“The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only.”

Winter is here today. It’s mighty cold; it’s bundle up to keep warm weather. From my perch inside here at the computer, I can look out the window and see the sunshine, but I know it’s not the sort with any warmth. It brings only light. I can also see the bird feeders. The birds seem to be taking turns. Yesterday it was the goldfinches. Today nuthatches are at one feeder and chickadees at another. Three flickers dropped by the other day and ate the suet which I’ve since replaced, but they haven’t been back yet. The bird bath is frozen. I’m going to have to look again in the cellar to find the heater for it. Every spring I put the heater away, and the next winter I forget where I put it so I buy another one then I find the old one. This year, again, I found none of them. I am really good at putting things away.

I don’t ever remember feeling cold when I was a kid no matter how long I was outside. I wore ski pants, a sweater topped by a jacket, mittens and a hat. If there was snow, I wore heavy socks and shoes stuffed into my boots. One year we had so much snow the plow left six-foot high piles along the sides of the street. That was the year of our snow cave. We used shovels to dig out rooms and water to make the sides of the cave icy and strong. We went from room to room on our knees as the cave was wide, not tall. We even ate our lunches inside the cave. It kept our interest for days. When the weather got warm enough to melt the snow, our ice cave lasted the longest of any of the snow piles along the road. The top melted first so we could see all the rooms then the walls got smaller and smaller and soon enough nothing was left. I think that one was the best snow cave we ever made.

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10 Comments on ““The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only.””

  1. Bob Says:

    When I lived in New York City the snow plows would be on the streets of Manhattan within minutes of the first flakes falling. The sanitation department would create huge piles of snow on the corners until they could dump the snow into the Hudson river. Out in Queens, the forgotten borough, we never saw a snow plow until most of it was already melting away. One of the great joys of living in the Dallas Ft. Worth area is that I don’t have to contend with massive snowfalls or extreme cold. My 12 year old Honda doesn’t have a speck of rust anywhere and the high today will be in the mid sixties with sunny skies. Except for a chance of spring tornados and hail we only have to put up with long dry hot summers.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      Here the plows wait a bit before hitting the roads. Many of them are people hired for the storm as the town doesn’t have enough plows. With a huge storm, the plows come by frequently.

      I like living here even when it snows. We don’t have long, hot summers, and the summers we have are well worth going through a cold winter. They are glorious except for a few days in August, then comes the most beautiful of seasons, the fall.

  2. Zoey & Me Says:

    We made snow caves with ice slides. After building up and digging out we ran hose water over it and created a slide by using the back of a shovel. Worked well enough to get a ride on top and spend time in the snow fort for lunch, although it always ended up in snow ball fights for them that couldn’t fit. Once you make an ice fort, the entire kid neighborhood wants in even the teenagers. I say again, way back then, it was wonderful to be a child.

    • katry Says:

      Z&Me,
      Ice slides would have been a wonderful addition to our caves.

      We built many ice forts and had lots of snowball fights. I loved those. Hearing the smack as a snowball hits its mark is one of the great sounds of winter!

  3. olof1 Says:

    Lots of birds by my feeders but no unusual ones yet. There were a couple of Bullfinches some weeks ago but it has just been to warm lately for them to go here.

    I do remember freezing but only after being outside a whole day. I loved going in to have a cup of cocoa and a cheese sandwich 🙂

    We did build snow caves too but we never made it stronger with water. I don’t think we made more than one room either to be honest. To little snow to do that I guess and it rarely lasted more than a week or two anyway 🙂 🙂

    Have a great day!
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      The flickers used to come a lot but disappeared so I was happy to see them this year. We don’t have many different birds very often eaither.

      I’m with you on loving that cocoa. My mother always put a dollop of marshmallow on the top and it would melt around the whole top of the cocoa. Yum!

      We had some great storm when I was young. Those caves gave us a lot of pleasure.

  4. Caryn Says:

    Good lord, Kat, didn’t your mother tell you never to make caves in the snowbanks? The plow could come by and crush you to death. Jeez! 😀

    I’ve been out twice today. It’s not too bad. The south side of the house is warmish and the porch is nice and toasty.

    Reading about your birdfeeder makes me want to go out and get one. Then I remember that they attract Spawns of Satan and the feeling passes. 🙂 I wouldn’t be able to put it anywhere that I could observe the birds from the comfort of my easy chair anyway.

    Enjoy the sight of the sun, if not the warmth. 🙂

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      Nope, by the time we were making our forts, the plowing was done for the most part. If not, we’d hear the plows and scramble.

      I’m not going out until tonight. It’s trivia night! Dinner out, a few drinks and matching wits and memory. It’s a fun night.

      Most of the feeders I have a spawn of Satan proof. They try and try but have no luck getting the seeds. I take a great deal of enjoyment watching the spawns useless antics.

      The highest it got today was 32°

  5. Bill S. Says:

    I was out for a walk today–temp here in NH is probably 15-20 degrees with the wind. Peg thinks I’m crazy, but there is no snow on the roads, so it is easy to walk. I’d rather be outside than on the treadmill. It is eerie not having snow on the ground at this time of the season. The sun is so low in the sky in mid-afternoon that it hardly makes a difference. In a couple of weeks we will notice the sun higher in the sky, and look forward to spring already.

    When I was working in the Berlin area, the sun barely rose over the tree line, then made a dash for cover–maybe it was even too cold for the sun….I was working outside all day, dressed in many layers, and coming back to the flat for an hour-long HOT shower was the highlight of my day.

    Working in Angola was the polar opposite, literally. I was only 2 miles from the ocean, but the air was extremely dry and hot. I could wash out a shirt at noon, hang it outside, and 15 minutes later it was dry and ready to wear again–much like Bolga.

    • katry Says:

      Bill,
      I’m with Peg. Today was a stay inside and read day. I took my shower and put on cozy clothes. It even looked too cold to go for a walk. Gracie was outside to do her business and was right back inside.

      I’ll be going out around 6 for trivia night and dinner so I’ll have to brave the 32°. Right now I’m wearing socks, foot cozies and slippers. I just couldn’t get my feet warm, and I think I’ll just leave them on when I go out. The Squire in Chatham won’t mind.

      The sun was out all day but was purely an ornament.

      I find a hot shower was of the wonders of the world sometimes!

      I can take the dry and hot but not the hot and humid. My head was soaked with sweat the whole time in Bolga. The shower was pure relief from walking through the market and around the town, the opposite reason you so enjoyed your Berlin showers.


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