“About the woodlands I will go / To see the cherry hung with snow.”

Sorry for the late morning, but I met friends for our monthly breakfast. We worked together for years and are all retired now so this is our way of staying in touch. During breakfast, the snow started. The flakes are small and wet so none are sticking, but that will happen soon enough. I bought seed and suet this morning so I need to fill the feeders as soon as I finish here.

My car is backed into the driveway, the best spot to get it freed after the plowing. I have no reason to leave the house so I’ll hunker down and watch the weather on TV. I got a chuckle yesterday when I read in the paper that a weatherman calls it weather porn when people are mesmerized by the news and pictures of extraordinary weather on TV.

I still get excited when it snows but not the same way I did when I was a kid. In those days a big snow storm meant sledding down the huge hill on which we lived, building snow forts, having snow ball fights and, if we were lucky, a snow day. We’d be up early hoping to hear the fire whistle announce no school, and if it did, we’d cheer and get dressed right away to play in the snow. On went the snow pants, a sweater, the winter coat, a scarf, mittens, a hat and boots.

I remember the first few runs down the hill on my wooden sled after the big storm. The snow ruts from the sled’s runners were red, rusty from the sled sitting in the cellar all summer and fall. After a couple of runs, the rust would disappear, and the sled would go  so much faster. We’d hold the sled with both hands, run for all we were worth and jump on the sled, stomachs down and feet in the air then whiz down the hill. Steering was never easy. The front of the sled turned left or right but not very far. Hitting a snow bank was common. We’d hope to go all the way down the hill into the field at the bottom. That was an accomplishment. We’d grab the sled’s rope, usually icy by then, and walk back up the hill for another run.

The little kids sledded down the hill in the backyard. That way they were off the street and under the watchful eyes of parents.  Most had wooden sleds but a few had metal flying saucers which went wherever as there was no way to control them. You just slid down the hill, sometimes in circles. The little kids always walked back up the hill along the side yards so they wouldn’t wreck the run.

By the time we went in the house through the cellar, ice was stuck to our clothes, mittens were soaked, snow was inside the boots and we were shivering, but I don’t remember being cold. I just remember those runs as the most fun of the whole winter.

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52 Comments on ““About the woodlands I will go / To see the cherry hung with snow.””


  1. We have a chance for Spring tease severe thunderstorms this weekend and snow mid week. I’m okay with staying in a few days, but I’m ready for consistent weather, one way or the other.

    • katry Says:

      plgcm,
      I love thunderstorms with lots of lightning. They are far more fun than a snow storm. You get to hear that clap of thunder and the sky lights up.

      You are getting it all! Enjoy your day and have fun. Read a good book or watch a favorite movie! Oops, don’t forget a nap!!

  2. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    It’s snowing sideways here. I was surprised to see snow on the ground at 6AM today. I guess that was the prequel. 🙂

    My sled was shiny black with red runners. We used the side yard for our sled “hill”. It was gently sloping and wide enough for several kids to slid at the same time. We could jump off from the side walk and get a good start. The longest runs always ended up by wiping out on a grass hummock in the swamp. It was great.
    I had forgotten about the mini snowballs frozen all over my mittens and hat.

    Stay warm and comfy inside and enjoy the snow.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      It is sideways here to from the north. I just filled the feeders and my sweatshirt got soaked. I had to bring in one suet feeder which the spawns destroyed by eating the wooden top. It’s a great feeder as large birds like flickers could use it. I’m hoping to dry it then duct tape the heck out of the top so I can out it back outside.

      We were lucky to live on a huge hill, and we could go so very fast down that hill.

      You too-stay warm and cozy and watch those flakes fall!

  3. Birgit Says:

    Seeing the picture I’m surprised, that kids sledding is different in other countries. Never thought about that. Our typical wooden sleds had a slightly different design and usually we sit on the sledge and steer with feet and rope. This photo looks like my childhood sledding, though it’s another city:
    http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Bundesarchiv_Bild_183-G0104-0040-001,_Berlin,_Friedrichshain,_Rodelbahn,_Winter.jpg

    Good luck! Does the blizzard have a name?

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,

      Our sleds were quite different, closer to the ground and only little kids sat on them to go down the hill. We older kids went down on our stomachs, always!

      The picture looks just like our sleds.

