This Is Me, Not Complaining About The Weather

Feb 4, 2015

“He saw no colour but those he knew, gold and white and blue and green, but they were fresh and poignant, as if he had at that moment first perceived them and made for them names new and wonderful. In winter here no heart could mourn for summer or for spring. … On the land of Lorien there was no stain.”

– J.R.R. Tolkien



I recently placed myself in something like a writer’s Time-Out.

It was similar to the break my younger son is often required to take when his grumbling about the breakfast oatmeal reaches a critical stage. I simply told myself I must stay away from this blog until I had something better to contribute than complaints about the weather.

But then January turned into February, and though the weather has been, if anything, more disappointing than ever, I decided it was probably time to let my words out again.

We’ll see what happens.


My older son received snow shoes for Christmas. Though he has taken them out for a few test runs each time the snow has drifted into something resembling reasonable depth, for the most part, they have sat, ready and waiting, by the laundry-room door.

For a few weeks, those new snowshoes looked optimistic. Expectant. They perched neatly with their accompanying poles. Yesterday, I realized that they had fallen behind a pile of cardboard waiting to be recycled. Their metallic blue surface was dimmed by dust.

Whether or not you are the proud owner of new snowshoes, I do not think there is anything more miserable than sheets of rain and a high temperature of thirty-eight degrees.


This morning, the winter sun shone. Elsa and I walked the neighborhood sidewalks like puppies released from a kennel.

I noticed, as I walked, that the sky was a very pale, very delicate blue. It looked like porcelain. It looked as if a bowl of fine bone china had been turned upside-down over the treetops.

It was one of the loveliest skies I think I have ever seen. But it was also a thoroughly winter sky.

There are no skies like bone china in June.




  1. Sue Tell

    Love, love, love the analogy!

    I’m heading to NJ sometime in the next few weeks. I guess I’m hoping that it won’t be snowshoe weather.

    Welcome back!

    • Christie Purifoy

      Sue, I hope you have a safe and good trip! NJ has had quite a bit more snow than us recently, but you just never know. Any chance of a stop-off at Maplehurst? Someday I hope!

  2. Emily Gibson

    You are so right, the winter skies have an exquisite fragility, the sun almost tentative as if it really shouldn’t show its face. I take pictures of my barn’s weather vane against the porcelain sky too, and the brashness of the summer sky can never compare to the winter’s veiled face. Thank you for reminding me.

    • Christie Purifoy

      That is beautifully put, Emily. “Winter’s veiled face” – yes.

  3. Kelly Chripczuk

    Ah, my daughter’s wanted snow shoes for two Christmases now, but I keep telling her we don’t get enough snow to warrant them. This past snow they duct taped pieces of wood to their feet and walked around before using an old board to “snow board” down a small slope in our yard – at least they’re resourceful.
    I appreciate that you don’t resolve this – the beauty and the desperation of winter abide together side-by-side.

    • Christie Purifoy

      I might give my kids that “snowboard” idea. 🙂

  4. Hannah McDonald

    And so we can choose to receive open-handed the gifts we are given.


Leave a Reply

Pin It on Pinterest