“He that passeth a winter’s day, escapeth an enemy.”

Winter is here. Yesterday was freezing. Last night the wind never stopped. It surrounded me and was all I could hear as I was falling asleep. I wasn’t cold but I still snuggled under the covers as if I needed to keep the wind at bay. Gracie circled several times then plopped herself beside me. Fern followed suit but without the circling and on my other side. Gracie was the quickest to fall asleep. I heard her snoring.

Walking to school in the winter was chilliest at the beginning. Walking home was chilliest at the end. Every winter’s day I was bundled in a vast array of garments. Starting from inside out, I wore pink long underwear which came to my knees and a tee shirt under my blouse. My mother demanded we add a sweater, usually blue to match our uniforms, because our old classrooms had such high ceilings they were difficult to keep toasty. She figured we needed that bit of extra warmth. Knee socks came up high enough that only a small spot on each leg got cold. My jacket was thick and had a zipper. My mittens and hat were wool.

I remember at the end of the day being called row by row to the cloakroom so we could get our coats and stuff. We were always in rows: we sat in rows and we walked in rows usually 2 by 2 to go in or out of the school and to go to the bathrooms in the basement. If we needed to go during the day, we always asked for permission to go to the basement. Nobody ever called them the lavs or the bathrooms. That was one of the peculiarities of my old school. The cloak rooms were another.

Going home in the afternoon, I was never dressed as warmly as I had been in the morning. All my mother’s efforts to keep me warm were mostly undone. Sometimes I couldn’t get the zipper parts to join together so I left my jacket opened. I didn’t really like hats so mine was stashed in one of my pockets. My mother was never pleased.

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6 Comments on ““He that passeth a winter’s day, escapeth an enemy.””

  1. Hedley Says:

    From Dondero High School in Royal Oak, Glenn Fry, sometime trumpet player and featured guitar on Seger’s Ramblin Gamblin Man, headed west, hung out with JD Souther and Jackson Browne and then went Eagley. Gone at 67, David gone at 69, generally I am not liking these numbers.

    At least Rochester’s Madonna gave me a good laugh yesterday when it was reported that she showed up at a concert in Louisville, 3 hours late, drunk and talking hillbilly. I am the proud own of zero Madonna music and it will stay that way.

    The air is horrible, the dog and I snuffled around in the back garden in the chilling winds with me imploring her to take some action. Snow squalls turned Telegraph in to an ice rink and I wondered if Frey was right

    So a fond farewell to Royal Oak’s finest, everybody now “Well “I’m a running down the road….”

    • katry Says:

      My Dear Hedley,
      Thank you for posting the video.

      I too am not liking their ages. They are far too close to mine. I’m hoping my quieter life might stretch out the years.

      It is so cold that Gracie doesn’t stay out long. It’s out, squat then run in as quickly as possible. Yesterday I had errands; today I get to stay home.

      That’s funny, the talking like a hillbilly part. I too do not have any Madonna music. I am proud!

  2. olof1 Says:

    Welcome to winter You too 🙂
    At least lots of ticks will die when it gets cold 🙂 My old home town got snowed in today and since it is a city by the ocean no onwe was prepared for this and everything stood still for a long time 🙂

    I lived too close to school to get cold, 50 yards or so but I too had several layers just in case.

    We have always said what we wanted, so we just say we need to go to the toilet and Swedes aren’t shy when it comes to telling everyone what we are going to do either 🙂 We always think it sounds fun when looking on American films and they say they’re going to the ladies room or bathroom when we all know where they are going and why 🙂

    Nova must have had a very fun dream today, she started wagging her tail frenetically for a very long time, I really needed to get up but she had her head on my leg so I waited until she woke up 🙂

    Have a great day!


    • katry Says:

      Hi Christer,
      It was really cold again today. With the wind, it is too cold to be outside. The weatherman is predicting a nor’easter on Saturday. We could get walloped with snow.

      I have to laugh when some Southern cities get snow. The whole city shuts down. They don’t have near enough plows.

      In Ghana, my students would ask for permission to go urinate. I ask Gracie if she has to go pee.

      We never call the bathroom the toilet. It is always bathroom maybe because there is a sink and a tub with the toilet.

      Gracie runs in her sleep and sometimes woofs.

      Have a great evening. Stay cozy!!

  3. Caryn Says:

    Hi Kat,
    After yesterday’s snow, the cold and the wind is an additional assault. My dogs don’t want to be outside long enough to do everything they should do and I can’t really blame them. But they’ll just have to go out again in an hour or so to finish up.
    Piki Dog is particularly annoying as he has to have very specific conditions before he will do his business. The current conditions are nowhere near his specifications.

    I didn’t have long underwear. My mother usually made me wear slacks under my skirt on very cold winter days. A sweater, yes. I don’t remember knee socks. Boots and regular socks, jacket, hat, mittens.
    Sometimes the weather fooled me. The day would start as a normal, sunny winter day but a stinging sleet storm would come up while I was at school. The walk home was nasty and my legs would be bright red and numb from cold by the time I got there.

    It’s wicked cold up here. I haven’t gone out except quickly with the dogs. The rest of the time I’ve been cuddled up with the two of them on the couch. Lots of knitting and reading has transpired.

    Enjoy the day.

    • katry Says:

      Hi Caryn,
      I open the back door and ask Gracie if she has to go out or if she has to pee. Off she goes to the backyard, does what she needs to then runs back inside.

      My sister called and said she had gone grocery shopping and froze going to and from the car. I got the papers this morning, and that was it for outside.

      The pink underwear only went to the top of my knees. I think it didn’t quite make the “long” tag.

      I totally remember the bright red legs and cheeks. That’s when it took the longest to get warm. I’d put on warm clothes and jump under the covers hoping to stop shivering.

      Stay cozy!!

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