Posted tagged ‘no school’

“The earth tucked herself in for the year with winter’s cold, white scarf of snow.”

March 10, 2017

When I woke up this morning, I ran to the window. It was snowing though the ground didn’t look as if the snow had started in the wee hours when they predicted it would. The brick walk in front of my house and the street were still uncovered. They were wet. The deck stairs had a bit of snow, but it was easy going for Gracie and me. She ran into the yard. I swear she was smiling. She loves the yard. I checked the news: no school. It was a decision based on what might be not what was. They were right. In the nearly three hours I have been awake, the snow on the tree branches has more than doubled in height and the street is starting to disappear. I keep looking. I am drawn to the window by the quietly falling flakes and the beauty of the snow.

In the two years I was in Ghana, I never missed snow though on the hottest of days I did miss winter. I missed seeing my breath and bundling in clothes to ward off the cold. I missed the comfort of a warm house on a snowy day. Only during the night and the early mornings at the beginning of the harmattan, in December, did I ever feel cold. It was wonderful to have my windows open to the cold and to snuggle under a wool blanket to stay warm. It was in the 70’s on those nights. I still have my wool blanket.

Gracie probably has arthritis in her left back leg. She is now on three new medicines. The pain med will last two weeks while the other two are for every day and should improve her overall leg joint movement.

When I was a kid, Duke, our dog, never had regular vet visits. He did get a rabies shot as it was required but the town used to give them, not the vet’s. The only other time I remember him going to the vets was when he was old and was mauled by a dog down the street. His neck was torn open. My dad said Duke would be fine taking care of it himself. My mother said nothing. My dad, who was working in Maine until we could move, only came home for weekends. While he was gone, my mother sneaked the dog to the vets who took care of the neck and gave him antibiotics. By the time my dad got home, Duke’s neck was looking better and was healing. My dad told my mother,”I told you so.”My mother, the wisest woman I knew, said nothing.

“Getting an inch of snow is like winning 10 cents in the lottery.”

March 9, 2017

Gracie went to the vets this morning. It was a combination well dog, clip her nails and check her her back legs visit. I explained all the leg issues and how her paws slide on the floor and steps. The vet checked and thinks it might be arthritis. She prescribed some pills mostly for ease of joint movement. I should keep an eye on Miss Gracie, and if there is no change in three weeks, I’m to bring her back. Other than that, the vet thought Gracie looked wonderful for her age.

Yesterday afternoon was beautiful. The sun came out, and it was warm, almost hot. I bought lunch and ate it sitting outside. We did some errands and both of us, the dog and I, were glad to be out. Today it is 56˚. The sun is bright. A strong wind is blowing. You’d think spring but you’d be wrong. We are under a storm watch. The snow should start after midnight and continue during the day. They are predicting 4-8 inches. It could get as cold as 16˚. I’m going to pick up some storm goodies. The joke is people always buy bread and milk before a storm or a hurricane. I, however, will buy a chicken already cooked, some sweet potatoes, also cooked, some cole slaw, biscotti for breakfast and a couple of cupcakes. I’m thinking chocolate with white frosting.

When I was a kid and snow was expected, I’d periodically look out the picture window hoping to see furiously falling snow. The light below the streetlight right near my house was my weather watch spot. The light was bright so I could see the snow falling and blowing sideways in the wind. Once the snow started, I’d keep an eye on the street and front lawn hoping both would disappear under snow. No school was always the reason for the vigil. The worst disappointment was to go to bed during a heavy snowstorm and wake up to find there just wasn’t enough snow. It was time to get dressed for school.

“When there’s snow on the ground, I like to pretend I’m walking on clouds.”

January 26, 2016

The weather is warm: everything is melting. At first I thought it was raining so I went to the back door to check. No rain, just the constant dripping of melting snow. No sun, only clouds. Yesterday the branches were covered. Today they are empty of snow.

