Posted tagged ‘de-icer’

“As long as we know in our hearts what Christmas ought to be, Christmas is.”

December 17, 2017

It was freezing cold last night, down to 19˚, and it is freezing cold right now. Today’s high will be 24˚ though I think calling it high is a misnomer. I’m glad for the de-icer on the front steps as the two steps are dry and safe for both paws and feet. The day is pretty with a blue sky and sun but both are best seen through the window. I am staying warm and cozy right here.

I don’t have a list for today. My laundry got done yesterday, a miracle for me as it usually sits a while, the house is decorated, presents wrapped and the cards written. Maybe I’ll decide what to make for Christmas or maybe I’ll just sit in the living room with the tree lit and read a bit.

When I was a kid, each day closer to Christmas made me even more excited. I remember watching Santa Claus on TV every afternoon, and he’d do a countdown to Christmas Eve, his busiest day of the year. He’d read letters from kids, tell stories and show off new toys. I don’t even remember if I thought he was the real deal or not. I was never skeptical about Christmas. I believed everything.

I do love Christmas. My house is awash with decorations. The living room tree is as tall as it can be and still accommodate the star at the very top. Other trees, mostly wooden, are strewn around the house. The scrub pine in the dining room is lit every evening. The small wooden tree on the side table has white lights wrapped around it as does the driftwood tree in the bathroom. They all look so very lovely when lit. They make my house feel warm even on the coldest nights.

I seem to have run out of films of A Christmas Carol to watch. My number sits at six. Today I’ll watch another favorite of mine, The Bishop’s Wife. I know I’ve seen all these movies many times, but I still look forward to seeing them again. The Christmas season does that to me: it keeps the wonder alive.

“What shall you do all your vacation?’, asked Amy. “I shall lie abed and do nothing”, replied Meg.”

February 16, 2015

Just looking out my front door to watch the progress of the plowing and shoveling gave me snow blindness when I turned back into the house. It is as bright a day as we’ve had in weeks. It is also freezing. The wind is so strong it is blowing the snow with the same ferocity and lack of visibility as in a sand storm, just not with the grit. Though my plow guys keep turning their backs to the snow cloud, their beards were frosted and icy with snow. My walkway is shoveled, the car is free and Gracie’s steps and stairs have also been shoveled. I threw de-icer on all the front and back steps, and it is already working. This morning’s paper is now in my hands. I just brewed a fresh pot of coffee. It is already a good day.

This is school vacation week around here. I never understood why we needed one in February having just had a long Christmas vacation, but I didn’t argue. When I was a kid, we never went anywhere or did anything special as my Dad was working. When I was older, my friends and I would get together. I remember a toboggan party at the Winchester Country Club. My friends Bobby and Jimmy and I fit perfectly on Bobby’s toboggan. We were daredevils who went down the steepest hills. I remember one hill with a slope in the middle. The toboggan flew over the slope and the three of us were airborne. When the toboggan landed, Jimmy ended up half hanging off the back of the sled. He stayed that way until we finally stopped. He wasn’t hurt just snow-covered. We looked at each other without saying a word and as if on cue, we started trudging up that hill to do it again. This time we all stayed on.

When I was teaching, I used to go traveling for the week, mostly to Europe. The weather wasn’t all that bad, it was off-season and cheaper and there were fewer tourists. I’d pick one place for the week. One year it was Rome. Another year it was Vienna. I can’t remember how many times it was London.

Today I have laundry to do. I’m tired of looking at it in the hall. Looks like a big day ahead of me.

“I made a sandwich out of things. I’m an American. We can eat anything as long as it’s between two pieces of bread.”

January 24, 2015

The road was covered in slush when I went to get the paper. I left deep footprints and could see the track of the car which had been driven down the street some time this morning. Gracie was hesitant to go down the back steps. They were covered in slush like the road. It was raining, but there had been a sprinkling of snow first. After Gracie came in, I threw de-icer on the steps. I don’t want the steps freezing. Off-Cape is getting the snow.

