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Barbara Holland (1933-2010), a Washingtonian, moved to Bluemont (pop. 200) in Loudoun County in 1993 and wrote "Endangered Pleasures: In Defense of Naps, Bacon, Martinis, Profanity, and Other Indulgences." A manifesto for enjoying the unsung, out-of-fashion, or slightly disreputable joys of life, the book was a defiant rejoinder to the Puritan spirit that variously possesses religious crusaders and radical feminists, fitness fanatics and subdivision covenanteers, vegans and workaholics, and all the other grim tribes of Scold Nation whose purpose is to make us feel bad about feeling good.
With the permission of Barbara Holland 's publisher, we are excerpting chapters from "Endangered Pleasures" on this page each month.
We do not necessarily endorse every indulgence profiled by the author. But by golly she does make them sound good.
"IF WINTER comes," asked Shelley, "can Spring be far behind?"
Winter-lovers hold themselves morally superior to summer-lovers, and moral superiority is one of life's great joys. They look upon summer-lovers as timid, slothful, and probably helpless on skis or behind the wheel in freezing slush. They know we feel that subfreezing temperatures are hostile and out to get us, while the roadways want to murder us outright. They, gallant spirits, merrily embrace the challenges from which we shrink.
They are, to put it bluntly, a pain in the a--, but there's no denying they're having fun.
The winter-lover strides around the office, all but beating his or her chest, and cries, "I love the winter! I love cold weather! It makes me feel so alive!" Beyond the windows the rain segues into rattling sleet and then hushes to blobs of snow. Colleagues at the water cooler gulp vitamin C, cough, sniffle, and, in March, keep checking the calendar as one checks one's watch at a long meeting: Surely, surely, it must be the 10th or 11th by now? Can it really be only the sixth? While the winter-lover struts and crows and broadcasts plans to weekend even farther north, where the snow is deeper and the lakes more stiffly frozen.