Posted tagged ‘ice’

“June suns, you cannot store them To warm the winter’s cold..”

November 23, 2013

The weatherman says to expect a cold front starting tomorrow. I just bought a new hat, a wool knitted hat with ear flaps, so bring on the cold. I think I’m going to look quite fashionable.

This morning I watched leaves fall one at a time from the big oak tree by the deck. They fluttered as they fell. I watched the birds at the feeders, mostly drab gold finches, eating thistle and sunflowers seeds. When Gracie comes in from outside, her ears are cold. The other morning a thin layer of ice-covered the water in the bird bath. I don’t hear people outside any more. Winter is coming.

Winter brings back memories. I remember the hissing of the radiators in the house where I grew up and how the windows in the morning sometimes had a thin layer of ice on the inside. I’d use my nail to write my name. We always wore warm pajamas and sock slippers. For breakfast my mother made oatmeal and added milk and sugar. The walk to school was quickest in winter. The worst part of the walk was passing the field where the wind whipped across and seemed to go through every layer of my clothes to touch my bones. Getting to school was always welcomed. It was warm.

In winter there was never enough space in the cloak room outside my classroom. Winter coats were bulky and the hooks were small. I’d stuff my mittens and my hat in my sleeves then try to get my coat to hang. Sometimes it stayed on the hook while other times it was held up by the coats around it all jammed together. On the coldest days I’d leave my sweater on. The nuns didn’t care. They sometimes wore black ones with buttons.

Getting coats to go home was always done in rows. The nun would announce our row, and we’d get our coats and bring them into class and get dressed there while the other rows went and got theirs. Sometimes the nuns had to zipper coats. They never seemed to mind. I conquered zippers early though sometimes it took two tries. The hat came next and the mittens last. We’d stand in a line in the classroom until the bell was rung to dismiss us then we’d walk to the door and into the cold.

“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”

March 24, 2013

What a bright, sunny day it is with the bluest of skies. Though still a bit chilly, only in the high 30’s, the sun makes it feel much warmer. The breeze is slight and only gently rocks the branches. The snow is just about gone. Today must be an apology of sorts from Mother Nature for the grayness of the past week.

This morning I watched a spawn of Satan be thwarted by my bird feeders. It tried all three sunflower feeders but got nothing except frustration. Its paw jabbed and jabbed inside the wires and still came back empty. Take that, you spawn of Satan!

I have high hopes. My back is getting better, my outlook on life is rosier, Easter is next week and baseball starts April 1st. Life is good.

When I was a little kid, small things gave me joy. Blowing puffy dandelions into the wind, catching fireflies, picking and eating blueberries or watching pollywogs at the swamp were the best ways to spend part of a summer day. Getting dirty while doing it was a bonus. I’d lie on my stomach and look into the water at the edge of the swamp because that’s where the pollywogs first appeared. We’d go and see them every couple of days and watch them grow. They were the tiniest black specks at first darting so quickly I could almost miss them but then came the arms and legs, and they were easy to see. When they were full-grown, they just disappeared, moved on to somewhere else in the swamp, probably in the back among the trees and bushes where we seldom went.

That swamp was my favorite of all places when I was young. It had a wide open area in the front where we watched the pollywogs in spring and where we’d ice skate in the winter. Small channels on both sides led away from the wide front. In the summer these channels were bordered by overgrown bushes and trees growing on what we thought of as islands. Exploring into the swamp meant jumping from island to island, getting scratched by the briers and getting wet feet if you weren’t careful, but at least once every summer we’d explore as far as we could. In the winter it was easy. The channels froze and the trees and bushes were bare. We walk and follow the channels as far as they went holding on to limps to keep from slipping and falling. We’d get on our hands and knees to look into the ice. It was like looking at a tiny world. The ice was so clear we could see all the dead leaves, the vines and the limbs of trees which had dipped into the water and been frozen. I can still see it all in my mind’s eye. I thought it was beautiful.

“Snow flurries began to fall and they swirled around people’s legs like house cats. It was magical, this snow globe world.”

February 7, 2013

The morning had a bit of promise when I woke up around 9. The sun was shining, and it was cold but bearable. I put the coffee on and went out to get yesterday’s mail and the newspapers. I noticed much of the ice had melted yesterday, but, true to form, I still managed to find one icy patch and down I went. The mail scattered, and I whacked my elbow enough to make me yell; of course, no one saw or heard me. I stayed there a minute or two then slid over to the street where there was no ice so I could get up without falling again. I managed to get up, grabbed my mail and papers and went inside. My elbow was killing me so I sat on the stairs, held onto it and moaned a bit. Gracie came over and put her head in my lap. That’s just what I needed, a bit of sympathy. The elbow has a huge lump, and I’m sure it will be black and blue, but no bones were broken so it was a good fall. I’d give it an 8.

Snow is coming in what the paper has called historical proportions. Blizzard warnings are in effect in most of the state except here where we have a winter storm warning. It’s a nor’easter which could bring up to two feet or even more, up to 30 inches, of snow. The exact amount is still fluid as the weather pattern could change. Down here on the cape, we’ll have, for a time, a mixture of rain and snow so they’re only predicting about 9 inches for us. The snow will become heavy tomorrow afternoon and evening with 2 or 3 inches an hour falling. I have all my groceries, but I don’t have sustaining weather food: some chocolate or some ice cream (ironic food for a snow storm) or even cookies. Gracie and I are going to the dump later so we’ll stop and pick up a few things.

