Family: Finding the joys in the lull of winter

The wine glasses on the table, all set with a bright red tablecloth and white napkins, sparkled in bright defiance against another dark and dreary winter day.

I light the fireplace, delighting in the flicker of orange and red flames that leap to life with the flick of a switch.

Finally, I light the coal oil lamp and turn the flame down low and voila, the stage is set.

True, it is not set for much out of the ordinary really. No special guests. No guests at all for that matter.

Just my husband and I sitting alone in our nest that has been devoid of children or pets for quite some time.

But, somehow, just being able to soak in the complete and utter satisfaction of coming in out of the cold (well, actually the garage), seems reason enough for celebration.

And for each and everyone of us the wheels of life continue to go round, but in the heart of winter, it seems like sometimes they get stuck in a snowdrift and just kind of spin aimlessly.

The landscape of winter, especially after Christmas, when it is all about giving and good will towards men, when it’s easy to be filled with good cheer, seems a little forlorn at times.

Is it true that only a few short weeks ago we were celebrating the New Year, toasting it, in fact, like we would welcome a new friend?

Now we are dealing with the unfairness of the carbon tax, the high price of gas at the pumps, and the endless pile of bills that keep showing up in our mailboxes.

There is, of course, somewhere out there a happy medium and, as always, in every situation there is always at least one reason to smile.

One just has to find it.

For me, it’s about a million and one things, some of which I have already mentioned. A fireplace, a beautiful red tablecloth and sparkling wine glasses.

And then, of course, there are the grandchildren, watching them, always with a measure of trepidation, but, oh so much love, as they slowly and mysteriously emerge from the cocoon of childhood.

And, last but not least, there is my crock-pot.

I’m really loving that thing.

Every morning I prepare some kind of dish that will cook itself slowly all day long, filling the house with tantalizingly delicious smells.

And then away I go to work, pleased as can be that supper is preparing itself thanks to my wonderful little kitchen tool.

It truly is the little things that provide a spark of joy even on a deep, dark day in winter when the wheels of life seem to spin aimlessly in a snow bank.

Treena Mielke is the editor of the Rimbey Review.

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