in a house that holds in heat. I know this sounds ridiculous, but living in a warm house in the winter — even a mild Vermont winter — has VASTLY improved my outlook on winter. Of course, a month further into what will doubtlessly be another Eternal New England Winter, I’ll likely be singing a different tune.

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