Those are tough months for those of us living in the Midwest. The trees show us nothing but brown and gray branches, the grass is yellowish-brown and the air is cold and relentless. The days are shorter -- and that's a good thing, because the sooner the sun sets and I can stop looking at naked trees, the better.
If that's not enough, we're already tired of our Christmas decorations; we no longer even have the twinkling of our Christmas tree to carry us through until Spring.
A vacation in the tropics would help; but with kids in school, is that even realistic? I think not.
This is the time when the true art of mothering can shine. We can pull the berries we picked last summer out of the freezer (or the supermarket) and bake the pie or the cobbler and give our families that reminder of summer. We can bake bread. (Easier than you think with the Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day cookbook.) We can pull out the scrub brush and add essential oils of orange and geranium to our cleaning water and permeate the house with luscious scents. We can draw ourselves warm baths, and add a few of those oils to the water, and pamper ourselves, so that we'll have reserves to give back to our families.
And yes, we can do the obvious, light the candles and look at our families through the warmth of candlelight; the ultimate way to keep the home fires burning.
With the candles burning, we can pass the time till spring by introducing our kids to the classics: Jerry Lewis and Dean Martin movies, Danny Kaye, and I Love Lucy, and maybe even Singing in the Rain?
These are tough days; homework will soon come bursting through the door and land on my kitchen table. Maybe, I'll have a tall glass of lemonade waiting to welcome them home.