“Hobbies take place in the cellar and smell of airplane glue.”

The sun was shining and the sky was blue but I blinked. When I looked again, the sky had turned grey, a white ominous grey, and the sun had escaped to warmer climes. I hyperventilated when I read today’s weather report. The high will be 24˚ and the low tonight will be 1˚. No, I didn’t forget a number. 1˚ is the prediction. Snow squalls are also predicted. The walkway and the car were covered in about an inch of snow when I went to get the paper. Tonight we’ll have flurries and another inch of snow. Tomorrow will be basking weather. It will be 16˚ during the day and 10˚ at night with more flurries to add to the excitement. The ocean is the warmest place around here at 40˚.

I don’t remember if my mother made us stay inside on really cold days. I know we usually walked uptown to the movie theater on Saturdays, but maybe, with single digit temperatures, my dad offered to drive us. He was going up town anyway. He had Saturday rituals. I know we always walked to and from school no matter the temperature. We could have adopted the unofficial postal creed minus the gloom of night part.

When I couldn’t go out, I’d play in the cellar. It was a big cellar divided by the stairs with a landing at the bottom. I remember being a cowgirl. The newel post was my horse. The bannister held the reins. I’d saddle my horse by putting old blankets on the newel post top and then I’d chase the bad guys. They were always caught. Bad guys had no chance with me riding Old Blue.

The sun shined through the small cellar windows high up on the concrete of the wall. I remember the rays sparkled. I’d learn later it was really just dust in the air highlighted by the light from those small windows. Sometimes the cellar was the only peaceful part of the house.

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10 Comments on ““Hobbies take place in the cellar and smell of airplane glue.””

  1. Richard Says:

    Mais, me, I lubs me some ‘white ominous grey’ skies … our low tonite’s only gonna be in the low 20s – wanna swap? I’ll even take some of the snow squalls.

    Seems that my sciatica is once more responding to my application of Physical Therapy Majick … slowly, but responding. You can rest assured that I will never again be on my hands ’n knees cleaning a damned floor. This isn’t worth it. I’ll invest in one of those ‘Shark’ steam cleaners instead. Remember when we were kids and heard words like ‘sciatica’ and thought ‘Oooh! That’s stuff OLD people get!’ … ? Well, like Pink Floyd once said, “Welcome to The Machine.” (But Mommy, I don’t want the train to leave the station yet … !)

    We were never made to stay inside on cold days – or what passed for ‘cold’ in New Orleans in the ‘50s. We’d have the Very Occasional Snow Day, which usually meant we’d make ‘snowballs’ whilst wearing leather gloves, which, in turn, meant the gloves became fairly useless afterward – and during.

    There were no cellars in New Orleans houses. Not much point when the city’s 14 feet below sea level. That’s why coffins pop out of the ground and Uncle Louie comes up for a visit when there’s a flood or a hurricane.

    Houses in New Orleans (“N’Awlins”) were raised on piers, and had basements. It’s kinda like an above-ground cellar, but diff’rent. Served the same purpose without the ‘below-ground’ effects. We had parties in basements when I was in high school. There were several parties where many of us spent the night sleeping off our Imbibed Joy until the following morning ‘cuz we were in no condition to be on the road behind the wheel. We were always told to call our moms so as to forestall any unneeded worrying. “It’s okay, Ma, I’m only drinkin’ … ”

    The following morning we were given toast and coffee and sent on our way again, just a bit the worse for wear and gettin’ our ’swerve’ on as we hobbled down the driveway to the street.

    • katry Says:

      Richard,
      I don’t think you’d want 1˚. You can’t have the snow squalls. I like them. They are around when the sun is out sometimes, and they are neat to watch. I’ll be glad to trade temperatures.

      I have a friend with sciatica, and she is often in a lot of pain so I’m sending healthy wishes. It is a great idea to get a machine and save yourself.

      We’d be riding bikes if it were 50˚. That’s winter warm, small jacket warm. As I said I don’t remember ever having to stay inside, but I’m betting that if it were 4˚, we’d be in the house.

      I had only 1 party in my house. It was on a New Year’s Eve. I did my drinking elsewhere when I was in college or at the homes of friends. I never drank in high s school. No one I was friends with did. We just never gave it any thought.

  2. flyboybob Says:

    The Arctic Vortex outbreak has hit New England with a vengeance. There is nothing like sub zero temperatures on the fahrenheit scale to evoke thoughts of Florida or the Caribbean Islands beaches. When I was a teenager in NYC I don’t remember a winter where it ever got this cold or having this much snow. Regardless of the cold I walked to school everyday. The coldest temperature on record in the DFW area is about eight degrees. When it gets much below twenty degrees the water mains under the streets begin to burst causing major floods and sheets of ice.

    I’m sure the global warming deniers will be out in force next week shouting, “What global warming, it’s freezing cold in the northern states”. 🙂

    When I lived in NYC we had a finished basement where we had our den, an extra kitchen, a bathroom and my cousin and I had our bedroom. The basement could be rented out as a one bedroom apartment. Here in Texas basements, or cellars are very rare. The soil here is mostly clay and it expands and contracts so much that a basement would collapse under the stress. The houses are built on slabs of concrete or on piers and beams with a crawl space underneath the floors.

    Keep warm and stay inside.

    • katry Says:

      Bob,
      I even hated going to get my paper this morning.

      This weather is from Canada. The weather man warned us it was coming quickly, and he was right. The funny part is it will be in the mid 40’s by Tuesday.

      We haven’t had much snow, maybe a total of 10 inches the whole winter so far. I too always walked to and from school. I don’t think kids think about the cold at all. Sometimes my mother had to drag us inside before we froze to death.

      My cellar is above ground and has the plumbing for a bathroom, but I don’t need to make any rooms down there. I have plenty already.

      I’m taking your advice and staying inside!

      • Bob Says:

        Just subscribe to the digital edition. You can read it on your iPad and save some space in the landfill by eliminating the paper. Usually, the newspaper will offer you the digital version for the same price as the paper version.

        I guess on the Cape you can’t dig down to far before you hit water.

      • katry Says:

        When I had to read the digital edition because of nondelivery due to snow, I didn’t enjoy it.

        My papers get recycled. I’m very faithful doing that.

        Cape Cod is at sea level.

  3. olof1 Says:

    We got a snow storm instead of the predicted chance of sunshine 🙂 Somewhere between 4-6 inches came so I wonder how they could miss that 🙂 You’ll have it much colder than we’ll have it though.

    We could do as we pleased as long as we had enough clothes on to fightthe cold weather. I’m pretty sure we stayed indoors anyway, mostly at my best friends home playing games of some kind.
    I’m not sure why but building models were usually an autumn thing, so we could blow them up at New Years Eve with fire crackers 🙂 but I do remember the smell of that glue.

    I loved watching that dust flying around in the sunlight, sort of relaxing to be honest.

    Have a great day!

    Christer.

    • katry Says:

      Christer,
      My brother used to make models and I too remember the smell of that glue.

      That’s a lot of surprise snow. Sorry you didn’t get the sun, but it wasn’t here either.

      I didn’t go out all day except to get the newspaper. Gracie was in and out quickly. It was not a day to be outside.

      Have a wonderful Sunday!!

  4. Cuidado Says:

    I just found out through your blog that Dan Hicks has died. I am a huge Dan fan and very sad to hear of this.


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