Winter, I have missed you

I think snow is falling on the mountains.  Not the rainforest covered mountains I live at the base of but the cold and frosty mountains a thousand miles south of here.  When it snows there, it's cold here.  Nothing brings out the earth mother in me more than a cold afternoon.  It catapults me back to my childhood when my mother, in the days well before central heating and electric blankets, would lay thick pink and green woollen blankets out on the warm floor in front of our blazing open fire and wrap me and my sister each in a cosy woollen cigar shape.  Then dad was called in to carry us both to bed.  I can still see Tricia being carried, giggling, enclosed in her pink and green woolliness from neck to feet, into bed, and  remember waiting for my turn while I watched the fire and listened to its crackling.  When it's cold, like my mother, I want to wrap everyone I love in pink wool and put them to bed. Many things have changed for me since those days of my youth and the way we live now is not much like what it was then, but when I feel the chill of an afternoon come up from those southern mountains, I know the snow is falling and it never fails to take me back home again.

When I feel those cold winds and know there will be a cold (for us) night ahead, I think of warm flannel sheets, extra quilts and fleece blankets.  Much to Hanno's horror, I am still luxuriating in having the windows open when we sleep.  I love feeling the cold air on my face while I snuggle deeper into the warm embrace of our bed.  It won't be long though before I have to close the windows to keep out the icy air.  I started writing this blog yesterday afternoon.  It's morning now and yes, the night was cold, and I had to close the last remaining open window halfway through the night.

Almost every type of homemaking task is better for me when the weather is cold.  Not only does the colder weather make me want to fluff up my nest more, but working is more pleasurable when I feel that nip in the air.  And there is that intensity that comes with the coldness  of winter - a primal instinct from deep within tells me it's more important now to bake bread, keep warm, and to cook nourishing traditional foods for those I love.  It seems that work takes on a new significance now; that if I don't do it right, all will be lost.  I suppose many think of winter as a harsh season, but I never do as there are so many opportunities to soften the coldness with woollen cardigans, lambs wool slippers and hot chocolate.

I have had a lovely couple of days floating through my house work and I spent a morning with my good friend Bernadette who is in hospital at the moment.  We talked about some very personal and confronting things and when I left her, I felt truly grateful to be healthy and have the freedom to live as we do.  But the truth is that while I enjoyed the past few days I missed laying my thoughts down in this blog.  I didn't miss the computer or the internet, only the blog and the capacity to connect to you.  It was like missing a friend who used to drop by for a cup of tea, and then stopped coming.  I'm pleased to be back.  

I have a few questions to answer that I promised a few days ago, so I'll do that tomorrow.


  1. I'm moving to a cold place in a forest! Great memories Rhonda!

  2. Wow I love simple life too . . . but I think you are the first blog that I have visited that has over two thousand followers. I think you are on to something here so I think I will be following along too. Please stop by Seeking Grace for a visit.
    God bless you.

  3. It has sure been cold here in the Victorian central highlands!
    The air causes "steam" to come oput when the cows breathe and the grass is damp with dewdrops by about 4pm.
    Nights here are about 2-3 degrees and days have only topped about 7 degrees.
    I love winter and am more productive then when I am battling hot,sweaty days

  4. Hi Rhonda..must be simialr bed fellows we love the window open and snuggling down, over summer hubby built lovely little caps over our windows, as we have an old home with a tin roof,we can now leave our windows open in the rain too !! can't wait as we have not had rain for a long time so to hear the rain on the roof and the window open is something to look forward to.So happy you are back.Carole

  5. Lovely to see you back as well Rhonda!
    I am planning a lovely day today reconnecting with my home. Our working situation has changed (long story) and I have missed being in my home and the poor sad neglected house shows that. But here it is 6.40 in the morning, already I have made the bed, tidied the bedroom, bathroom, dining room table (a holder for all things that don't belong there!) and just having a cup of tea before I start the washing. What a blissful day!

  6. hi rhonda, I just wanted to say hi as ive been reading for a while. You have a lovely blog! thank you.
    I agree with you cold winter weather and rainy days make me want to huddle in and bake, read and knit (im just learning)
    It seems strange to think of this now as here in BC Canada we are having a gorgeous day about 20 C. Im off to spend the rest of the day with my baby girl (8.5 months) enjoying the WARMTH! yay

    best wishes,

  7. I'm pleased to have you back as well! There is something very wonderful about the change from season to season. I'm glad you're enjoying the onset of winter.