    • katry Says:

      Birgit,
      The blizzards don’t have names but go by their years. The blizzard of 1978 though only 2nd on the list of the top 10 is considered the worst because there was little warning in those days, cars were stranded on the highways and huge plows had to go from car to car to rescue people, the waves were so huge with the high tide that houses were underwater. The blizzard of 2003 had just a tiny bit more snow and is first on the list. They expect this one to break into the top 10.

      • Caryn Says:

        Apparently they have names now. This one is Nemo. I don’t know whether it’s the winter northeaster part that merits a name or the blizzard part.

      • katry Says:

        Caryn,
        I didn’t know that so I went hunting. The weather channel reports they started dubbing winter storms this season. A named storm is easier to follow, which the weather experts says helps people prepare.

        The last winter storm was named Magnus. The next winter storm will be named Orko, or the thunder god in Basque mythology. Who wouldn’t want to trudge through snow and curse the thunder god with our shovels?

      • Birgit Says:

        Thanks, Kat and Caryn.
        Nemo (Latin: nobody) is a funny name for a top 10 blizzard.

  4. olof1 Says:

    Like Birgit I was surprised to see how Your sleds look, ours were more like this: http://www.google.co.uk/imgres?imgurl=http://samlarportalen.se/bld/big/barrs%C3%A4tra_k%C3%A4lke7.jpg&imgrefurl=http://samlarportalen.se/sida.asp?id%3D161%26stitel%3DBarrs%25C3%25A4tra%2520Jernm&h=532&w=800&sz=44&tbnid=R5lAXiIOza7pZM:&tbnh=90&tbnw=135&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dk%25C3%25A4lke%26tbm%3Disch%26tbo%3Du&zoom=1&q=k%C3%A4lke&usg=__SMjtGhyctzzPog_lGRHD–C1bmQ=&docid=IoTYxnsqEyiTQM&hl=en&sa=X&ei=zT4VUcSGJofh4QTkwYHwDw&ved=0CEAQ9QEwAw&dur=3696

    I had one with plastic skis instead and it went downhill really fast 🙂

    It snowed all night but the flakes were so tiny that we only got around two more inches of it but we’ll get more already tomorrow.

    It always felt as if one never would be able to move at all when finished dressing for winter, all those layers of clothes did keep me warm though 🙂 🙂 It was rare that we got especially much snow down in Gotheburg though, icy winds and rain was more common and even if I don’t like all the snow we get here it’s still better than winters in my old home town 🙂

    Have a great day in the snow storm.
    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      I love the steering wheel. We had to steer using the front piece which, as I said, moved left or right.

      We never had sleds made of plastic when I was little. They came when I was older and no longer sledding.

      All the Boston TV stations have only storm news. Cars have been banned from major roadways after 4 pm and if a driver is caught, he will be fined and his car towed.

      So many layers of clothes in those days, but we were warm until we’d gotten soaked from being outside so long. We had some winters with really huge snow storms.
      I’ve already been watching, and when I went to the feeders, I noticed the wet flakes were beginning to freeze so it is getting colder so the flakes will start to be all snow and will stick.

  5. Bob Says:

    When I was five or six I had a sled with the wooden slats and red metal runners. I steered it with the front bar that gave it very little mobility. It resembled the sled, “Rosebud” from the movie Citizen Kane. When I was seven we moved down south to Texas from NY and the sled stayed behind.

    Kids never got cold or wet while playing in the white stuff. My mother would make me change my cloths as soon as I entered the house with the wet coat, pants and boots. She was afraid that I would catch a death of a cold. Now I know that cold or wet weather doesn’t cause colds. But a nice cup of hot coco topped with whipped cream warmed me up and make me feel better regardless.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      That’s exactly the same kind of sled I had. That front bar wasn’t all that great for steering. We could go only a little to the left or right.

      When I was older, I got a toboggan which was so much fun. It held three of us and once we went over a hill and we were airborne for a while.

      I loved the cocoa my mother made. We didn’t have whipped cream on ours but a dollop of Marshmallow Fluff.

      • Bob Says:

        Sometimes my mother put those little marshmallows in the hot chocolate. I am not that particular any sweet fattening stuff works. Everything I liked in life was either illeigal, immoral or fattening. At this stage of my life I can only do fattening 🙂

      • katry Says:

        Bob,
        I bought chocolate chip cookies ad a Mounds bar as storm food. Chocolate makes anything bearable!!

