Winter Reads

The sun is hiding today.  Taking a rest from all those brilliant days and exquisite sunsets we had through the holidays.  I peeked outside at the mauve hellebores barely visible in the fog before scurrying back inside to pick up a new book someone thought I’d like for Christmas or an old favorite that nobody else quite gets. I’m enjoying browsing through a gift, Preserving the Japanese Way: Traditions of Salting, Fermenting and Pickling for the Modern Kitchen by Nancy Singleton Hachisu while rooting for the displaced heroine and pickle-maker Sunja in Min Jin Lee’s PachinkoI’m also dreaming of warmer places through the sunny SoCal and South of France interiors in designer Kathryn Ireland’s Kathryn at Home and fascinated by the domestic doings Inside the Victorian Home: A Portrait of Domestic Life in Victorian England by Judith Flanders. Something I put under the tree for myself.

But today isn’t all about snuggling up and staying in. I’m also packing for some winter adventures.  The first is this weekend to Utah to do some novel research and attend a conference on Mormon Arts.  I’m packing with one eye on the chilly weather there and one on the frigid weather of our just-booked trip to Korea next month to attend the Winter Olympics.  A good friend who has been part of the Olympics going back to the Salt Lake City games in 2002 says the Pyeongchang Olympics will be the coldest Olympics in modern history.

Winter sports enthusiasts says that if you can keep your feet warm, you’ll be fine.  So last week I swung by REI to look at some Serious Snow Boots.  Alas, I have Seriously Long Feet and even the few size 11s they had in stock scrunched my toes.  Assuming I’ll need boots big enough to accomodate thick socks and maybe some of those little packets of feet warmers that skiers use, I went to the Sorel website and discovered that they had a few size 12s still available. Of course, this time of year the pickings are slim, but I was able to order this All-American looking pair with the Italian name. My toes have plenty of wiggle-room which means these boots are getting a trial run in Utah.

They will certainly be far superior to the footwear my characters wore while homesteading in 19th century Utah and Idaho.  Even the fancy folk in Victoria’s court never had it so good. And poor Sunja making pickles and battling the cold in Japan and Korea would never have dreamt of the affordable yet luxurious footwear that for me is just a click away.

What are you reading this winter?  Does a change in season affect what you read?

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Kathryn Pritchett

writes about Things Elemental — where we find shelter, why we connect, what sustains us and how we strut our stuff.