  8. Hi Rhonda, So glad your back I missed you too.I love to put on my PJs and fluffy gown and snuggle in for the night.Love soup weather.Your cake and kitchen sink look lovely and inviting.Enjoy your day Linda

  9. Your comments brought back a lot of memories. I too am stirred by the cold evenings and nights. It makes me want to start laying up for the winter the thing that we will need to survive the cold northern winters here in Ohio. With the pantry shelves full and the barn full of good, dry firewood, we are ready to brave the storms until spring.

    I enjoy your writing.

  10. Sheila, North Wales. UKMay 14, 2010 8:31 am

    Here in North Wales, UK we are in spring and everything seems to be very late this season with the flowers etc., It is unseasonally cold here at the moment, and the central heating is still on in the evening.
    So glad to see you back as I really do miss my nightly check-in on what is going on with you and all your readers comments.
    I finally started to plant up some peas, green beans & strawberries for the first attempt today! Very proud of myself, tho' I should have done this a few weeks ago, (we have had a lot of frosts and time has slipped by), just looking forward to the long as the snails don't eat them first!

  11. As a Brit now living in Australia I really miss the cold, cold winters back home. People think I'm crazy when I say that, but for me each season holds its own beauty. I love springtime for all the new life & fresh green growth, British summers were always unpredictable - each day different & a gorgeous day was really appeciated - here in SE Vic the summers are hot & draining; autumn is a time for preparing for winter and winter itself is just as you describe - snuggling down, baking, hot soups. I also love long walks in the cold weather - on clear days you can see for miles & it's so nice to come home to a warm house with tingling fingers & red cheeks. Oh such good memories.

  12. It's lovely to see you posting again Rhonda. I wish i could embrace the cold as you do, frankly I don't like it despite how relatively mild it is here but I will attempt to be more positive.

  13. That is a beautiful cake! Please tell us what it is and share the recipe.

    I'll be honest...your blog has inspired me....I am not a baking woman but I made your apple tea cake and it was DIVINE.

    You inspire and motivate. :)

  14. I love your writing, and your talking of winter's past. Such an awesome and loving memory! You must be on the other side of the world...summer is coming upon us here in middle TN of USA. Keep the awesome blogging.

  15. It's so hard for me to get my head round the idea of winter in July when it is blazin hot here in the southern U.S. As you welcome Old Man Winter in, I'm kissin him goodbye and good riddance! lol
    Seriously, nothing gets my spirits down as much as a long, grey, dreary wintertime. I do love the roaring fireplace and the soups and stews, but by April I'm tired of them!
    Hope you'll stop by and read my blogging partner and lifelong friend "C"'s RIVETING post concerning her latest legal case!

  16. I'd like to send some good thoughts and prayers for your friend, Bernadette. She sounds like a very lovely lady and I do wish her all the best and hope the days ahead might get a little easier for her. Isn't she the lady with the cute little dog that you cared for? Please send her my very best.

    Thinking of you, Bernadette!

  17. This is a welcome break from the dread of summer that keeps coming my way. I love autumn, and the warmth it brings - especially apple dumplings. If I could, I'd have an autumn house in the states and another autumn house in Australia/New Zealand.

  18. Oh yes, Rhonda. I love winter at times. It is, of course, soon to be the beginning of summer here; but I do remember not long ago making hot soups and getting out the duvet and comforter for the winter and the cold, wet nights. It is cosy to make tea and have such delights such as gingerbread and whipped cream (which cannot be eaten in the heat of summer), and pineapple upside down cake, and also fruit pies beginning in autumn. There is a comfort in staying in and raising bulbs in dishes in the house, and watching the cold rain outside.

