little pleasures that I get out of this time of year:
- The Cold Mist from the Lake in the Morning. When I wake up on a weekend morning and it's foggy and dark outside, there's nothing more I like to do than snuggle up on the couch with some coffee and a good book. On weekdays like today, I get a lovely spritz on my way to the bus.
- Fresh-Brewed Coffee. I made several cups of it over the weekend, much to the detriment of my nerves. I bought Trader Joe's Wintry Blend - the melange of spices including nutmeg, clove and peppercorns can be a bit overpowering, but blended with Safari Blend, it's magnificent. Oh, and if you don't have a coffee press, you need one. It takes up less space on the counter, and it makes the coffee ritual much more enjoyable.
- The Mist from an Orange Skin as It's Peeled. If I could arrange the perfect Christmas card photo, it would be of me effortlessly peeling a bright orange laughing at someone off to the sides, while the orange mist is captured. It's the best smell & feeling.
- The Smell of Coffee and Oranges. This smell really reminds me of my dad on Christmas morning. He would open the windows in the dining room to cool down the house, brew some coffee, and pick through the leftover Christmas Eve buffet, which invariably included oranges. He would also make baby reuben sandwiches out of the leftover cocktail rye. Everyone would be asleep us, and together we would talk, watch the bird feeder and listen to the music we got for Christmas.
- The Smell of Exhaust on a Cold Winter Morning. This makes me think of Manda and I getting into Dad's truck in the morning dark to head over to Gram's before school. Manda and I would crawl back to sleep under Gram's electric blanket, and Dad would read the paper and drink coffee while Gram cooked breakfast and offered to put together egg sandwiches for his lunch, which he would always reluctantly accept.
- Cold Sheets on Cold Feet. I love warming up the sheets with my body heat, even if I'm cold. I used to run barefoot in snow before bedtime, just to get colder!
- Wet Winter Wool. There's something about the smell and appearance of snow melting on a wool coat that makes me feel all oozy. I think of the way my Mom's twill dress coat smelled after coming home at night from work or parties or weddings, when she used to go out. A mix of powdery perfume, hairspray, smoke and cold air mingled with her own original scent to make it one of the most comforting perfumes of my memory.
- Holiday Lights. I've already put my tree up because I can't wait to see them. I noticed this morning that the trees on Michigan Avenue are delicately lit, too. One of my favorite Chicago memory is coming here for Thanksgiving when I was a kid and going downtown to Bloomingdales. As we drove down Lake Shore and Michigan Ave, I felt so rich to be moving along next to an unrolling view of white lighted trees in the snow.
So there's that,