The Finer Points of January

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Susan Dromey Heeter, Joyful Musings

South Shore of Massachusetts in January


The middle of January can be tough. It’s gray, it’s dark, even the 75% Christmas candy has been picked over. So, dear Musers, I invite you to celebrate and muse joyfully on not the toughness of the first month of the year, nor the fact that lights come on at 4 PM, rather, to remember what is fabulous, what is great, what makes the darkness of a day worth it all.

It’s a great time to hit NYC, Cape Cod, the beach. Sure, it’s cold but the crowds are sparse, the parking easy, the traffic light.  As I type this, I am on the South Shore of Massachusetts where there are no bugs, no need for sunblock, just simply a view of the waves that never stop crashing no matter what the time of year.  It’s peaceful. There are no barbeques, it’s quiet, serene.  And, of course, it’s windy, it’s cold but that is why I’ll bundle up in my bright yellow jacket and walk along the rocky shores. Knowing this season is stunning, different than July or August, but stunning nevertheless. The ocean is still here, still worth a walk, a pause, my time. 

Susan Dromey Heeter

It’s a great time to cook.  A friend just shared with me a recipe involving heavy cream, chicken, lemon, paprika, thyme and spinach. It is so incredibly good I have made it three times this January; my family inhales it as the tastes are so alive and welcoming.  Last year, I purchased a Staub Dutch oven, blue with a rabbit handle.  My pot is my French friend, inviting me to try new recipes, to get out of my Irish potato habits.  It’s good to experiment in January, tastes can come alive, recipes invite.

January is also a wonderful time to cozy in, get some new sheets, invest in new towels.  Why not? You can legitimately be in bed by 7:30, why not enjoy it? And if your towels, like mine, were from 1998, really, it’s time to donate them to the SPCA and get some that will last another 25 years. You might not, but celebrate some new linens.

Finally, January is a great time to read, read, read.  I finally got my first subscription to the New Yorker and will get my new library card from my new town’s library. Does it get any better? Books, like beaches are around all year – what better time, dear Musers, to cozy up and dive into a book.

January? Oh, enjoy – even in the darkness, even in the sludge, it’s a glorious time to cozy in or wander, read or cook, and bask in the beginning of adventures to come.

I muse joyfully you’re enjoying this January. It’s never too late to begin.

Susan Dromey Heeter is a writer from Dover who recently let her hair go au natural white. Writing has been her passion since her English majoring days at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.  Dromey Heeter has lived in The Netherlands, Alaska and currently basks in all things New England, including the frigid winters. An avid swimmer, Dromey Heeter’s great passion is to bring back body surfing as most children have no idea how to ride waves without ridiculous boogie boards.

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