Lisa Munniksma

freelance writing, editing, farming, travel

First-World Winter


Everyone should be so lucky as to have this view.

Everyone should be so lucky as to have this view.

I am in a foul mood. Just like everyone else, I just want winter to be over. I want to go play outside. I want to be able to go for my run without fear of breaking an ankle on the ice. I want to be able to go hiking without fear of hypothermia. I want. I want. I want.

My mental well-being has always been tied to the outdoors. I was the kid bargaining to do homework after the sun went down because I wanted to go outside. I got my first horse when I was 15, I discovered hiking soon after that, and now, I’m a farmer. But this winter, with no traveling and no farming in my life and a polar vortex outside my door, I can go two whole days without so much as poking my nose outside except to let in the dogs. (Even they don’t want to stay outside for too long because it’s so cold!)

I’ve been running (inside, unfortunately), doing yoga, eating well and getting enough sleep–all those things they say you’re supposed to do. Still. It’s getting to me.

Anyway, these are first-world problems. I’m living with a friend for the winter, in her beautiful new house with geothermal heat; a giant kitchen; electricity at the flip of a switch; running, hot water (except for that one day, when the pipes froze); and lovely farmland surrounding me. This is so, so much more comfort and privilege than I have experienced while traveling and than many people in the world can ever hope to experience.

So the point of this post from seemingly out of nowhere (what the hell have I been doing since October that I couldn’t write even one blog entry?!) is to pull myself out of my midwinter funk, recognize all that is really wonderful around me (so much friendship and love right now!), and ask you to be grateful, too.

It’s mid-February, after all. How much more of this bitter cold can there be? The sun is setting after 6 p.m. now. Certainly, it’s nearly time again for garden bounty, sundresses, camp outs (with s’mores) and long evenings on the porch. I can’t wait.


  1. Or at least a crocus. Coming soon…..

  2. Lisa, We feel the same way. We want winter to be over too. Hearing that we might get 8-13 inches of snow ontop of the exisiting snow is not fun. My only solace is my 2 suet cakes that are hanging from my iron stakes in the backyard. I enjoy watching the different birds feeding there. Hope our Spring comes soon. Susan

  3. Mmmm… camping and s’mores! Very much looking forward to summer … though, I’ve enjoyed this winter’s command to stay put and rest (or catch up). It’s been much needed.

  4. I am always thankful for snow & not Ice! (She says as the words catastrophic ice storm are in the forecast.) Though I have visions of seed starters and gardens dancing in my head. It is hard to not allow the usual planting dates of the 14th for broccoli come & go with out a wince. Though we too enjoy our birds and tend to our indoor plants. I have last year Valentine’s plants flowering away again (a true gift that keeps giving!) and I am at least catching up on some reading. So as always, this too shall pass.

  5. I say we go lynch a certain groundhog up in Pennsylvania.

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