Today lends itself to laziness. It is an I won’t get dressed day or do any chores day. I will most decidedly take a nap later. That is not in question. I may have a pizza delivered. I don’t know. That sounds too much like a plan, and today is not a day to plan. It is a whatever happens day. Fern and Gracie are asleep on the couch beside me. They are my role models.

I cut out recipes and have a gigantic folder filled with them. Periodically I go through the gigantic folder and put the recipes I’d most like to make in a smaller folder. I have yet to make any. Most times I fall back on the familiar: my curry recipe, my brother-in-law’s chili and my uncle’s sausage cacciatore. This week I am going to make Peg’s corn chowder. She brought it down when she and Bill last visited, and I loved it. It is a perfect winter recipe, one to warm the innards.

When I was young, my mother sometimes gave us Campbell’s tomato soup and her grilled cheese sandwiches especially on cold days. I still love grilled cheese sandwiches, especially gooey ones, but mine have become a bit more sophisticated than using yellow cheese unwrapped on Wonder bread. My aunt was the first to give me one with tomato, and I still like tomato as a basic addition to the sandwich. I also like bacon, jalapeño or avocado with pepper jack. I think grilled cheese is the best sandwich to personalize. A BLT is just that. Bologna is about as unsophisticated as a cold cut can get.

A couple of Christmases ago I got a panini maker from my sister. It elevates sandwiches from a simple lunch to something far greater, far tastier. Avocado is the best addition of late to grilled cheeses and regular sandwiches. I now have an addiction to them. When I was a kid, I would have thought avocados too squishy and far too green. The rule of thumb back then was to avoid anything green. The only exceptions were green beans and unripe bananas as they had a yellow future.

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

January 5, 2014

I have rejoined the world. My car is on the street should I choose to travel anywhere. The steps are shoveled as is the walkway. A path leads to the bird feeders so I can keep them filled with seed. Gracie hadn’t ventured further than the bottom of the steps where I had my little adventure the other day, but today she is roaming under the deck for a bit more privacy. Gracie is the mistress of all she surveys as she sits on the deck to keep an eye on the neighborhood. She has been outside most of the morning.

It is warmer than it has been. Icicles are hanging from my roof and getting longer from the drips. One is nearly to the ground. I put paw friendly de-icer on the front steps as they were slippery when I went to get the papers. With my history, a fall would have been inevitable, but I have saved myself from injury and indignity.

Fold laundry and vacuum pine needles are the only jobs on my to-do list. The day is a gray one and not at all inviting. Because I have no need to be out, I’ll shower and put on cozy clothes again.

If I were a kid again, I’d be out sledding. Around here the golf course is the big sledding spot, but where I grew up had plenty of choices. I did go to the Winchester Golf Club once when I was in high school. I was with my friends Bobby and Jimmy. We had a toboggan with wings. On the way down, we flew off the hills a couple of times and landed hard but never fell off. Jimmy, sitting on the end, almost did but I, in the middle, grabbed him. It was a spectacular run and we lugged the toboggan up the hill to take more flights. We were the only ones who dared to ride that hill.

We had wooden sleds with metal runners. A rope was tied to the steering bar in the front so we could pull the sled up the hill. I remember that rope froze after only a couple of runs. We always rode down the hill on our stomachs. We’d hold the sled, run as fast as we could then jump on once we were at the start of the hill. We’d put our feet in the air so they wouldn’t stop us until we needed them as brakes. The steering was always iffy at best. It was a quick ride then a longer walk back up the hill. We’d sled all afternoon until we couldn’t feel our feet or hands. When it was time to go in, I’d jam my sled in the snow in the backyard, walk down the stairs to the cellar and take off all the wet clothes. Every so often my mother would make us cocoa, “…to warm the innards,” as she sometimes said, but more often I’d get into bed to read and get warm under the covers.

Getting a new sled for Christmas was always one of the great gifts.

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