What do you do in winter?

When people learn that I live on a small Maine island, the inevitable first question is, “What do you do in winter?”  Um, shovel? Actually this winter, I’ve done very little of that since it’s been so mild.

Seriously, life here is much like life in any small Northeastern town in winter. We work, hang out at the one cafe in town, gossip at the post office, carp about the weather, and keep putting one LL Bean-booted foot in front of the other until April. I’m always amused, though, that the summer people who live here seem to think the town rises, Brigadoon-like, from the mist–or perhaps the snow drifts–every spring. It’s beyond their comprehension that anyone actually lives here all winter–and by choice.

Our little secret is that they don’t know what they’re missing. After the holidays the town settles in on itself and it’s a great time to take on  a major project, whether it’s writing  a new book or cleaning out the attic. Soon enough the summer people will be rumbling across the bridge that connects us to the mainland and a new cycle of life here on the island will begin. For now, though, we’re happy with peace and quiet, a little snowshoeing now and then, and an occasional bean supper at the church — all 100 of us hardy souls.

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