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Brightening Wintertime Blues

Breaking away from the usual routine

The Inter-Mountain photos by Shannon Bennett Campbell Making some travel plans to beautiful spring gardens like this Greenbrier County spot will brighten one’s outlook.

If you are one of the many in our Appalachian Mountain area who never warmed up to the snow arts of downhill or cross-county skiing, bobsledding, ice skating or snowshoe hiking, this time of the year can be fairly slow.

For one thing, we always manage to have our streets covered with freshly fallen flakes. Be assured, at the bottom of these frozen piles ice is forming, and if we do not move slow enough, an accident is on the way.

One could enjoy watching out the window at the fluffy, white snow covering our sidewalks, but we have little joy when we remember we are responsible for keeping our walkways passable and we must go find our snow shovels.

When we recognize that sunless winter is packed with work instead of the recreation we seek, there can be sad, blue moments. So, for those who suffer with this syndrome, I decided to offer some remedies to get past these obstacles and possibly help springtime appear sooner.

Who says we must keep focused on snow? Pull those travel guides out of the drawer and begin to make decisions about where to spend this year’s summer vacation. If nothing else, the pictures of children swimming in State Park pools or seeing the strolls one can take in beautiful springtime flower gardens at places like The Greenbrier will produce magical results.

Nothing has a more sweet affect on low spirits than a piece of warm pecan pie.

Another activity that usually brings many smiles is a shared meal with an old friend where one can catch-up on each other’s latest news and events. We often find that struggles we have do have solutions and that they can be endured after realizing how others have overcome challenges.

Winter sales are usually starting and a visit to a favorite shopping center could afford one a great buy on needed items. One might try dropping by a bulk food store either at I-79’s Stonewood Exist or at the Flatwoods Mall where many hard-to-find food items await including fresh deli meats, cheeses and beverages. The Amish Store at Flatwoods also houses more than 20 kinds of ice-cream to create a special cone.

Some may prefer to engage colorful materials and create placemats, coverlets or guilt pieces. We are fortunate to have a Sewing Center in Elkins that is recognized as one of Central West Virginia’s best. One can drop by here to learn of many available stitching projects that will surely fill winter’s emptiness.

Some study can be made of the Farmers Almanac so plans can be made for vegetable and flower gardening in the year ahead. Many planting tips can be obtained and local plant distributors can be contacted to discover schedules of when items will be available.

Break away from housework always being a usual routine by including some time for baking family members favorite desserts like cookies, iced cakes or pecan pies. Eyes brighten when goodies are taken from the oven and somehow they make even the snow look prettier.

Quilting is a colorful way to take eyes off snow scenes. A Fran Kordek design illustrates why.

As we try to turn-around some of the down-times we have getting through winter weeks, I am reminded of the determination of writer Louisa Alcott. She explained about one of her stories, “I like adventures and I am going to find some.”

We may be somewhat challenged to alter the dismal weather forecasts and create some sunshine for ourselves, but as we are able to overcome what nature brings us will assure winter’s passing in a speedier style. Did I mention that some robins have already been spotted?

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