I keep losing track of the day. Last week was so slow that on Tuesday I thought it was Thursday. This week is going a bit faster, but I have no idea why. Some weeks feel endless while other weeks are gone before I even realize it. My routine is pretty much the same every day so I think this spell I’m in must be boredom, ennui. I don’t seem to have much ambition though I did force myself to do the laundry. I guess I got tired of seeing the laundry bag in the hall, leaning against the cellar door. I think it had been there close to two weeks. Yesterday I also did a bit of dusting with my sweatshirt sleeve. Finally I watched a couple of programs on my DVR. One was the Doctor Who Christmas.

This snow storm was a cheat. It spoiled the weekend and clean up on Sunday meant school on Monday. When I was a kid, snow days were holidays. They were never added to the end of the year. I have no idea how many days we had to go to school back then, but because I was in a parochial school, I had more days off than the public school kids. We were off on Holy Days of Obligation, parish saint days and nuns’ visiting days. I have no idea why or where the nuns went visiting. I just hoped they had a good time.

“This is a day youngsters can find the liberation they are seeking, by turning inwards, through prayer, and recognizing the temptations of greed, jealousy, lust etc.”

April 3, 2015

Last night the wind was ferocious. I went to bed early to read, but the sound of the wind grabbed my attention so many times I stopped to listen. It was easy to imagine myself in a house on a cliff overlooking the ocean while the wind whistled and howled around me. The house would be a huge old Victorian filled with dusty rooms and mystery. The French doors in my bedroom, with the prerequisite long white, billowing curtains, would face the ocean. When the doors blew open, as they usually do in mysterious houses, I’d stand on the small balcony looking out at the water while the curtains blew around me. I’d see the huge white caps pummeling the rocky shore. That was about as far as my imagination took me before I turned off the light and went to sleep. Later I was awakened by the sound of the rain.

The day is a dismal one, cloudy and damp, but it is warm, in the mid 40’s. Much of the snow disappeared with the rain except in my neighbor’s front yard. Underneath their trees a tract of snow remains. The huge plowed piles on the corner are just about gone, but my neighbor’s snow, still white, resists the warmth and the rain. I guess it is winter’s last gasp.

The morning birds are the first sounds of spring. The leaf blowers are the second. My neighbor’s deck is now being cleared of winter debris. It won’t take long. My deck, on the other hand, has leaves and branches fallen and blown from the pine trees which overhang it. Cleaning all that debris will take much longer. My backyard has some huge branches which broke off during the winter. In the no man’s land between my house and the next, a pine tree trunk has split in half. One half, leaning on the branches of other trees, will be sawed into pieces and hauled away. The other half will be left in the ground.

Good Friday has always been a no school day, but starting around the sixth grade, I had to sign up for an hour vigil at the church. I used to sneak in a book and would read the hour away. It always went fast.

“Winter is not a season, it’s an occupation.”

March 6, 2015

When I opened the front door, my eyes were blinded by the sunlight glinting like strewn diamonds on the foot of snow in my yard. The world is bright and sunny and oh so white. The Cape got hammered yesterday, more than anywhere else in the state. The only no school announcements were for Cape schools. This morning they have a two-hour delay. I am, for the meantime, stuck in my house until Skip comes. The paper is somewhere in the snow. I think I saw its drop point. Yesterday’s mail is still in the box across the street. Gracie jumped over the two steps outside the backdoor as she can’t see them but did go down the flight of stairs to the yard. She won’t use her dog door. The snow is too high on the top step. She scratched the door to come inside the house. I think it is the first time she’s ever done that.

I heard a noise out front and went to check. It was Skip. I have been freed. He just finished shoveling and plowing. I then threw de-icer on the back steps and stairs and on the front walk. My car is clear of snow and frost so I can hit the road after I finish here. Knowing I can go about my business makes having snow a bit more bearable, but only a bit. This last storm has taken away any forbearance for winter.

