Nope. This isn’t the Bahamas, which is where we were planning to go until over the weekend when our area was placed under a high-wind advisory. One plane out of Newark had to turn back due to severe turbulence the same day we were scheduled to fly south. Meanwhile, the forecast for our island was cloudy to partly sunny with thunderstorms rolling through and temperatures barely reaching 70 degrees. That didn’t bode well for beach time.
I don’t fly well, and the unpredictability of winter weather sends my flying phobia into the stratosphere. So I surprised my husband and kid by announcing a change of plans. And here we are. In Stowe. Where it was eighteen below during breakfast this morning. Where it is so cold that the horses across the street are unwilling to leave the barn and pull us around for a sleigh ride (I don’t blame them). Where it’s too cold to roast s’mores over a fire pit because your fingers might go numb from sudden frostbite. Where even the locals, who historically never shy away from inclement weather, appear impressed.
Like Iceland, Vermont specializes in creating warm, inviting interior spaces that make you forget the fury unfolding outside. So we’re cocooning Vermont-style these next few days, which involves lots of wool sweaters and socks, crackling fires, stacks of steaming flapjacks, interesting things to read and hot toddies. Tomorrow is the balmy day of the week: a high of 24 degrees! We plan to ski and watch evening fireworks at the mountain. Thursday’s high will be 12 degrees; Friday’s will be 6.
Winter can be harsh, and this winter in the northeastern United States has been particularly cold and windy and unforgiving. But winter is also beautiful in its eerie, stubborn way. The earth needs to rest. And this is how it’s done, with blankets of white snow that stretch toward icy blue horizons.