Trina Machacek: Blowing at those winter blues

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Starting around mid-August there is a tug at my soul that I cannot shake. I have tried to nip it in the bud for years. Go outside more. Go for longer walks. Stand in the sprinkler and make myself burn the feeling into my brain.

Then the dark cloud of winter finally wins about the end of September. Things have frozen, maybe a light spattering of snow has dropped from low hanging gray winter looking clouds as they laugh their way across the sky. Then the realization of another long cold winter slaps your face as you step outside at 6 in the morning and you realize you must add to your daily attire a jacket, non-slip grip footwear and maybe even mittens.

And sometimes you are blue with sadness. I get like that. I get that I am not the only blue soul in town — and it isn’t due to the colder temps that cause my skin to turn blue. What to do, what to do… Well of course I have a few ideas.

First. Let’s all move to Florida! No? OK then let’s all NOT venture outside until the days are more than a hop skip and jump long. You know put your head under the covers and not come out until the sun comes up before NOON! That time change thing does nothing to push the winter blues off into the wild blue yonder. If Florida is not in your wheelhouse how about trying a new hobby. Yes winter is also called the hobby season.

I find I am not a hobbyist. I have walked the aisles of hobby stores with friends who hobby. It’s pure magic how some people can create cool things that they somehow put together from an overflowing bag they bring home from a hobby store.

I look at balsa wood, crazy moving plastic eyes that come in eight different sizes and rows and rows of bags of glitter and fluffy multi-colored fibers and I see…balsa wood, eyeballs and fluff.

But to the creators out there? Nirvana. So to quell the blues of winter might I try to make a doohickey or a thing-a-ma-bob? Step away from the glue gun Trina. Know your limitations became my motto after I ended up with flying wisps of glue that just would not stop coming out of that dang glue gun.

Cooking! Ah there I have always shined. Just ask my Stitch Fix Counselor as she laughs and laughs at the size I checked in the little box marked regular or “are you kidding me?” I could spend winter just a cooking stuff and stuffing stuff into my pie hole. But! HAHA Yes a multi layered “but.” But cooking leads to eating and there in lies the problem. So to cook to send the blues away is not an option.

Then of course there is the dreaded, exercise. I know, I know. Not my favorite station to pull into either. However! (HAHA No but.) There is an exercise that I find quite enjoyable and I can do it inside where the weather is warm and the time clock ticks at any speed I deem socially acceptable. I have begun to clean. Clean everywhere.

During the first part of this cleaning there will not be any noticeable clean streaks. I am starting with the under belly of the beast of my home. Yes, under the counters and sinks. Just by chance I discovered this may be the next best thing to going to a gym.

I needed of all things a cotton ball. I knew there was an old, very old baggie of cotton balls under the bathroom sink. I looked but they were elusive little things. Had to go get a flashlight to see clear to the back where they were hiding behind one of those magnifying mirrors. Yes I looked in the magnified side. Don’t ask.

By the time I had gotten down on the floor to stretch clear to the back of the cabinet, then backed out of the cabinet and hauled my self back up to ground level I was spent. Like I had been on a rowing machine for 10 minutes. I don’t even think I used the cotton because I couldn’t remember what I had wanted it for. I just sat on the edge of the tub and blew off extra air my body seemed to need and I rested.

So there you have it. To blow away the winter blues that are beginning to shroud you, do something, anything that will make you breathe a little faster and deeper. Come springtime you will be fit as a fiddle and ready for—weeds.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her book, They Call Me Weener, is available on Amazon. Or get a signed copy by emailing her at


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