Stephen’s Sanctuary: February 2024

Hey friends!


If you reside in the states that may or may not feel very united these days, these last few months have had some literal stormy weather. Whether you were checking your phone for Nor’easter, atmospheric river, cold wave or blizzard updates – we found ourselves indoors yet again relying on some creature comforts. Here’s a few that helped get me through the rain:


  • Blue – Joni Mitchell 

This album isn’t on Spotify anymore. Selfishly, that’s a shame because it means that “River” isn’t on my December holiday playlist anymore, but I don’t begrudge Joni that decision. Hey, we’ll always have YouTube. If you have a turntable handy, you have the warmth of a vinyl copy as an option. Her performance at the Grammys making me well up probably spurred my brain to move this one up on the Rainy Day Rotation recently, but it’s always a good one to come back to. 


  • The Goonies

Something else I found myself coming back to and enjoying yet again recently. Putting the childhood nostalgia aside, the filming locations for this being (mostly) in the Pacific Northwest really give this movie such a  rainy day feeling. It’s cinematic petrichor for me. Have you ever seen the deleted scene where Data fends off a giant octopus by playing some ’80s jam on a walkman? Here’s a fun detail if you don’t already know it: you can hear the director laugh/wheeze off-camera after Chunk’s “I told ya so! You never believe me!”  Just a helpful reminder that even some of the best movies and songs of all-time left some mistakes in there. 


  • Hot toddies
Years ago, a friend and I hit up a bar trivia night in December and he differed from his usual order to ask for a hot toddy. It suddenly sounded like the best idea ever. Since then, whenever those winter nights and sicknesses encroach (and boy were those encroaching more than ever this winter) I find myself wanting to make a hot toddy. If you’re a non-drinker – honestly – just the combination of hot water, lemon and honey is soothing and seems to help if your throat is struggling to make it through the day. 
I hope you had plenty of things to help you stay cozy and safe throughout whatever storms, literal and figurative, you had to endure this winter.  
Peace, love, empathy,