  6. flyboybob Says:

    Hm. a Mounds bar. I guess in a snow storm you don’t feel like a nut 🙂

  7. im6 Says:

    CNN has been reporting from Dennis Port. Checked the map and it seems like that’s only a VERY FEW miles from you. Hope you haven’t been making trips to release mice. Hope you have power! (It’s Saturday afternoon and you haven’t posted, so I’m thinking you might not have power). Mainly, I just wanted to remind you to BE CAREFUL walking. Stay warm!

    • katry Says:

      im6,
      Dennisport is the next village over from me.

      No mice recently. I may have decimated the population or they are getting way too smart!

      The power was off 2 1/2 days. My house was freezing at 39˚ this morning. I sat on the couch by the fireplace in multiple layers and under several comforters.

      I was most careful going out for the mail and papers-that’s where I last fell!

  8. Birgit Says:

    capecodonline February 08, 2013: “Power outages have begun to increase across the Cape. As of 7:50 p.m., there were a total of 28,971 NStar customers without power. […]”

    • Birgit Says:

      NStar? . Currently 71-80% NStar power outage in Dennis.
      http://outage.nstar.com/outage/outagemap.aspx

      • im6 Says:

        Detective Birgit: Good sleuthing! I suspect Kat couldn’t keep the coffee coming today!

      • Hedley Says:

        Huskies are on the sled and we are heading for Los Lobos


      • Los Lobos! Great concert – enjoy …

      • Birgit Says:

        Does it help if we all drink a hot(!) cup of coffee for Kat? And Caryn? And whoever is concerned? Along with the coffee 2 songs. I think I’ll take Joni Mitchell “Electricity”
        and Minuteflag “Power failure”. Other suggestions?

      • Hedley Says:

        Scott, totally agree….we went down to Monroe tonight, they played two sets and were great. As usual they hung around and signed autographs. looks like they will be touring again with Los Lonely Boys.
        Highlight tonight was the Not Fade Away/Bertha.

        Great band, and we try to go when they are in Michigan

      • katry Says:

        120,000 without power at the NStar height. It was 90% at the beginning. I am now warm and cozy!!

  9. Caryn Says:

    Birgit, I’ll have that cup of coffee with you. It’s cold out there in the blowing snow. Hope Kat is keeping warm somehow.

  10. olof1 Says:

    I do hope You have some kind of extra heater if You don’t have any power, houses chill out rather quickly on winter days.

    Christer.

  11. Hedley Says:

    If KTCC is silent tomorrow could I suggest that we all attempt our best Kat impersonations ? You know the sort of thing, I caught another mouse and it reminded me of the time we would roast a mouse or two in Ghana while I was listening to Judy Collins….
    We could have fake Kat from Sweden, fake Kat from Bochum, Beach Boy fake Kat, Tottenham loving fake Kat……

    • Birgit Says:

      Hedley, I’ll take the poor cute squirrels shivering in the cold snow 😉
      Kat, I hope you are back in time to prevent this squirrels report.
      I think I’ll listen to 2 sunny summer songs now to virtually send some warmth. Terry Reid “July” and ?.

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit
        Excellent, we will look forward to it. I am thinking about Kat crocheting a Tottenham jersey in the peace core listening to James Taylor on her Walkman and taking her pet croc to the dump every week….I know, it needs a little work.

      • Hedley Says:

        peace corps, god bless autocorrect or my crap spelling

  12. Birgit Says:

    A quick web search update:
    capecodonline.com : 81000 on Cape still without power, restoration could take days. Dennis outage currently 5790 (34.54%). Emergency shelters are at or near capacity. Fallen trees. Partially phone failure.
    Some unsignificant snow videos on YouTube. No reports on capecodonline about injured people, which is good news I hope.

  13. Sheila Says:

    Hello Coffee-ites, Sheila here, Kathleen’s warmer sister. Yes, your Coffee Queen has lost her power. She was snowed in and running out of wood, per her call to me this morning on her “red-zoned” cell phone. I called our nephews and told them her predicament. They came to the rescue with wood, shovels, dog food (for Gracie, not Kat), a laptop to plug her phone into, and, of course, coffee. She is still a bit cold, but Gracie, Fern, and Maddie have snuggled into the quilt with her and now only her nose is cold. I’ll let Kathleen give you all the details when she returns. Perhaps “Three Dog Night” should be one of her songs??

