I have been cold all day.
Today has been one of those days where I haven’t been able to get warm. The grips of my pesky chill probably stemmed from an early morning shower followed by the all-too-regular decision to let my hair air-dry due to Mama duties pulling me out of the warm, steamy bathroom. As thick as my hair is, air drying is an all day process and definitely one of the culprits of my shivers. That and, oh yeah, it’s wintertime and there is snow on the ground and below freezing temperatures daily might have something to do with it, too.
Hot soup, oven-baked crusty rolls, and warm Glühwein (or mulled wine for the non-speaking German readers). My husband and I had a leftover bottle of Glühwein, unopened, that we bought before Christmas. Instead of saving it for the next holiday season we broke into it tonight. I even pulled out the two ceramic mugs I smuggled back across the Atlantic from the Dresdner Striezelmarkt in 2008 as mementos from my trip.
At first sip tonight, I time traveled back to that day. I was wide-eyed and experiencing my first Christmas market in Germany. I was meeting my now in-laws for the first time and trying to take in the culture of an unexplored, to me, country. What I remember most was the smell of the spices as I brought the steamy mug to my lips. The cinnamon, cloves, and citrus all blended together with red wine delivered an aromatic delight to my brain.
When my father-in-law told me I could keep two mugs if he didn’t return them for deposit (one Euro each), I jumped at his sweet and simple gesture to treat me and help make the ceramic mugs mine. What souvenirs at the time and ones I am certainly glad he encouraged me to bring home with me. The act of keeping them, something only a tourist would consider, has preserved the memory of my first taste of Glühwein.
So while Christmas was over a month ago and our decorations stored until next year, I still have my last mug of 2014 holiday Glühwein in hand. That and, okay I confess, one remaining strand of twinkly white lights and two light-up churches to dazzle my spirits on the long, cold nights are just what I need tonight as temperatures dip down to 8 degrees overnight.
And alas, my hair has dried.
Wishing you warmth in a mug this 2015 winter. What smells make you nostalgic?