Saturday, November 7, 2020

Happy Place

Over at Cheryl's blog, she struggles with the approach of winter and is considering a sunlamp to combat what might be Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD). 

I don't like winter. Although depression is something that I've struggled with for most of my life, I don't think it's SAD really. It's more that I don't like being cold. My hands and feet get miserably cold and it takes forever to get them warm again. I also don't like driving in bad weather if I don't have to. (Usually, I had to because I had to go to work.)

I think that what is going to make this winter more difficult is the isolation. You can't pop over and visit with friends like you used to. Even meeting someone for coffee is out of the question once winter gets here. You can't sit comfortably at an outside table in a snow storm sipping coffee. Isolation and depression are a bad combination, so I imagine people who suffer from SAD are going to have an even harder time this winter.

Just two days ago, we had snow on the ground. You would not have guessed it by today. It was a beautiful day. We spent most of it outside working on the garage. We're siding it now. It was nearly 70 degrees and it was easy to forget that winter was coming. It will remain warm for the next 4 days. We hope to use that weather to finish the garage (except for the doors) during this last stretch of nice days. 

But winter is coming and when it gets here, I've got a secret weapon in my arsenal. 

I have a sunny southern window in the office, and I make use of it. 
Remember that Christmas cactus that I thought that I killed? The one that belonged to my great grandmother? I took it to camp  last summer, having heard that they liked being outside. It spent the summer on the deck and seemed happy enough. Lots of new growth all over the place. When I brought it inside, it protested, and began to die. 

I read countless articles. I repotted it. I sprayed it for aphids that I don't think it had. I tried my best to save it, but soon I had a very dead Christmas cactus. I stuck it out in the mudroom intending to take it to the compost pile. I felt guilty every time that I walked past it. I mean, my great-grandmother had it. My grandmother. My mother, And then it came to me to die. 

I finally took a deep breath and hauled the pot to the compost heap. As I was pulling the dead stuff out, I was surprised to discover some live growth down in the middle of all that dead. I brought the pot back to the house,  I've been speaking gently to it. and watering it faithfully. I bought special food for it, and it is doing quite nicely. It looks kind of silly in that great big pot, but I'm afraid to repot it. I don't want to disturb it. It used to be so large you couldn't even SEE that pot though, and I have hopes that it will return to its former glory. 

Yesterday, I had an hour to kill between two meetings and could quite bring myself to come home, so I went to a thrift store and found this very cool glass bowl. It was a bargain at $2.99, but it was also 50% off on top of it all. I am a weak willed person. I grabbed it for a mere $1.50. I planted some succulents inside, and it will take a while before they 'take', but I'm still happy with it. 

This is my happy place. If there is any sun to be had, I'll find it in this room. When winter comes, if I find myself feeling blue, I bring my morning coffee here. The southern and western windows collect any available sun. I can drink my coffee and roam around the world via blogs. I can spend time on the elliptical if I want. I can tend to my plants. I have a hibiscus tree that blooms happily throughout the winter, and a big african violet that puts out one bloom right after another. The little gas stove keeps the room toasty no matter how cold it is outside. 

I can almost forget the weather outside. Don't tell me that being oblivious cannot sometimes prove to be a blessing. 


  1. Plants, trees, blogs. What more could a girl want?

  2. Christmas cactus doesn’t like a lot of water . They like cool temps and not strong direct sun....

  3. Lynda: To be quite honest with you, I think that overwatering was his demise. We had a bad storm the covering over the deck was damaged. When we returned to the retirement property, he had taken on quite a lot of water. I emptied it off, but the dirt was saturated. I repotted him with fresh soil and a whole new pot. It didn't save him.

    JayCee: Coffee. Good coffee.

  4. Succulents are the only thing I can keep alive indoors because they don't worry about being forgotten for a while!

  5. I am finding the fall, dark days, and time change easier this year, working at home and having more flexibility on schedule has really helped. I was always effected by leaving home in the dark, and returning home in the dark.

  6. I like that Beatles record sleeve. It's like a work of art in itself,

  7. It's not a sleeve. It's the album. If you want it, send me your address and I'll put it in an envelope.

  8. For me, it is not winter so much as the length of it here in Eastern Ontario (where are you?). It normally begins by the end of November and can last into April. Once the snow truly falls, there is enough for it to stick for the duration, even through an occasional January thaw when we have to break up the ice of the driveway.

  9. I don't know if it is SAD, but the older I get, the more I struggle with accepting winter. Like you, my hand and feet get cold along with my nose which always seems to affect me the most. I just plain miss the sun. One thing that has helped combat all this over the last few years was quitting the nine to five scene. When I was working during most of the sunlit hours, I think I failed to notice it but when I am puttering around my house instead during the day, I do notice and spend some time admiring it from the other side of the window. It always makes me feel better.


I'm glad you're here!

Music to our Ears.

 Well, the concert was good fun. It was not nearly as loud as the last event we went to, which was a bit of a relief to my poor ears. Tim en...