A few tricks to survive the rest of this winter. I need some tricks right now, a magician to pull hyacinths and daffodils out of the snow.
It’s only winter, not a nuclear blast that has turned the sky gray and the trees bare. That’s what I tell myself every morning when I open my eyes and think that life is a chalkboard and I want a smart board, birds and trees and flowers doing their colorful tricks.
Enough, already. Winter be gone.
And so I made a list of 17 ways to ward off the winter blues until the first day of spring, which is a long — but only 17 — days away. They’re tried and true tricks. Some work better than others, but they all help a little. My favorites are 1 and 10.
1. Slather coconut-smelling body cream on your hands and arms and inhale. Think spring. Imagine it. Cross my heart, this works.
2. Plant seeds indoors. That’s what my friend and across-the-street neighbor, Katherine, does. She’s starting her tomato plants next week. She has the seeds, the containers and the soil. She’s all set to go.
3. Drive to Sullivan’s at Castle Island and get a lobster roll. Or fried clams. Or both.
4. Make ice cream cones.
5. Listen to summer songs. “Summer Nights.” “Summertime.” “Those Lazy Hazy Crazy Days of Summer.” “Old Cape Cod.”
6. Watch “Body Heat.”
7. Go shopping! Home Depot has gardening tools and gloves and plants and trees and lawn furniture for sale already, and the Christmas Tree Shop has flower and pastel everything.
8. Buy wind chimes and hang them outside.
9. Buy tulips and set them in a clear glass vase on the kitchen table.
10. Make clam dip and a vodka and tonic. Open a bag of Cape Cod potato chips. Then leaf through river cruise brochures or reread a favorite summer novel.
11. Get a pedicure. Even guys are doing this, minus the red polish, athletes like Tim Tebow and Dwyane Wade and Shaquille O’Neal. Sit back, relax, put your feet in water and think summer. It may not be the beach, but it’s a nice antidote to wool socks and boots.
12. Wear something colorful. Sweaters that looked great in fall are as drab as the outdoors now. Wear purple. Or pink.
13. Get your car washed. It may not stay clean long, but it will be cleaner than it was.
14. Check to find out when your favorite ice cream place is opening. Bubbling Brook in Westwood and The Dairy Barn in Randolph don’t open until mid-March, but The Ice Creamsmith in Dorchester opened Friday.
15. Go to the Ice Creamsmith and celebrate!
16. Look at photos of summers past. I look up from my computer, and there on my bulletin board are pictures of Maine, of rocks and waves and sand, of my mother-in-law in a flowered dress and my kids and their kids at Santa’s Village and Davis Farm. And the pictures make me smile.
17. Try to make friends with winter. Some days when the sun is shining and the sky is blue and the snow is fresh and the cardinals are at my feeder, the male as red as holly berries. I think, winter is beautiful. And I thank God for the day and grab my camera and know that there is no other place I would rather be.
But then it’s the next day. And because winter is fickle, this new day dawns and the sky looks like cement again and the snow is dirt-covered and yesterday’s pictures don’t seem special at all.
Which is why I am counting on these tricks to get me to the first day of spring.