That Michigan Moment in February when the relentless cold has you boxed in like a sleepy bear in a cave. You remain lazy and unproductive, buried under a heated blanket in front of a fireplace waiting out the storm. The snow is icy and crunchy and brown, not worthy of a snowman or a sled. You long for the smell of the earth again, a break in the clouds, a tiny sprout of green to poke through the snow pack. You press your face against the window searching for a sign of life only to pull back quickly from the frostbitten glass. It doesn't matter what the groundhog sees because living in Michigan, you know you are enduring winter for the long haul. It's time to warm yourself from the inside out.
On a quiet Sunday morning the smells from the kitchen are of vanilla, cinnamon, cream, eggs, maple syrup and french bread sizzling in a pan of real butter, melding all the aromas into a comforting and satisfying plate of thick french toast. You wrap yourself tighter in your blanket, curl up your feet enrobed in warm wool socks, pour hot fresh coffee from the french press and then spoon homemade blueberry syrup from last August's blueberry harvest over the sweet french toast and tuck in to one of the amazing delights of being snowed in. Everything is right with this moment...and winter will pass soon. Maybe next week is when the first early crocus will sprout through the snow, upholding the promise of the groundhog.