‘When Chekhov saw the long winter, he saw a winter bleak and dark and bereft of hope. Yet we know that winter is just another step in the cycle of life. But standing here among the people of Punxsutawney and basking in the warmth of their hearths and hearts, I couldn’t imagine a better fate than a long and lustrous winter.’
(Groundhog Day: The Movie)

Fooled ya, huh?  You thought I was going to quote the great, illustrious writer Chekhov and make another esoteric comment on winter, right?  Wrong!  But it was pretty good, wasn’t it?  And Bill Murray’s character, Phil Connors, fooled the people of Punxsutawney, PA pretty good too into thinking that he was not just any reporter on a mundane assignment about guessing the groundhog’s intentions that winter, but a sensitive, caring soul who really held the people in this quaint, little town in high regard.

Which brings me to thoughts of the Change of Seasons myself.

I don’t know about you, but Fall makes me downright melancholy.  Especially living in this northern climate.  I mean, Fall indicates, as soon as the colorful leaves have left the trees, that we’re in for a long, deep, dark winter that now seems to last half of the year, rather than it’s quarterly portion of the yearly cycle.  That’s just too darn long, I’m sorry.

What happened to a regular Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall schedule?  With birds chirping in the Spring and daffodils popping out of the ground, then Summer with beautiful skies, trips to the beach, flipflops, Fall with the breathtaking display of bursting autumn color, pumpkins, corn mazes then Winter with snow on the ground, sledding, ice skating, snowmen and the promise of a white Christmas. It all seemed so…I dunno, regular.

These days, with global warming etal., it’s just a crap shoot as to what you can expect from the seasons.  But regardless of what this year has in store for us…how do we get through the messy, sloshy streets, the dirty snow, the never-ending gray days, and the truncated bouts of sunshine causing many of us to experience some level or another of SAD?

I have a few ideas.

1.  Lord Of The Rings Trilogy.  My husband and I have found this to be of great comfort and will watch it as many times as needed to help us through the dingy doldrums of Wintertime.  It’s a perfect fantasy fest to completely take your mind off all the dreariness.  Also, there are tons of extra behind-the-scenes footage to play if you get tired of the story itself.  Don’t worry: by the time Spring rolls around, you’ll have the whole 3-part story memorized and you can form a LOTR Fan Club and host parties where you and your guests act out each character. (Oh, and *spoiler alert*)…next year at this time there will be a new addition to the mix when The Hobbit is scheduled for release.  Even more fun!

2. More Film-Comedies. We can’t forget the other genres of film which I can’t emphasize enough is one of the best ways to entertain yourself over the long months of snowed-in-dom. Comedies are a good bet.  Films, syndicated shows, cartoon compilations.  You can do classics like Charles Chaplin, Marx Bros., I Love Lucy, Looney Toons, Comedy Central Reruns, SNL Reruns, Live Comedy Concerts such as Dave Chappel or Chris Rock, Margaret Cho, Kathy Griffin to name just a few.  Also a good bet are the Hollywood classic comedies by filmmakers such as George Cukor’s Dinner at Eight or Howard Hawks’ Bring Up Baby.  There are so many.  I love the old black and white films with superlative direction.

3.  Even More Film-musicals.  Any of the MGM musicals, Singin’ In The Rain, Oklahoma, Bye Bye Birdie, West Side Story, Grease, on and on and on.  Music is a perrenial uplifter.  Also, live music concerts on DVD such as Janet Jackson’s Live In Hawaii, Sade, whatever suits your tastes.

4.  Snowshoeing.  Yes, believe it or not it is exactly what I did last winter so that I could be outside more and not have to be concerned about a dislocated shoulder or cracking an ankle whilst trying to navigate all of the (mostly) uncleared sidewalks in town.  Luckily we have a rails-to-trails trail where we live and I can just mosey on over there and snowshoe to my heart’s content for an incredibly intense workout–more intense still if you use poles.  Too bad our local trail clearing guy is a little too eager to clear the trail thus making it devoid of the fluffy stuff needed to really utilize the snowshoes without risking ruining them while you scrape along the bare blacktop instead.  Nevertheless, if you can beat out Ted The Trail Tender you might stand a chance.

5.  Soup.  That’s what we do:  We eat lots of soups, stews, crockpot recipes, anything liquid and hot.  Hot chocolate not to mention hot toddies (sp.?) will work too.  But, eating lots of soups has a couple of benefits: not only do they keep you warm but they are filling and will help you from putting on too many pounds due to the lack of mobility you might encounter sitting around watching all those LOTR over and over and over….

6. Chocolate. You can never have too much chocolate-the darker the better, but even if it’s milk chocolate it helps counteract the depression. Dark chocolate, chocolate sauce over ice cream, or frogurt, (if you’re watching your weight), chocolate fondue (make it a little more healthy with dipping strawberries-I know out of season, but what the heck), and then there’s the old standby, chocolate covered bacon which has become quite the popular snack these days. (See, I told you, there’s a reason you might want to eat soup to balance out the calories you’ll be consuming with your chocolate addiction.)

7.  Sleep. If all else fails, and if you can, slumber your silvery moonlit snowy self to sleep until the Groundhog pokes his head out, calling to you to come out and play, unless of course it’s sunny out whereupon he’ll supposedly see his shadow and disappear for another six weeks.  But you, my friend, free your furry ass off that Barcalounger, venture out to catch some of that sunlight-if only for a brief encounter-letting your eyes adjust so as not to go snowblind- and think happy thoughts of the hope that is Spring.

Happy Hibernating!

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