When I moved to Des Moines at the end of this past May, one of the most frequent things people who live here told me was to watch out for winter. I still don't really understand how winter here can be so much worse than in NYC where it's certainly not easy, particularly since you have to brave it to get anywhere (rather than having the option to jump into a warm car). But, as I found out this weekend, I am surely going to be in for a few surprises. It snowed on Saturday and while it didn't stick, it lasted for much of the day and definitely felt wintery (the temperature hovered in the low 30s). Rather than spend too much time lamenting how it is way too soon to be this cold, I pulled out a favorite blue sweater, found my winter coat, and decided to embrace it because really, what good is complaining?
Especially when the afternoon sky looks like this. And, I got my first look at the pelicans that hang out near the dam at Lake Red Rock out in Pella, which is home to the very popular Tulip Time celebration in the spring, while I soaked in what little heat there was from the sun (and gave thanks that Josh was generous enough to lend me his wool hat).
Walking back to the car, the trees were looking seasonally appropriate, so there's hope that we'll get to watch the colors change a bit before we dive head first into sustained freezing temperatures. But if that turns out to be the case, I have already found a few things that are going to help me through my first Midwestern winter:
1. My new immersion blender which is The Most Amazing Kitchen Tool I Never Knew I Always Needed. After seeing what quick, convenient, and remarkably clean work it made out of pureeing a batch of black bean soup, I can tell I'm going to be eating many bowls of soup from now through April.
2. Fleece and thick socks.
3. Eating more Dutch Letters at Jaarsma, preferrably with a cup of hot chocolate (though my first one, which I ate in my warm car, flakes of pastry covering the front of my jacket, was pretty darn memorable).
4. Working on my current quilting project, which is large enough that I can comfortably wrap myself up in the finished side while I continue stitching on the other.
5. Picking up my knitting needles again, after a long hiatus during the warmer months, to hopefully make something other than scarves or bags.