Soaking in Winter original illustration by Becky Kazana. Email me to purchase. Do not reproduce without permission. 

A few weeks back, Prem invited us for roll your own sushi night- we had fun making rice, chopping fish, frying tempura, making a huge mess in the kitchen and getting full of tastes of this and that long before we ever sat down at the table to eat properly.

Afterwards, we went out into the moonlit snow, bravely stripped down to our swimsuits in the freezing air and climbed into the steaming hot tub.We four sat there talking about nothing, huddled close together, knees and feet bumping into each other from time to time in a kind of intimacy that is rare in my life here. It comes in part from having grown up together, then watching each other’s lives unfold from afar. I know and love these people, and have for a long time.

The tub overlooks a pond on a golf course, frozen solid, lined with bare trees silhouetted against the clouded sky, perfectly still. For a moment, the moon passed out from under the clouds, glowing white, round and huge through the veils of cloud and we all looked up at it in silence. There was the gurgling of the water around us, the crackle and ping of the ice, the gentle flutter of the snow settling over the ground and steam rising up around our faces, turned up towards the sky.

“There is no bad weather, only bad clothes.” -Scandinavian Proverb

For a few weeks, I tried to make do with second hand boots in a Minnesota winter. Two sizes too big meant swinging them along like leaden anchors and my hips quickly felt the toll. Wearing ordinary shoes is a terrible option as well, leaving your socks soaked and toes instantly turned icy, red and numb.

I decided to invest in a pair of Sorel boots. Thanks to a coupon code from Piperlime, I paid $75 for them. What a wonderful pleasure my walk to work has become! If it’s snow and ice, the grippers dig in and give me sure footing. If it’s slush and puddles, my feet arrive at their destination dry and toasty.

Though these boots aren’t exactly fashion forward, they have the sort of ugly cute quality that seems to be in vogue right now, and have the added benefit of being enormously practical. (How I pity the fools I see in their tennis shoes or ballet flats full of ice!) Between the right gear, the necessity of a daily walk and my strict policy of not complaining, my time outside each day has become a true joy. I look forward to my walk, knowing it will clear my head, invigorate my body and connect me with this place I call home.

P.S) This original illustration is available for $20 if you’re having a love affair with galoshes as well! It will easily fit in a standard 8×10 frame. Email me at thefabulousmissbATgmailDOTcom if you’d like to purchase it for your house!