To Embrace: A Warm Take On Cold Days

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an assortment of photos I’ve taken throughout this winter

This is what wool socks and fire places were made for. This is why alpacas are so damn adorably furry (and, as pictured, kittens, too). This is why hydrangeas and tomatoes and wildflowers grow so tall. This is the makings of the perfect excuse for not going to that thing that so-and-so insists you attend and be Instagrammed at. This is the reason the clocks fall back. This is what I would normally call a really shitty, endless winter that has literally and figuratively knocked me on my ass so many times that I would wait in the most painfully long bureaucratic office line to submit a formal complaint for. This won’t warm me up. This is a constraint. This is what makes me seek out warmth, happiness, love in new places. This prompts me to create more in compensation for nature’s break from making anything besides snow. And if it doesn’t come out right, this is when I can blame it on winter.

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To Wander: Becks’ Christmas Tree Farm, Slatington, PA

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I’ve had a tough history with Christmas trees. I really shouldn’t love them anymore. I’ve had trees that shed all their needles before December 10th in an act of childish defiance. I’ve had trees lose their balance unexpectedly and topple onto me, leaving twigs and broken ornaments in my hair. I’ve even had trees interrupt dinner and barge right through the living room and onto the floor, leaving more twigs and broken ornaments, plus sappy water. Normally, I’m one to hold grudges regarding this type of behavior, but I will never leave the whole love affair that begins with a snowy drive out to the farmlands and ends with me dragging my holiday partner down a muddy hill and onto the roof of a car. If only all courtships began so straightforwardly. So, despite our troubled past, I brought a Fraser home this year from the absolutely magical Becks’ Christmas Tree Farm in Slatington. As of right now, he’ still standing. Here are some photos from my trip.
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To Wander: Klein Farms, Easton, PA

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As one might do with dentist appointments or oil checks, I make a point of visiting at least one petting zoo a year. An afternoon with barnyard animals always makes me less insecure about my own grooming routine – you think your hair is unmanageable until you run your hands over a donkey’s mane – but also, on a more idealistic note, makes me believe a little more in the potential for people to forget about surface-level differences and just get along already. Maybe it was the above-pictured sheep who first greeted me and smiled for my iPhone or ┬áthe cows who moo-ed in the most delighted tone I believe is possible for a mammal to achieve, but my Saturday at Easton’s Klein Farms with my parents took away a little of my post-grad cynicism. Continue reading