Posted tagged ‘cozy and warm’

“Christmas time! That man must be a misanthrope indeed, in whose breast something like a jovial feeling is not roused – in whose mind some pleasant associations are not awakened – by the recurrence of Christmas.”

December 12, 2017

Today will be rainy and warm with a temperature in the 50’s, but tonight will be  different. Old Man Winter, who’s tired of waiting in the wings, is coming back to lay claim to December. It will be in the 30’s all week during the day and even colder at night. One night is predicted to be in the teens. On that night, I’ll be cozy and warm in the house with all the Christmas lights glowing and spreading their warmth. I’m thinking I’ll have egg nog in hand, in keeping with the season of course.

It has been really difficult of late to maintain a bit of optimism. I hold on to mine with every muscle in my body especially now, at Christmas time, when all of my memories  surface and help me believe in goodness, generosity and faith. Even though we live distances apart, my sisters and I celebrate together when we honor family traditions. We keep our mother and father close. How could I be anything but an optimist at this time of year?

My first Christmas in Ghana was my first Christmas away from my family, but my mother made sure I had a bit of home. She sent ornaments from our family tree. She also sent a small plastic tree to hang them on. I used the brick-like paper from the box to make a fireplace on the wall. From it I hung the small stocking she had sent. A few Christmas cookie cutters were also in that wonderful box. Though I had never made sugar cookies, I did that Christmas. They were delicious and shaped like a star, a tree and Santa. I found out much later that my mother and my aunt Mary had split the huge cost of sending that box airmail so I’d have it in time for Christmas.

I have many memories of that first Christmas in Ghana, but I think my favorite happened while I lying in bed waiting to fall asleep. It was cold, and I was bundled in a wool blanket I had bought and even still have. At that time of the year the harmattan is in full force. The days are hot, usually over 100˚ hot, but the nights and really early mornings are delights when the temperature drops sometimes even 30˚. On that night, I heard a boy’s voice singing. I think it came from a family compound just outside the school walls. The boy sang all the verses of We Three Kings in a sweet, clear voice. It was the only sound in the cold night air. It brought delight and joy to me, and I knew I’d be fine that first Christmas away. I always think of that boy as my Christmas miracle.

“Hearing nuns’ confessions is like being stoned to death with popcorn.”

February 28, 2014

The feeders needed filling so I braved the cold and filled the biggest one hoping that would hold the birds for a couple of days. It didn’t take long for the word to go out about the feeder. The birds were back almost before I got inside the house. It was mighty cold outside, only 19˚, so I was quick with the seed. Tonight it will be around 7˚, a temperature fit for neither man nor beast.  Yesterday we had another snow squall. Today we have sun and a blue sky, but the sun is useless. It is light, not heat.

My furnace is cranking endlessly trying to keep the cold at bay. I’m wearing two pairs of socks. Nothing is worse than cold feet. I have an errand or two I can do, but I just don’t want to go out and face the elements. The house is too comfy, and I’m cozy and warm.

I remember walking to school during the coldest of mornings. By the time I’d get there, my face would be bright red. Though the walk wasn’t really all that long, it seemed to go for miles and miles and take hours and hours in the cold or rain. Finally, when I was inside the heated classroom, my face would begin to warm and my cheeks would tingle. I had a classmate who lived two doors down from the school, and I envied her this time of year. She’d hear the bell and run from her house to get in line.

If we went outside for recess, the wind would whip across the school yard. We’d freeze and pray to hear the bell calling us back inside. On the coldest days the nuns had us eat inside at our desks. On those inside days, I remember the nun would put some sort of a cardboard shield around her desk so we couldn’t see her eat. It didn’t seem strange at all. Nuns weren’t like real people.

“Winter giveth the fields, and the trees so old, Their beards of icicles and snow…”

February 6, 2014

The snow came early yesterday morning starting around four. It covered the trees and the roads and was pretty for a while then the rain came, and the snow wasn’t pretty anymore. Under the trees the snow was pock-marked. On the streets and the walkways snow became slush. My plow guy came, shoveled the snow and pushed the slush to the side then spread Safe for Paws De-icer on the tops of the steps to keep them from freezing overnight. During the snowstorm I went out and filled the feeders. They were popular all afternoon.

The snow is crusty from freezing overnight. My paper had skidded down the driveway so I had to walk through the snow to get it. The top of the snow was slippery. As I stepped, cracks fanned out from my footprints. I was cautious. On my way back up the driveway, with papers in hand, I stepped in my footprints.

The sun is now trying to break through the clouds, but it won’t be a warm sun. It will be a bit of light on an otherwise grey day.

This will be the third day in a row I haven’t left the yard or done much with any purpose. I put away my laundry and did some frantic furniture polishing, but mostly I’ve been idle. I read and even took an afternoon nap. Falling asleep warm and cozy under the down comforter seemed an act of defiance against winter.

I generally accept the weather. It isn’t as if I have any control over what happens. Getting grumpy and cursing it only frustrates me. It’s winter. Snow is inevitable. It will be cold. That’s what winter is: snowy and cold. Every now and then we do get an unexpectedly warm day. I always think of it as Mother Nature fiddling with our heads. She’s probably sitting somewhere laughing and planning the next big snowstorm. That woman has no heart.

“In the morning I woke like a sloth in the fog.”

December 9, 2013

I am going back to bed for a bit hoping to shake this malaise. My heat is cranking, but I am still cold, never a good sign. We went out for breakfast today, but we should have stayed home in bed warm and cozy under the comforter. It is raining: a cold, heavy rain. This morning the ground had an inch or two of slush. I didn’t leave footprints on the lawn when I got the papers but I left a trail which filled with water as soon as I took another step. The day has little to commend it. The best I can say is it isn’t snow. 

On my way to breakfast I noticed cars on the side streets still running and filled with parents and kids. They were waiting for the school bus. Not a single little kid waited in the rain. I would have had no choice but to walk to school. Most of us always did. On days like today we’d hurry to school not drawn by the idea of learning but by the warmth of the schoolroom and the hopes of getting dry. We’d hang up our coats then walk into class with red cheeks and runny noses from the cold. I don’t remember math or any other subjects on those sorts of days. I just remember the lights being on and the rain hitting the windows. 

My house is dark except for the laptop’s monitor. I can hear the rain. It is heavier than it has been all morning. The temperature is too warm for snow so it will stay rainy all day into tomorrow. I’m content to be inside. I have cards to write, laundry to do and books to read.

I am tending toward a sloth day being, as I am, out of sorts so I’m going to finish now so I can change into my cozy flannels, my slippers and my sweatshirt, the accepted uniform for a winter sloth.