I've always loved stories set in cold, snowy places. The more remote and isolated the better. There's a quiet in the bleakness of winter that's unlike any other setting or season, and just under the surface of that stillness is a beautiful mystery.
For many years, I wasn't able to fully appreciate that stillness because I was living in the city. Even during the severest of snowstorms, and even when the city "shuts down", there's still movement and noise – it's less, but it's there. Living in a rural Pennsylvania has allowed me to experience the much desired feeling I had only known vicariously through books or film.
When I take walks with Alice now, and the only sound is our breath and the crunch under our feet, I feel like I'm finally getting to know the winter that I had always longed for.