I love winter, even though the fun of building snowmen, having snowball fights, and making snow angels is long past me. Perhaps my memory fails, but I seem to recall there being more winter days with sunshine in the past. That said, even with these cloudier days of late, I still enjoy this season. Mother Nature covers the dirt and grime with her beautiful snowflakes, and she paints our trees with icy silver stripes. This handsome display glistens even on the gloomiest of sunless days.

My snowbird friends who travel to Florida or Arizona for the winter, have urged me to join them. My response is always the same: that however grey and cold the days can be, remaining in River Forest is my choice.

I actually have a really lovely time when inclement weather forces me indoors. With humility, I must confess that I am spoiled by my comfortable lifestyle. On the ugliest days, I take refuge in a comfy chair next to my wood-burning fireplace. The crackling sound of splintered logs and their pine-like scent add to the warmth of my home.

There I sit, cuddled up in an unglamorous robe and fuzzy slippers. My sweet, ever-present dog, Patty Girl, is at my feet, and an interesting book is in my hands. What joy I take in this simple, quiet time of reflection. In my view, the experience of being a snowbird in your modern air-conditioned rooms does not compare to the indoor winter pleasure I experience right here at home.

There is a precious serenity to my life here in River Forest that I believe cannot be matched elsewhere. Yes, I know I’m favorably biased about living here, but this town deserves my praise. I could write volumes about its year-round natural beauty; the services our village government provides; the rapid response by our police and fire departments; and, of course, the caring folks who live here. All of this makes for an ideal home site.

So, my dear snowbirds, enjoy your warm weather and swaying palm trees as I continue to appreciate wintering here. Lastly, let’s humbly remember how fortunate so many of us are to have the freedom to choose how and where we live.

Harriet Hausman, 98 years young, writes a regular column about her hometown, River Forest, and the rest of the world.

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