The day after Labor Day was cold and wet.
It hit my household like a hammer. We pulled out winter coats, blankets, and the electric heater. My daughter and I crawled under my bed covers and snuggled to watch Flipper, one of her favorite T.V. shows.
But instead of watching the show, my mind wandered to the dreaded cold weather that was to come: snow, cold winds, icicles.
“This is going to be a LONG winter,” I thought.
You see, I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve been in cold weather. Has it been eight years since I’ve seen temperatures dip in the negatives? I grew up in the Midwest, but we’ve moved, like many families today, from place to place to place. Having lived in the coastal South for the past several years, I dreaded the Midwest winter.
But even as I shivered from the 60-degree weather, I thought of all the cold-weather events my kids would experience, some for the first time, and I’ve decided to look forward to the dreaded cold.
Here are six cold-weather things I’m looking forward to.
1. That first snowfall
There’s something magical about the anticipation and allure of that first snowfall of the season. The temperature slowly drops (well, in the Midwest, sometimes suddenly), and little flakes appear. My son remembers a freak snowfall that happened in South Carolina, but my daughter was too young. This will be her first winter of snow, and I can’t wait to take her to the woods during that first snowfall where we can listen to the flakes land.
I love soup no matter the season, but I’m pretty sure soup tastes best with a nip in the air. There’s nothing quite like taking a hike when the weather calls for hats and gloves and then pulling out a thermos of tomato soup to warm hands and hearts. (Sounds like a Campbell’s soup commercial, doesn’t it?) I love chowders and squash soups in the winter, but any soup fits the bill here. If it’s chili soup, though, and you’re here in Nebraska, be sure to add the cinnamon roll. This is a local custom we happily adopted!
3. Christmas with snow
It’s been a LONG time since I’ve been somewhere where there was snow for Christmas. Usually, we head to the beach on Christmas day, which has its positives, but making sandcastles isn’t quite the same as making snowmen. I know Nebraska is a hit or miss state. There might be snow, or it might be 50 degrees on Christmas day like where I grew up! However, I’m hoping for a white wonderland for this year’s Christmas.
4. Wool underwear and socks
Not really on the top of most people’s lists, but I love a good woolen undergarment. When we traveled to Scotland during their cold, rainy season, I begged my husband to let me buy wool thermals for the kids. He thought the purchase was too expensive to wear for such a short period of time. I eventually agreed. However, now that we have a long winter to look forward to, he might relent. Since our blood is thin from living in a warmer climate, extra layers are just what my kids need to keep up with their Midwest friends.
5. Outside bonfires
Bonfires have their place in summer camping, but I also think they are pretty wonderful during the winter. Add some mugs of hot chocolate, blankets, and maybe a Christmas movie on the laptop, and you have the perfect recipe for hygge! I also vaguely remember making broom bread over an open fire when I was younger with a friend’s family, which I think would be perfect for celebrating the winter solstice.
What is broom bread, you might ask?
Basically, you soak a wooden broom handle in water for several hours, then grease the end of the handle (so the bread comes off easily when cooked). Cover the top of the handle with bread dough (about 2-3 inches). Carefully bake the bread in the fire, not letting the dough or the broom get too close to the flame (like a s’more). When the outside of the bread is firm, slip the bread off the broom handle and fill the hole where the broom was with your choice of jam, chocolate, or other yummy insides. (It should look like a tall bowl.) Happy Winter Solstice!
6. Local Omaha activities
And last, but definitely not least, I am looking forward to local Omaha winter activities. I hear there’s a lot of fun to be had in Omaha during the winter. Although COVID may put a damper on some activities, I’m looking forward to exploring Lauritzen Gardens in the cold season, and I hear there is great tubing fun (as my kids might not be ready for skiing yet) at Mount Crescent.
This is our first winter in Omaha! We’ll be able to make new memories and traditions for our family, all revolving around cold weather.
So I’m ready to buy those woolen undergarments.