  19. Hello Rhonda,
    We're British, but we just moved to Perth after 5 years in steamy Singapore. I've always been an autumn person, and the new colder weather here has the same effect on me as it does on you. I have energy and enthusiasm, and that delightfully nostalgic joy at cosying up in my new cuddly dressing gown with the air nipping my nose and toes. At 41, I honestly thought that I'd lost that childlike thrill.
    Tonight I'm making vegetable soup, chicken casserole, and pear crumble: all comfort food which I shall enjoy making and eating more than I have for years.
    Happy autumn!
    Rosey x

  20. I love coming here to read your thoughts and stories. You word them in a way that exactly expresses how I feel about the pleasures of keeping house. In fact, they would be my words, if only I had the gift of writing them as you do! But alas, I don't have that gift so much... so I'll just keep coming here and shaking my head up and down in a agreement with you! (:

    Also, I love reading how your storms come from the south... ours come from the north. And how your winter comes in May/June... ours comes in November/December... all exactly opposite. Isn't it wonderful that we get to share our exact opposites... only to realize they are exactly the same. (:

  21. I do love your blog! thank you for sharing with so many of us.
    I am down the south west coast of Victoria and I too 'felt' the snow in the air.
    I spent my younger years in Scotland and was born in November, so always feel totally at home in the cold. I love the windows open, (till the sea wind blows in strongly from the south).
    I come alive in the colder months and even felt at home in Canada, for a few months, where it got down to -20C, all very good crafting weather and not forgetting walking in the rain....ah bliss.

  22. I'm not far from those mountains & Brrr it sure is cold here - alas I am originally a qld girl, so don't like the cold - I didn't even like the qld winters, so you can imagine....
    I do, however love the flanalette sheets/ extra quilts & blankets for winter & I love the fires going - just hanging out the washing - not so nice :)
    Hope you enjoy your beautiful weather with more to come!
    Have a great weekend

  23. So nice to have you back.

  24. Winter is for snuggles, winter is for cute children in flannelette pyjamas, winter is for hot tea/coffee/chocolate, winter is for stew, winter is for appreciation of a hot shower, winter is about wearing all the wonderful clothing in my cupboard, winter is about wearing fantastic beanies and wonky (home knitted) scarves. Winter is about my children not complaining about being hot and sweaty when they sling their little arms around my neck and embrace me with their love. Winter is fantastic- unfortunately I am the only person in my home who appreciates it. Everyone else watches it descend in horror whilst I sit back, snuggled in my clothes (happy hiding my jiggly bits) and enjoy the bite in the air. Can anyone tell me where Rhonda lives? Am new to this blog. Many thanks, Carly

  25. I am rather jealous of your flannel sheets!un I adore them as well, they remind me of childhood winters, but my lovely husband doesn't like the feel of them, so it's no more flannel for me :(

  26. Hello everyone!

    Welcome Bren. Carole, I love to hear rain on the roof too. Judy, it sounds like a very productive day for you. Hello Kelsey, thanks for the message. Sheila, we're late with our plantings too, and weather related, like yours.

    Alex, I'll give you the recipe tomorrow, if I think of it. Lyn, Bernadette sometimes reads my blog so she might see your message, if not, I'll let her know.

    Rosey, I have pea and celariac soup on the stove right now and we are having stewed apples and custard with it.

    Carly, I live in Queensland in Australia. We're about half way up the eastern side of the country, north of Sydney.

  27. I love winter too. In Australia, at least, the majority of us can always get warm with extra layers and soup and hot drinks. I love feeling cool air in my lungs!

  28. believe it or not, I had that pink blanket until last winter when I gave it to the R.S.P.C.A. If it is the one I remember, it belonged to our Grandmother - good quality merino wool. I too have fond memories of that time in our lives -toasting crumpets in front of the open fire, listening to the weekly serials on the "wireless" and of course Dad reading us stories as he sat on Aunty Sis's childrens chair (which I also still have and Mum told me that it was over 100 years old). Dad always finished the story off with "that's all the King"? We also had lovely soft chenille bedspreads, lino on the floor and a hot water bottle each - mine pink, Rhonda's blue.
    Patricia Margaret

  29. Hi Rhonda,
    Missed you to, so glad youre back. I´ts funny I have a cake dish exactly like yours. I love your blog, I find it helpful to preserve my sanity, when life is too hectic, hehe. I also love the pictures. I live in a place where winter lasts 9 months and summer is not much over 10°C. So I dream of warmth and things growing nicely. So to me those pictures of the garden are pictures of heaven!!! I try to imagine what i´ts like being in such a warm climate, altough I don´t know how well I´d adjust.
    Best regards

  30. Welcome back Rhonda, lovely to see you again. Sorry to hear your friend Bernadette is poorly again, do pass on our best wishes for a speedy recovery for her. I'm glad you could spend some time with her in the hospital, it must be a comfort to her to have you around.

