Mid-Winter Madness

Mid-Winter Madness

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Those of you “from away” (the local phrase used to describe anyone who doesn’t live in Maine) have likely never experienced the mid-winter madness that comes with the month of February. 

The fun and glitz of the winter holidays are long over, the spring thaw is still months away, and everyone is beginning to feel cabin fever. To make matters worse, at this point in the winter we are so badly deprived of sunshine and vitamin D, most conversations begin something like this:

[Setting: Two Chewonki staff members meet in the Wallace Center to get coffee. It is mid-February. A couple of staff with Seasonal Affective Disorder sit at nearby tables morosely thumbing through last year’s L.L. Bean catalogue.]

Moosetrap Thunderbrush: “Muumumh muhmmhu muh!”

Saltbeard McLobsterguy: “What did you say?”

Moosetrap Thunderbrush: (removes hat, scarf, baklava, hood, and ski goggles and unzips parka) “I said, ‘I’m glad we’re finally past the winter solstice!'”

Saltbeard McLobsterguy: (cracks through the ice-layer on the top of his coffee cup and takes a sip) “Why do you say that?”

Moosetrap Thunderbrush: “We got two more minutes of sunlight today!”

Saltbeard McLobsterguy: (nods) “Ahyuh.”

Moosetrap Thunderbrush: (nods) “Ahyuh.”

[end scene]

But no fear! At Chewonki, this is the time of year we dig in, and make a point of celebrating winter. 

On the farm, that means breaking out the harness for Sal the horse and getting back in practice twitching logs:

For the students of Maine Coast Semester, it means science class in a snowy forest:

and learning to split firewood for their cabins:

It also means breaking into the costume box:

and fun times around a winter campfire:

But it especially means taking advantage of all the beautiful snow to join the Elementary School students sliding down the hill behind the Allen Center and onto the lower field:

(Anyone can do it!)