Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV


January 17, 2014

My case of the winter blues

BLUEFIELD — We did all the usual things to try and perk up a random week night. We went to Diary Queen and tried to find a new movie at the RedBox. All the new DVDs were gone. We left empty handed and headed back home in the cold and dark. As we drove, I stared across the frozen landscape. I was bundled from head to toe, teeth chattering from the cold. Movies and books — fun pastimes and a great way to relax — didn’t seem appealing. I wanted to hike, run, walk and soak in the sun. Instead, I ended up on the coach, curled up under a bright pink fuzzy blanket. We watched a few more episodes of the TV series “The Bible.” It ended up being a good Wednesday night.


It was a mild case of the winter blues. The holidays are over and spring seems far away. I yearn for bright green grass instead of the big mud holes near the driveway. The yard is always wet, mushy, especially when wearing fancy footwear. I sink. I have never been a complainer about winter. I always try to accept Mother Nature’s erratic behavior. Like a good southern West Virginian, I am respectful in winter. I warm up the car, scrape off the ice and snow and drive carefully to work. I go to work and battle the weather on the way home. But the smile on my face is slipping as the snow and ice falls from the sky. I know a lot of people suffer from seasonal depression, a more serious problem. I am lucky I just get a bad attitude

But what do you do when the winter blues settle in? At the office, reporter Anne Elgin and editor Samantha Perry talk about pedicures and nail polish. From there, we start discussion the pros and cons of spray tans and tanning beds. For a few minutes, I felt my toes protesting winter boots. I vowed to paint them a bright pink before the weekend. All are quick fixes, I thought. The next snowstorm will have me muttering and complaining all the way down the driveway. I need a permanent fix.


The only real way to endure the winter is focus on the positive. Clean white snow. Warm hot chocolate. Fuzzy blankets. Good movies. Comfort foods. The list can go on and on. My favorite? A little girl’s squeal of delight. She was excited at the fine dusting of snow on my vehicle that morning. It was early, not even 9 a.m., but she wanted her coat and mittens. There wasn’t even enough snow to scrape together for a snowball. She didn’t know that though. The harshness of winter doesn’t resonate to a child. They immediately want to go outside, even if it is only for a few minutes. I asked her, “Where did the snow come from?” She said, “From the cold.” Good enough. A child’s perspective is new and heartwarming. I have spent a lot of time this winter curled up under blankets watching cartoons while the snow gently falls in the evenings. I dread getting up and facing the weather. But I know one little girl who will squeal and stare out the window in wonder. There is my positive spin and permanent fix for the winter blues. No pedicure needed, just laughter and delight. It has been a good winter after all.

Jamie Null is the Lifestyle editor of the Daily Telegraph. Contact her at or on Twitter @BDTparsell.


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