One of the things that I’ve had to get used to living in the US midwest is the incredibly variable weather. Going from 35-40C heat in the summer to lows of -15C in the winter takes quite the adjustment, particularly for someone so used to very mild English weather. Living in such extremes has, however, given me a new and strange attachment to nature. I monitor the weather daily, watching the trees for signs of a turn. In winter, when it’s possible to end up in inches of snow overnight, I’m especially conscientious about staying clued in on Mother Nature’s favourite tricks. I’ve never been a big fan of snow, in particular. This is something that my husband – a native midwesterner – just can’t understand. But I’m used to the ‘snow as slush’ relationship of England with its winter weather, as well as the inevitable fact that even the smallest amount of snowfall grinds my entire country to a halt for days on end.
Now that I’m into my second December in Missouri, I’m finally starting to embrace the unpredictability of the winter weather. I’ve learnt to appreciate the value of a proper winter coat, the miracle of hats, and the singular focus with which to concentrate on the prospect of sitting inside with a cup of tea. With that mindset, even the most ferocious of winter storms can be an attractive proposition. So here’s hoping that this December will bring a little more snowfall and some cosy afternoons inside, surrounded by Christmas lights, books, and – if you’re very lucky – a little dog for company.