Winter Blues

If I were to graph my feelings about living in Red Lake, it would look like a sine wave—a repetitive oscillation between gratitude and discouragement.

Some days I am overcome with happiness as I think about the hundreds of lakes and miles of wilderness surrounding us, waiting to be explored and photographed; but a week later I’m fighting off feelings of annoyance as I stare at the beaten and bruised produce in the grocery store, worn from its long journey through those same lakes and wilderness.

One night I will feel especially content in our cozy home, eating my latest culinary experiment and watching movies on the couch; the next I am stir crazy, cursing the arctic winds and longing for a nice dinner out with a film in an actual theatre.

But that's life, right?

As John Steinbeck wrote in Travels with Charley, "What good is the warmth of summer, without the cold of winter to give it sweetness."

Though I do spend a portion of my time plotting and planning for those can't-get-here-soon-enough warmer days, I also try to remind myself of the virtues of winterlike the satisfaction that comes with enjoying warm comfort food during these cold months. Ina's Italian Wedding Soup is one of my favorite dishes to cook this time of year. Or the sort of contentment you can only find on a -40 degree day, cuddled in bed watching movies that give you the same satisfaction as reading a good book. The Secret Life of Walter Mitty and The Grand Budapest Hotel are must sees.

Fortunately, in 18 days we will be on what seems like a whole different planet: Scottsdale, Arizona. I can't wait to see that beautiful red desert and eat my weight in Mexican food. I have my sights set on Blue Canyon, and it's just a three hour drive to the Grand Canyon. Any recommendations for natural attractions and good eats in the area would be much appreciated! Comment away.

Stay toasty, my friends.