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Weekend Life

Tales from the Motherhood: Savoring the sunlight to beat winter blues

I do love a challenge.

For my next feat, I’m determined to like winter in spite of its cold, dark self.

As my friend Michelle says: “Winter, you’re drunk. You need to go home.”

Maybe so, but the thing is, it’s not always cold or dark. And you can enjoy it, too, if you play your cards right.

Take Sunday afternoon, for example. Remember Sunday? It was sunny. Warm. A veritable heat wave. Warm enough to enjoy, if one bundled up well, so I did. As one of those people who drops everything whenever the sun makes an appearance, I ran outside and relished it.

Then, inspired by my friend Sally’s earlier mention of cross-country skiing at the Fabyan Forest Preserve (I don’t cross-country ski – I do downhill, but it was too late by the time I realized how warm it was to head to a hill), I dug out my old snowshoes and took them for a spin.

Oh, the memories, as I dusted them off and loosened the straps and realized that they’d last been used by much tinier feet. Noah’s, in fact, over 10 years ago. I recall that he and I took turns clomping around in the snow near our house in Maine, a few months after I bought them at a yard sale.

He wasn’t around this time, but Holly was, so we took turns clomping around the house until the sun disappeared again.

The next afternoon, though it was too cool for school and far too cold to hang outside, it was still sunny. Not one to waste a sunbeam, I made do, eager as I was for my daily dose of vitamin D. I’ve discovered that when I sit in my car, even when it’s not running and the window is rolled down, it provides an adequate buffer against the cold as long as I’m bundled up and facing the sun. It can be quite cozy, actually.

After several minutes, when I noticed the sun was sinking behind my neighbor’s house, I backed my car down the driveway a few feet to get out of the shade and back into the sun. Eventually I ran out of driveway and realized that I’d have to get out of the car. But my neighbors were shoveling their driveway by then, and, trouble was, as it was a cozy, stay-home-from-school-with-the-kids-again-kind-of-day, I was still in my pajamas. You know, the baggy, red plaid ones with the hole in the butt.

You get the picture.

My kids were no help. I called them on my cell. You know, from inside my car. Instead of providing cover, my daughter laughed as she pranced over to our other neighbor’s house for her daily doggie visit there. When I finally slinked back inside, I made a batch of chicken soup. Hot chicken soup. Yes, another reason to like winter.

I’m lucky. I don’t suffer from seasonal affective disorder, but perhaps that’s because I indulge in my craving for sunlight. (I also indulge in my craving for chocolate. Guess what I spotted under my bed whilst doing my little Pilates routine Tuesday afternoon? A new bar of Ghiradelli’s dark chocolate, that’s what! Dang, but that’s my kind of workout, but I digress.) I think the thing I most get a kick out of, actually, is that “Aha! I got some (sun)!” moment I get to have whenever I discover a patch of sun and stop to savor it.

Wednesday, for example, as I waited to pick up my son from school, I parked in the sun, rolled down my window, closed my eyes and smiled at my good fortune. Pete Seeger’s rendition of “We Shall Overcome” came to mind, though I’m pretty sure ‘crazy-lady-with-her-window-rolled-down,who-backs-down-her-driveway-five-feet-at-a-time-every-10-minutes-so-she-can-hang-onto-the-sun’ isn’t what the late, great crooner had in mind when he sang it.

• Jennifer DuBose lives in Batavia with her husband, Todd, and their two children, Noah and Holly. Contact her at

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