An Open Letter to December

Dear December,

Well, hello there. You snuck up on us during Tuesday evening, replacing a relentless downpour with crisp, winter air. Across campus, a collection of jackets, scarves and boots paraded through the chilly Florida State terrain, interrupted by the occasional fool in a t-shirt and flip-flops, sprinting towards the warmth contained inside brick buildings. Suddenly, Tallahassee appeared to have transformed into a winter wonderland.

The towering trees I walk beneath each morning were unexpectedly adorned with clusters of blazing red berries – where did these plump berries come from? I examine my trees every morning, yet had never noticed these tiny bushels before. Had they miraculously sprouted during the frigid night?

My first true sign of the approaching winter appeared to me this morning as I dropped Niko off at the library in the first few hours of daylight. We drove down the rustic road towards his campus, past the bank sign indicating it was a brisk 35 degrees out, and I noticed a sparkling white patch of land. What an unusual place for a sandy field, I foolishly thought to myself before realizing what I was looking at: a frost-encrusted grassy knoll. There it was, biting winter conditions – and friends, it’s only going to get worse.

So here’s to you, December. You weigh me down with coats and ear muffs, you freeze my fingertips until they turn stark white. Here’s to the next few months of friendly bonfires, hot chocolate with whipped cream, nestling under the covers, holiday festivities and idling in your car as the engine warms up.

Best of all, here’s to the next season of climbing. Farewell to sweaty sessions at the Tally Rock Gym, sweltering in the heat as shirtless boys douse themselves with Gatorade. Hello to huddling over the kerosene heaters in a mass of climbers, warming your fingertips until you muster up the courage to muscle through a route before returning to the heat.

I’ll take summer over winter any day, but it’s hard to deny the charm of an approaching winter. Just don’t ask me how I feel about the cold once the chill rattles my bones and the frost on my windshield is no longer quaint. Once the temperatures drop into the 20s, I’ll be entering a deep state of hibernation. I will reawaken in the spring time, when the sunshine warms my bones and my wardrobe can return to its favored offerings of cut-off shorts and tattered tanks.

Winter, I love you, but please make your visit brief.
– Katie


Tags: , , , , ,

Categories: Stories & Odes

Author:Katie Boué

Katie Boué is the voice of - a travel lifestyle blog focusing on climbing, Airbnb life, and the outdoors.

5 Comments on “An Open Letter to December”

  1. AK
    December 2, 2010 at 7:01 pm #

    Again you amaze me with your literary skill, Ms Katie Boue. You take what I see and then reproduce it for the world to see.

    Pretty damn cool.


    • December 3, 2010 at 9:05 am #

      Quit makin’ me blush Mr. Kaplan! You’re too kind.

  2. The Mom
    December 2, 2010 at 8:39 pm #

    Thank God you got the writing talent in the family.

  3. John Keenan
    December 3, 2010 at 7:18 am #


    Enjoyed your blog and described the way myself and many feel about winter. To me it reflex the mood and shows us that we can cope and be happy with change.


    • December 3, 2010 at 9:06 am #

      Thank you John! I have a feeling you do a much better job of coping with the cold conditions, if I do recall a certain episode where the entire Keenan clan jumped into our freezing pool in the middle of December!

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