Luckily, my days are not quite as bleak as this painting would suggest.
However, it has been dark and blustery and highly suggestive that, while the winter solstice may in fact be a few weeks away, Winter has rolled into town and set up camp. The nights fall faster, with more finality. The wind has a cold whine in its throat, growling at the edges of windows and doors and pleading to come in. We've had a couple blanketings of snow (and one rather sloppy, foggy melt). The chickens refuse to set foot outside their cozy coop. The rabbits are reveling in the colder temperatures--finally, their fur coats make sense! As for the dogs and cats, they alternately want to go play in the fluffy whiteness and come in to sleep by the fire (or on the porch, as is the case for the Outdoor Boys).
For myself, I find my time spent between shoveling paths and digging out doorways, banging out water dishes, and making the daily slog to and from work. The one significant downside to my job in the winter months is driving on crappy roads, day in and day out. It certainly makes the days a bit longer on either end, with needing to leave extra time to make the drive and still arrive on time. And once I'm home, it's the job of tending the hearth and fire, feeding all the hungry animals, and finally--finally--climbing back into my warm slippers and flannel robe. A giant pot of soup, a hot cup of tea, the sound of snoring dogs: they are the sound track to my evenings, with the rumblings of Winter outside the door and window panes.
With Winter comes strings of holiday lights and Christmas music and all sorts of delightful things. I have plans to make a couple more delicious potable concoctions before the great festivus of the holidays hit. I'm thinking an apple pie flavored brandy drink would go down very well...and I really should finish off my spiced cranberry vodka. And then there's all the baking and the candy making and the wrapping of the presents to park under the tree...all things to look forward to. And of course, I'm really really looking forward to a few weeks off with nothing more to do that sit in warm clothes, drink too much coffee, and page through all the lovely seed catalogs that are winging their way to me.
Ahh, Winter. You may be grim and horrible, but You do have your perks.