Trina Machacek: An escape plan

Trina Machacek

Trina Machacek

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I think it was from an old movie where the people would travel to Europe like it was an everyday occurrence when I first heard the phrase, “shoulder season.”

I’ve come to learn that the shoulder season is the several weeks directly before or right after the “high season.” Now high season is the middle season where the weather is at the best of the season, nothing is on sale and the rooms, car rentals, food, and attractions are the most expensive. It’s the time when I never travel. I am a shoulder season traveler.

Not a pre-high season shoulder season traveler. I am a post-high season shoulder season traveler. The best deals, the deepest discounts, the sketchiest weather. Each of those things just scream Trina. Yes, my friends, I squeak when I walk too.

I honestly don’t see me ever going to Europe during any season. There is so much in the United States I have yet to see and time to go has gotten short as life has a way of doing that. I have in the past been a snowbird for a few weeks in winter. Admittedly the snowbird thing is not my cup of tea. Might be that we only flew south for a few weeks each winter and we never seemed to go far enough south to do any of what I came to call, “Lizzarding.”

You know, being so warm and relaxed that you just want to lay out on a warm rock during a sunny day. But! Yes, a somewhat attractive lizard “but.” I probably should have a winter escape plan. Because winter here lasts longer than the regular calendar length of 90 days.

It is the dead of winter right now. The snow is piled on top of piles and the end of winter is definitely not in sight yet. A few days ago, a young carefree, going from pillar to post in life, no responsibilities to worry about friend of mine said to me, “You need to get out of the valley and go somewhere where the sun is shining.” I laughed at how easily he thought I could just up and go. I mean who is going to take care of things on my little corner of the world?

The house needs to be kept warm. That’s my job. The pets need to be fed. My job too. There are a thousand things that happen. Some small, some big, but they are all my job. As a widow in charge of everything in my life, everything needs to be tended to and that everything is absolutely MY everything. Not to mention if I were to miss just one “morning after snowstorm” shoveling event I would never catch up. So, I laughed and put another log on the fire as he flitted away.

Well then, what can be done to have an escape from winter without totally escaping winter? Boy howdy, that’s a big order to fill. There is of course reading. Or sewing. Or crafting. I don’t craft well. Men can probably also read or craft. Some build cars or around here build guns or get ammo ready for summer and hunting. I suppose you could call that man crafting.

In winter, for me at least, I do not find too much to be enjoyed by going outside for very long periods at a time. It’s pretty and I like to fill my lungs with the clean crispness of winter. Until my nose hairs freeze! I mean come on that’s really cold. I am not a fan of winter sports, skiing, snowmobiling, snow shoeing. I do like to ride around and enjoy the beauty of winter. From inside the cab of my truck with the heater humming.

Other than snow birding I think, for me at least, I have come up with a pretty good winter escape plan. It may not be as all-encompassing as gathering up all my toys and moving south. It fits me and although I still live like a semi-hibernating ameba, waiting for winter to pass and become spring, my escape plan saves my sanity and in some ways the sanity of some of my friends. Simply, I like to talk to friends on the phone.

I have the most amazing winter conversations with friends of like mindedness who also for varied reasons don’t go south for winter. We talk for hours. I must say that since cell phones don’t charge long distant feels like in the olden days, (YIKES) talking on the phone for an hour or three or six is good entertainment. A good escape plan for me for sure.

Whether you are in the working world or retired, when winter drags by, and cabin fever can’t be relieved with a winter trip? Try this escape plan. Enjoy.

Trina Machacek lives in Eureka. Her books are available wherever you buy books or email her at to buy signed copies.


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