Below zero and even more ridiculous wind chill temperatures. Maximum-intensity cabin fever; I am so desperate that I am actually cleaning my house. Here are some of my survival strategies.
What were those household projects, again? The ones that might have made it onto an actual list somewhere, only to be ignored for months or years? My husband and I have identified a few, like calling the electrician to tackle a handful of power-related oddities. The electrician came, he fixed, he is gone. Mission accomplished. Oh wait, are we actually doing anything besides picking up the phone and then watching others work? We started small. I decluttered a swath of the living room. We are tackling the kitchen together next, complete with oven cleaning and a plunge into the depths of the refrigerator to toss without mercy. For a treat that is more cerebral and requiring less elbow grease, we will be culling our bookshelves and book piles for donations to the 5 College Book Sale.
Cooking. Big pots of stew-like concoctions that are especially welcome only in cold weather like this. Baking cornbread to go with everything. And of course, napping with an ear cocked for the oven timer.
Laundry Day in Saattut, Greenland, by Stephen Gorman It is laundry day at our house too, but nothing so colorful.
Planned escapes from the house. We spent part of this Sunday morning on our own idiosyncratic art walk, sprinting from the truck into the blessedly heated halls of DHMC. We revisited Sol Levenson's Shaker Murals, (below, and detail in featured photo above), every face unique.
Further along, we came across the work of local artist Kathleen Fiske, all the more interesting for the variety of style and subject.
Veil Nebula #2 by Kathleen Fiske
Dainty irises from Saint-Gaudens, colorful abstracts, and a simple, honest treatment of an iconic Upper Valley scene (Sap Buckets on Calendar Hill, below) to remind us that in fact we are not in the dead of winter but rather, in the midst of sugaring season. This cold will evaporate. Spring will come.
And you? How are you spending this last gasp of winter? Seed catalogs, perhaps?
I write about the arts in the Upper Valley. Don't want to miss anything? Sign up to receive an email notification each time I post something new. Just click here. To view my profile page or to read previous posts, please click here.
Susan B. Apel, writer, ArtfulEdge