Before I moved from the big city to live on the vineyard, I must confess that I hated winter.  I would dread the cold and the grey and the boots and coats and mufflers and cars that felt like frozen popsicles with windows frosted up from the inside.  I hated the short dark days, the absence of heat or color, the treachery of the winter freeways.  I thought – like many silly thoughts I had – that I would feel the same when I was in the Okanagan.  I moved here because I longed for the heat, the sun and the beaches.  I was warned that winters were overcast with an endless stretch of grey and that it would drive me crazy.  That worried me.  
But now, when the dark begins to creep in and the nights are cold, and the skies a blanket of pillowy grey, I am so freaking happy because there is nothing growing!  Not a single plant that needs to be fed, watered, saved from predators, rescued from powdery mildew, agonized over, tucked, suckered, thinned or harvested.  I no longer have an invisible husband who disappears at 4:30 am and is in bed before 9 pm seven days a week.  I am no longer in a foot race with Mother Nature–I have crossed the finish line with the crowd cheering (well my dogs, chickens and hubby) the champagne is popped and the fuzzy slippers on.
Even the chickens have stopped laying.  I could force them to keep going, but hey, these girls need to put their feet up too-it’s winter and we all get to hunker down.  Sure, the pruning begins in January, but the days are short and we can’t work in the dark.  It’s a gentler meditative pace-a pace where we are still in control.  Winter is a time to put the fire on, drink buckets of those great BC wines that have been laboured over so intensely, read a few books and catch up with a marathon of TV series—guilt free.  It’s a time to visit friends, putter in the garage, clear out a closet or two—or not.  When I look out the window and it’s grey and misty and we are wrapped up like little bugs in our cocoon, or better yet, snowed in because the steep driveway hasn’t been cleared, I celebrate and put another log on the fire.
Yep.  I now love winter!

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