Today is cold, 24˚ cold, though there are drips as the direct sun is strong enough to melt the thin layer of snow on the roof but nowhere else is dripping or melting. We even had ice and snow on the roads and in our yards from the last two storms. The mound in front of my house will be there until May.

We turn the clocks ahead this weekend and March 20th is the first day of spring, but that doesn’t really mean spring. Between now and next Friday only one day will reach as high as 40˚. Winter stays holds sway, and I hate winter this year.

“Winter changes into stone the water of heaven and the heart of man.”

March 5, 2015

Yesterday, after the day and night of heavy rain, I could see my entire brick walkway and sections of my street right down to the pavement. Grass was sticking up in a couple of places in the backyard. When I went out, yup fifth day in a row, I noticed the plowed snow piles on both sides of the roads had become ugly and black. Today, however, everything has disappeared or has been changed. Out my window I can only see fresh snow, heavy fresh snow covering everything and it is still snowing. The layers on the tops of the branches are getting taller and taller. The Cape is the only part of the state with no school. What a horrible distinction. To add to the misery, biting cold is coming starting tonight. My string of five days ends today. I will not be going out nor will I even be getting dressed. I am wearing my around the house flannel pants, a sweatshirt, socks and slippers. I am in my winter uniform, my sloth clothes.

All three animals are asleep in here with me. One cat, Maddie, is on her chair while Fern and Gracie are asleep beside me and each other on the couch. All I can hear is deep breathing, mostly from the dog, but if I pat Fern, she begins to purr. They are my inspirations for a warm, cozy afternoon nap under the comforter. A roaring fire and some cocoa topped with marshmallow Fluff melting on the top would make this the idealized picture perfect winter’s day, a card-worthy day, but it’s freakin’ snowing again and its prettiness wore off quickly.

The first look at snow is the best, an oh moment. After that come the darker, less welcomed visions of shovels and plows, of me throwing and re-throwing de-icer on the steps for the dog and my cleaning off the car for what is, I swear, about the hundredth time. Why I bother I don’t know. The car will just slide up and down the road and right pass my street. My shoes will get snowy and wet. I don’t own boots. I don’t want to own boots. I don’t want to hear the crunch of my tires on newly fallen snow. I want grass and flowers. I want the songs of birds heralding the day and the sweet scent of a spring morning. I don’t think I am asking all that much.

“Then come the wild weather, come sleet or come snow, we will stand by each other, however it blow.”

January 2, 2014

Gracie and I were intrepid travelers, and we just got back from facing the elements head-on. The main roads are clear just from traffic, but the side roads, including mine, are snow-covered. I slid a bit going around the corner, but I expected I might and was going very slowly just in case. First I got cat food, litter and dog treats. Next I provisioned for me. I bought a pizza made by my favorite place but not yet cooked, a couple of very small meatloaves, cheddar and jalapeño dip, a quesadilla needing to be re-heated, cream for my coffee and dark chocolate nonpareils for my soul. Being in storm mode means treating myself to good food. I have a book I haven’t finished and one waiting to be started. The house is warm.

This morning I noticed the feeders were half empty. I figured there might be enough, but then I thought not through tomorrow so out I went to the deck and filled four feeders: two sunflower and two thistle. I didn’t want my birds to be hungry.

The snow is more intense now than it was earlier when the flakes were small. Schools are all closed and many have already announced they’d be closed tomorrow because the storm is supposed to last all night into tomorrow afternoon. It is the height of high tide now so the waves are huge and rough. They hit the sea walls with such force the tops of the waves flow over the walls. The news said the storm will last so long they’d be three high tides. We are expected to get between 8-12 inches leaning toward the higher amount. One weather man described the nighttime part of the storm as coming down like gangbusters. I liked that description though I’m not liking the snow.

I expect to be snowed-in until Friday. It makes no sense to plow before the storm ends. Meanwhile, I’ll enjoy the day and keep an eye on the snow. It is pretty.

