"Antidote for the Winter Blues:" Up Close and Personal with Patti
Updated: Jan 24, 2022
Patti in Savannah, GA historic district where her upcoming book, SURVIVING SAVANNAH is set, coming March 9, 2021. Photo Credit: Bud Johnson Photography
by Patti Callahan
Jan 28, 2021
"The winter weary blahs. We’ve all got em’, right? I know I do."
We’ve had enough. Simply enough of being isolated from each other and stuck in our homes and told to hold on just a little bit longer and things will get better soon.
We want hope. We have to find it and hang onto it, don’t we?
When I was young, my family moved to South Florida from Philadelphia, and I didn’t know exactly what to do with myself. I was lost and untethered and I hated my parents for ruining my life (so melodramatic even at that age; my life a tragic story I would one day write).
So what did I do? I hid in the library. Literally. I found myself among the stacks of books and jumped into other stories.
My life made no sense, but inside the books things made sense. Nancy Drew found the clue in the clock; Laura Ingalls made it out of the blizzard, and even when I was weeping for the loss of Charlotte and her web, it all made some kind of sense and showered meaning down on me.
I remember a moment as a child hiding from the mean girls in the cafeteria by sitting behind the long shelves of the school library.
I was leafing through two books and trying to decide which to read and suddenly I realized that no matter how long I lived, or how much I read, I would never be able to devour every book that existed. This was a great and sudden grief and also a wild happiness knowing that I would never run out of stories.
It is no different now. I look to poetry, art, music and stories to create meaning out of the muck of things and to bring hope to these winter days of transition from dark to light.
When I was writing Surviving Savannah, there were long days (and months to be honest) when the sadness of its tragedy hit me in the solar plexus and I wanted to stop, to get to the good parts, the surviving parts, the meaningful parts. To hurry and get to the beauty of spring.
And I did, and we will. We will arrive in spring; we always do.
But meanwhile we have stories and art and literature and music. And each other!
A short spring Savannah slideshow to lift your spirits.
Want more stories from Savannah?
Check out: Surviving Savannah Website and Behind the Scenes Book Club Kit, and What People are Saying about Surviving Savannah. On sale March 9, 2021 and available for pre-order now. In hardcover, e-book, and audio formats.