Well I really enjoyed my time in Maine. They managed to throw one snow event (they don't use the word "storm" lightly in Maine, and since there was no loss of life, it was just an event, not a storm) and the coldest day ever recorded in the state of Maine in human history (-50F, somewhere in the next county or two.) And winter is really exhilarating in 10-day chunks. Thinking that you understand winter after spending a week is like thinking you understand prison after a guided tour of Alcatraz. The essence, in both cases, is the ever-lastingness of it all. But I have lived through whole winters, and I realize that 10 days is nothing like the real thing. So it's all good--warm houses, other people who plow, and the stark beauty of bare trees and pale skies.
Coming back to California, the entire palate changes--here, winter is the greenest part of the year, and the sunlight is of a totally different quality. Also, when it's chilly here, maybe 40 degrees, it has the crisp feel of high pressure that you get at 2 or minus 12 in Maine, while the warm balmy feel of 28 degrees in Maine is apparently a result of the low pressure that allowed the heat to reach such heights.
I finished my socks today. They took quite a while--from January 12th to the 29th, with huge swathes of free knitting time. But I like the results a lot. They're currently drying in a towel after I soaked them in hair conditioner, which made them much softer. Pictures will be added in due time.