“Once we hit forty, women only have about four taste buds left: one for vodka, one for wine, one for cheese, and one for chocolate.”

April 6, 2012

My casual morning has made me a bit tardy in writing today. I was up quite late last night and slept in this morning. It was Gracie who decided it was time to get up and out. It was probably a good thing as I have to hit the aisles and grocery shop. I don’t even have the bare essentials: coffee and toilet paper. I finished the last of the coffee this morning and the toilet paper roll looks a bit skimpy.

The Red Sox lost their opener yesterday. They tied it up only to lose in the bottom of the ninth. Oh, the dismay!

My neighbors have returned from Florida so that’s another sign of spring. Today, though, is still in the 40’s which I think is chilly. The sun is shining and the sky is blue but they are merely for effect. They look best from inside the house through the window.

We always had today off from school when I was a kid. We were supposed to go to church in the afternoon during the vigil, but we seldom did. Once I went and brought a book which I hid inside the hymnal and read while I was sitting in the pew. I looked pious with my head down as if deep in prayer. Even when I was working in the public school, it was a day off. One year the school committee decided that because Good Friday was connected to religion it was going to be a school day, but people could take it off for religious reasons. The number of teachers who called in floored me especially as some of them hadn’t seen the inside of a church since their baptisms. We had no substitutes  and had to have kids in the auditorium for large-scale study halls. That was the one and only time we had school on Good Friday.

We never had a countdown to Easter the way we did to Christmas. We knew our baskets would have candy, a stuffed animal when we were younger, probably a coloring book and crayons, maybe a kite and a few other small toys. We could always count on a chocolate rabbit and jelly beans. The rest was usually a surprise. I saw the best chocolate rabbit for sale in a catalog. It came with extra ears as the ears were always the first to go.

When we were younger, my mother bought inexpensive chocolate as we didn’t know the difference, but when we got older, she shopped at a candy store because we could taste the difference. I still shop at a candy store to make up baskets for my two friends. I buy little treasures to add to the candy and wrap all of them so the baskets are more fun. Today I have to candy shop. That makes going to the grocery store a bit more palatable.

“And finally Winter, with its bitin’, whinin’ wind, and all the land will be mantled with snow.”

December 9, 2011

The wind won’t go away. It is even stronger than the last few days, but it’s a bit warmer at 49°. Yesterday I heard someone complaining about the cold. I guess all those November days in the mid-50’s spoiled us, but we’ll survive. We all know about winter in New England.

Today is errand day, and I have a huge list geographically organized. My cards got done last night, according to schedule, so the post office is first on my list. Gracie will be glad as the dump is second.

I remember when I was a kid and the first snow of the season would start to fall. When one of us noticed the flakes, we’d all run to the window and watch. In front of my house, at the bottom of the front grassy hill, was a street light. We’d watch the snow falling in the gleam of the light. I remember the snow sometimes fell sideways because of the wind. If the flakes were really large, we never held out much hope for a lot of snow. If the flakes were smaller, there was always hope. Snow storms were judged on school or no school and whether there was enough for a snowman and a snowball fight.

When I woke up, I’d run to the window to see how much snow had fallen. If there was enough for a no school day, the fire horn would blow early in the morning. If there wasn’t enough, it meant wearing boots which took forever to get on and off at school. Sometimes my shoe would be caught by the boot, and I’d try to shake it loose. I always thought it was funny to walk with the boot hanging and my foot still in the shoe. I felt a bit like a duck must feel with its webbed feet. The key, we all learned when we were a little older, was to take out your foot then pull out your shoes and then do the reverse in the afternoon. It was a bit harder getting our feet into the shoes already in the boots, but it was far easier than trying to shove the foot filled shoe into the rubber boot which never seemed to dry during the school day.

I remember the days which had snow on the ground were the brightest of all winter days. When the snow was high and there were no footprints yet, everything was beautiful, and the snowflakes shined and glimmered like diamonds in the sun. It always warmer on those days.