  14. Hedley Says:

    Keep the Coffee Coming – Detroit Michigan Version Monday February 11.

    Sorry for my absence for the last few days but Nemo wrought havoc upon my blog, mouse maintenance and Gracie’s trips to the dump. During the night I could hear the squeaking of a captured mouse returnee but it was too difficult to take my Honda/Toyota out on to the streets of Dennis and deposit the little critter in the appropriately distanced snowbank. If only Fern had done her job, I would not have to listen to squeaking all night and violate the roads curfew at 3.00 am..

    Golly gosh there was a lot of snow, I just don’t recall this much snow in Ghana. When I was in the Peace Corps we had wonderful starry nights and Ralph would play guitar as we roasted gazelle on an open fire. Today we have the same starry nights in Dennis but the snows came in sideways and the drifts are too large for even my friends to clear.

    I still get excited for snow but not the same way as when I was a child. Before the Deluge I made my way in my Honda/Toyota to Stop and Shop in Dennis and was surprised to have the opportunity to stock up on Findus Beef Lasagna, offered at a very attractive price. I remember my Mother horsing around with pre packaged food but that might have been Birds Eye as well as Findus. After a good bobsled run we would hear our Mother call “The Findus Beef Lasagna is jumping around on your plate”. That would be the time to take off our wet jackets, sit in front of the kitchen furnace and enjoy a big surprise from Findus

    With this non Ghanaian weather, i have been stretched out on the couch covered by an afghan and crocheting a winter jacket for Gracie. I am not coughing anymore perhaps because I am reading Benedict XVI’s superb new book “A School of Prayer, The Saints show us how to Pray”. The weather has not returned cable TV to Dennis so I have not had a chance to hear the news and the Dennis Daily News has not arrived.

    Through my window I can no longer see the swaying branches of oak and pine, I think that they are under a gigantic snow drift. It is a pretty day soon the Red Sox will be at a meaningless preseason. I will post music soon.

    • im6 Says:

      Meow!

      You failed to tell us how the Spawns of Satan have eaten all the bird seed, “Kat.”

      • Hedley Says:

        im6
        Thank you for your kind post, everything you say is always so right and thank you for introducing me to the music of Mike Love
        Detroitkat

    • Birgit Says:

      Meanwhile….. bird seed/spawns of satan…
      [by fake Kat from Bochum]:
      Guess what just happened, an old shivering squirrel -let’s call him Benedict- knocked at my door and said: “Dear Miss Kat, please give me a home, it’s cold outside and I’m old and lonely and I don’t want be a spawn of satan anymore. My former home in the vatican is far to big and I can’t stand my phoney human housemates there. I will behave and learn to meouw like a cat and I promise not to talk about outdated nonsense. Pleeeeease.” I was moved by this cute old rodent and replied “You can live in my beautiful garden, eat the bird seeds and once a day you are allowed to use the heated bird bath, but if you don’t behave, I’ll catch you with my peanut butter trap and Gracie and I will drive you to a place where you can meet other little rodents to complain about heartless me”.

      A KTCC style blizzard photo:
      http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Miniskirts_in_snow_storm.jpg

      • Hedley Says:

        Birgit,
        I do have an excess supply of Findus Beef Lasagne if you need to offer something to the Benedict Squirrel. Ms Gracie for some reason refuses to eat any pre packages food made in Sweden.

        When I reflect on my times in Ghana, I wonder if there are homing Benedict Squirrels that need to return to Germany, like the mice that keep returning.

        Oh and I agree with everything you said

        Detroitkat

    • olof1 Says:

      Wonderful 🙂 🙂 🙂

      • Hedley Says:

        Golly Gosh Christer, is Sweden really responsible for this wonderful Findus Beef Lasagne that is stocking my fridge ? The label said that after two servings I would perform well over the jumps

        I agree with everything you said

        DetroitKat

  15. carrol Says:

    isnt snow just beautiful

  16. katry Says:

    im6,
    That is wonderful!!


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