    Spring here too, but I do love the snuggling down of autumn and winter. Right now I'm very much enjoying it getting warmer though, seeing the garden grow, shedding a few layers, and spending more time outside


  31. Sometimes I wonder how in the Southern Louisiana Bayou country almost 70 years ago some of the traditions you write about exsisted. I to can remember being wrapped in a blanket by my Grandfather and carried to a bed with a hot brick at the foot to warm it. PS I use a bean bag in the winter warmed in the microwave to heat my bed.Horton Bayou

  32. We are heading into the heat of summer here, but the descent into the cold of winter is always fun. We lived in Southern California for several years... where there is warm, hot and really hot. I'm thankful for seasons now, even if winter in Central Texas isn't THAT cold.

  33. I'm with you about winter, Rhonda. We've had a lovely Indian summer but I'm now so happy to see the snow on our southern Tasmanian mountain, and feel the cold bite in the air again.A few years back, we drove up to Queensland in our winter, and beautiful as it was, on the way back down, I got happier with each degree we dropped.I needed my winter!

    I had been wondering how Bernadette was going-I do hope that things are as well as they can be for her. My mother is travelling the same path- it's such a hard one. You must be a great companion for her as she travels it.

  34. Debbie, Ontario, CanadaMay 14, 2010 11:33 pm

    Rhonda, like you and many of your readers, I love a slow winter day when it's storming outside and my family is all home and the fire is crackling and there is something delicious baking in the oven.

    As much as I love spring with all the green and pops of colour I think I love those moments in the winter the best.

    Thanks for the post and reminding me to take time and enjoy each season as it comes. It's now time for me to head out into the wet green spring day. Need to get my tomatoes planted in their pots.

  35. Hi Rhonda,
    I think reading your blog that the temperatures with you must be higher than here, and we are heading into our "summertime" in Wales UK. It is about 10 degrees c today and it feels cold. i still have a thermal top on. I'm now ready for a bit of summer and am feeling weary with the winter warmers. We have still had very cold frost and I haven't yet been able to put out the seedlings. Love your blog, and always read it!

  36. I enjoy homemaking and "nesting" much more when it's cold too! Enjoy!

  37. Rhonda, I live in the mountains of is mid-May, yet we have gotten over a foot of snow this week! I have to admit, I think I'm ready for warmer temperatures and a little spring...

    Peggy :)

  38. I love the window open while I sleep too, head snuggled into the feather pillow... but quite often it's too windy here, so too noisy! Soon it will be hot though and all the windows will be open at night. Strange to think of you coming into winter...

  39. I definitely love autumn and spring the best. Autumn with it's crisp mornings and sunny days where it's just a bit cold but not freezing. Then spring just warms us a little, taking the bleakness out of our days. I love rainy winters too - it does our countryside so much good and the farmers are all happy. Summer, I could do without - anything over 25C is a heatwave to me. Each summer is becoming more humid with more days over 35C and it makes for unbearable living.

    I've been giving my dutch oven a workout with some casseroles and lamb shanks stewing away. Such comfort food. I plan to make a big pot of veggie soup this afternoon and I have a rhubarb and custard pie recipe to try out soon so I'll post that on my blog.

    Lovely to have you back and as always, there's such good reading in all of your posts. Down to Earth - there's nothing quite like it.

    Cheers - Joolz

  40. I found your comment about keeping the windows open at night in order to feel the cool breeze , tickled me. Here you are awaiting winter and I am only now able to open my windows in order to allow spring breezes in at night.
    I love the coolness in it. It definitely makes for a relaxing night of sleep. ---Krystal

  41. I've found Sydney's cooler temps are making it easier to work too -- we did a LOT of stuff in the garden this weekend! But we must remember that our winters are very mild.

  42. there is no winter in my country, :(


Thank you for taking the time to comment, I read all of them. Comments are an important part of my blog because they help build a community here.
These comments are moderated so yours won't appear until after I've read it.
No commercial information or links will be published.