My Two Winters

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NOT Dublin

We are properly enjoying winter in Ireland this year. C and I have not been in Dublin during a January in three years.

Yesterday morning there was frost on all the rooftops and cars. As I cycled down my road, I noticed a car running on the street with no one in it. The door in the house across was open and a woman darted out with her kettle steaming. She poured the hot water all down the front windshield, turned on the wipers, and ran back into her house to return the kettle.

I saw C do this five years ago when I first moved to Dublin when there were freak snow storms for a week before Christmas.

“That is GENIUS!” I thought of the kettle trick. “Why did we never think of that?!”

I grew up in Connecticut, where there are plenty of frosty mornings. Far more than there are here in Ireland. And yet instead of a quick hot water fix, we run the cars, blast the defrost and get out the scrapper and scrape away at the ice until you can see out enough of the windshield to drive.

Winter is no joke in the Northeast of the States. I already feel as though my winter toughness is lessening. I mean, those few frosty days may be as wintery as it gets around here. There will be crocuses and snowdrops in a few weeks. Daffodil shoots are already bravely poking up. Spring comes sooner here, and thanks to the kind Gulf Stream, winters aren’t that cold.

I do miss the smell of snow in the air and going to bed in a world of brown and green and waking up in a winter wonderland. I miss the drama of a big blizzard. I’m worried I won’t remember how to drive safely in a snowstorm or what to do when I hit black ice. I miss ice skating (which is actually far better when there is NO snow) and sledding, but I’m glad I don’t have to deal with it every day. I’m also grateful that I can still get around Dublin by bike. And that spring is actually just around the corner.

But even during these chilly days, the Irish have some good winter tricks up their sleeves.

 

 

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My Two Winters

Slip Sliding to the Solstice

Sunset at 4pm
Sunset at 4pm

Winter has really taken hold here in Dublin. The past few days the sun has set before 4.30. I love the dark coziness. If I didn’t have to go to work starting at 6.30 when everyone is rushing home. Not that I am complaining about having a job!

The long dark hours are something that I have come to love about Irish winter. Fires, candles and earlier to bed. It gets a bit draining come February, but it still feels cozy now. Knowing we get the long summer light as a reward is comforting.

November Light
November Light

The hot water bottle has come out, and the fire has been turned on. Yep, we have a gas fire which doesn’t smell nice but is much cleaner.

Christmas lights are lit all over the city. And though I am not quite ready for Christmas yet (my American-ness knows we have Thanksgiving to get through first!), the lights are gorgeous all over Dublin.

But I am trying to roll with the season; enjoy the darkness and hunker down for all that celebrating on the horizon.

Christmas Time in the City. Grafton Street.
Christmas Time in the City. Grafton Street.
Slip Sliding to the Solstice