No mice in the last three days so I’ll have to check the trap to see if I set it right. If the peanut butter is gone, it means the mouse dined without being caught. The trap has to be set exactly right to work, and it takes me a while to do that. I find it frustrating though I can’t argue with the results.

The sun is back as is the blue sky. Mother Nature is giving us a bit of treat before the wallop. She does have an ironic sense of humor!

“I am an omnivorous reader with a strangely retentive memory for trifles.”

February 5, 2013

Snow is lightly falling and has been all morning, but I doubt it will amount to much. When I went to get the papers, I almost fell as I didn’t see the ice hidden under the new snow. The ice is from the snow of a couple of nights ago which melted during the day yesterday but froze when the temperature dropped in the darkness of the late afternoon. How I didn’t fall is a mystery. I am a faller, a tripper, a down on my butt person so saving myself  is new to me, a miracle of sorts.

I’m feeling so much better that it was a busy day for me yesterday. I filled the feeders, watered plants, put laundry away, swept the kitchen floor, took down the wreaths and took off all their ornaments to save for next year and even made my bed.

We had a mouse yesterday, the first in a few days. When I went to bed, it was in the trap so Gracie and I did a midnight run. It was cold, really cold, but I decided not to leave the mouse in the trap all night. I know the mouse has to be let free over a mile away so its loses its homing instinct so Gracie and I drove to our usual spot. When I opened the trap, that mouse took off like a shot. Some mice have to be shaken a few times before I can get them out of the trap, but not this one. It was out and running. I left it at a spot where a few of the other mice have been freed. I have this vision, like Mole’s little home in The Wind in the Willows, where the other mice invite the new one into their homes where the fire is warming, the chair comfy and the bread and cheese is on the table. I know. I know. My imagination has gone amok!

I always wonder how I know some things. I probably read or heard them and my mind just put them away in my memory drawers for later use. At trivia one night the question was which cartoon character was introduced in the comic strip Thimble Theater in 1929. I said Popeye. Not one person on my team accepted my answer. They discussed it among themselves without any consideration that I might be right though I did offer Popeye one more time, but it was as if I had said nothing. They agreed on some other answer and turned it in. The correct answer was Popeye. They blamed me for the wrong answer saying I should have been more insistent.

In the crossword puzzle today the clue was ______Novo. I , of course, filled in Porto. That was easy. It is a city in Benin which used to be Dahomey when I lived in Africa. That’s one of the weird facts for which I know the origin. Thimble Theater still escapes me.

“Ladies and gentlemen, take my advice; Pull down your pants, and slide on the ice.”

January 28, 2012

Today is warm and sunny with a sharp blue winter sky. I woke up earlier than usual but lolled a bit until Gracie rang her bells to go outside then I came downstairs, let her out and started the coffee. When I came back inside from getting the papers and something from the car, the house had the wonderful smell of fresh coffee. I could barely wait for that first cup.

Today is chore day. I have a list; I always have a list. Yesterday I did nothing so today I expect to be industrious, but I never begrudge a day like today. I figure once it’s over I get to loll again. That’s my reward.

The winter is speeding by and hasn’t really made its impact yet. We’ve only had a few really cold days and very little snow. It is 43° right now, and the day is still, not even a brown leaf flutters from the end of a branch. This would be the January thaw most years but not this one. It’s become the typical day. Now we complain when it’s in the 30’s. We used to reserve our complaints for days in the teens or ones in single digits. I fear we New Englanders are getting spoiled and may no longer be considered hardy.

My mother and father lived in the city when they were young so we never heard stories from them about walking in several feet of snow to get to school. I don’t remember several feet either though I do remember walking on the street to get to school as the sidewalks weren’t plowed. In those days the plows usually left a thick layer of snow on the streets which sometimes turned icy in spots. Those icy sections glinted in the sun and invited us to run and slide, each trying to out-do the other in distance. Falling was not uncommon and always made us laugh. We’d almost forget we were on our way to school.

“The snow itself is lonely or, if you prefer, self-sufficient. There is no other time when the whole world seems composed of one thing and one thing only.”

December 29, 2011

Winter is here today. It’s mighty cold; it’s bundle up to keep warm weather. From my perch inside here at the computer, I can look out the window and see the sunshine, but I know it’s not the sort with any warmth. It brings only light. I can also see the bird feeders. The birds seem to be taking turns. Yesterday it was the goldfinches. Today nuthatches are at one feeder and chickadees at another. Three flickers dropped by the other day and ate the suet which I’ve since replaced, but they haven’t been back yet. The bird bath is frozen. I’m going to have to look again in the cellar to find the heater for it. Every spring I put the heater away, and the next winter I forget where I put it so I buy another one then I find the old one. This year, again, I found none of them. I am really good at putting things away.

I don’t ever remember feeling cold when I was a kid no matter how long I was outside. I wore ski pants, a sweater topped by a jacket, mittens and a hat. If there was snow, I wore heavy socks and shoes stuffed into my boots. One year we had so much snow the plow left six-foot high piles along the sides of the street. That was the year of our snow cave. We used shovels to dig out rooms and water to make the sides of the cave icy and strong. We went from room to room on our knees as the cave was wide, not tall. We even ate our lunches inside the cave. It kept our interest for days. When the weather got warm enough to melt the snow, our ice cave lasted the longest of any of the snow piles along the road. The top melted first so we could see all the rooms then the walls got smaller and smaller and soon enough nothing was left. I think that one was the best snow cave we ever made.

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