Posted tagged ‘Old Man Winter’

“The perfect antidote to dark, cold and creepy is light, warm and cozy.”

December 29, 2017

I had a bit of a shock when I opened the door to take Gracie out and to get my papers.  Snow covered the ground. It was probably an inch or less of fluffy white stuff, but it was still a surprise. My mother used to tell us it was too cold to snow, but yesterday was brutally cold, and it still snowed.

The dump was almost empty. I think there might have been only two other cars. The smart people stayed home, but I went. I froze the minute I got out of the car but then the man who works there told me to get back into the car. He emptied everything: bags of newspapers, boxes galore and several bags of trash. The poor guy was dressed for a polar expedition. His face was so covered only his eyes could be seen. It was about 12˚.

Today will be cold but a bit warmer than yesterday though I don’t think warmer really works here. Maybe I should say not as brutally cold as yesterday. It is 17˚ right now and could get up as far as 21˚. Deck weather?

My car gets serviced today, an oil change and a quick look over of everything else. I really want to stay home, but I need to get this done. I also have a couple of other stops so I’m doomed to face Old Man Winter.

Nothing much is happening. It is a quiet week. When I was a kid, weather like this meant a day of reading or playing in the cellar or playing board games. We’d set the games up on the living room rug and get ourselves comfortable. We’d play Sorry, Monopoly, Clue or cards. Our favorite card games were crazy eights and steal the old man’s pack. We all had the competitive gene from my dad so game times often got loud. My mother would yell from the kitchen about playing nicely or not at all, a typical mother comment. We mostly ignored it.

The sky is cloudy, the sort of color which looks cold, even steely. Though the house is warm a metal table here in the den is cold to the touch. Blasts of hot air from the furnace  seem to come one after another trying to keep the house warm. I’m wearing flannel around the house pants, a sweatshirt and slippers. Only my hands get cold.

The news last night showed pictures of sea smoke or steam fog which happens when very cold air moves over warmer water. It was a bit strange, even eerie, to see the smoke hovering over the white caps. I don’t remember seeing that before.

It is already colder than it was this morning, down to 12˚. I’m watching the news and the outside reporters look a bit like Randy in A Christmas Story. The weather lady is predicting polar like winds and maybe more snow. I am definitely going to layer my clothes and hunt for my hats and mittens. This is not the time to be fashionable.

“Christmas is the day that holds all time together.”

December 6, 2015

It is 51˚. The sun is winter bright. The privacy of summer is gone. The trees are so bare I can see the neighbors’ houses and they mine. A breeze chills rather than cools the air. Old Man Winter may not be here quite yet, but there are signs that he’s waiting impatiently in the wings.

When I was a kid, I always wanted a white Christmas because of Santa. I never saw him pictured flying over houses with green lawns. He always traveled in the snow. Reindeer too belonged in the snow. They lived way up north in the Arctic Circle, and any picture I had ever seen of the Arctic Circle always had snow. I remember Eskimos wearing jackets and thick mittens covered with fur when they harnessed their dogs to their sleds. Christmas needed snow.

We had a nativity set made of chalkware. It had all the necessary figures: kings, shepherds, animals including a donkey and a couple of sheep, Mary, Joseph and the Baby. The stable was wooden and had pieces of hay around as if real animals lived there. Over the years the chalkware chipped. Shepherds were missing noses and just about every other piece had a chip or two. It never mattered. Out came that nativity set every year. I remember the Baby had outstretched arms and was sleeping on what appeared to be swaddling clothes though I didn’t know what swaddling meant until I was a little older. My sister has that set now.

 I always think each new Christmas stays connected to all the other Christmases of our past. My mother made decorated sugar cookies and so do we. I even use some of the cookie cutters she had. If I make a pie, it will be lemon meringue, not usually a Christmas pie, but it was one we all loved so my mother made it. I put old ornaments on the tree and one of those old big ones way up high because that’s where my mother would hang it for safety’s sake.

Christmas is wrapped up in family. Traditions are passed down from one generation to another and along the way new traditions are added. They connect us across the years. In every Christmas I see my mother. That is one of the joys of the season.

“Seeing isn’t believing. Believing is seeing.”

December 5, 2015

Today is sunny and warm and in the high 40’s. Tomorrow will be even warmer. Where is Old Man Winter? Is he biding his time only to sneak up and wallop us as he did last winter? I will not let my guard down. Should it snow, I’ll be ready.

Santa Claus and his peculiarities were cause for so many questions. My mother, however, always had the answers. We didn’t have a fireplace so we were worried as to how Santa would get in to leave all the toys. Santa is magical my mother explained, and he always finds a way inside. How does he transport so many toys in one bag? That one is easy. His bag never empties and whatever he needs he finds inside. The size or weird shapes of the toys never matter. How do reindeer fly? That too has a touch of magic about it. Santa uses something like fairy dust and it gives the reindeer the ability to fly. I never thought to ask where the dust came from, but I’m sure my mother had an answer ready just in case I did. How does he eat all those cookies and drink all that milk? All the ups and downs and ins and outs make him hungry so he takes just a wee bite and a small sip at every stop. The reindeer hungrily eat all the carrots.

When my nephew was nine, he was wavering about Santa. Did he exist or not? He asked his mother for a favor. When he had kids of his own, would she please tell him everything he needed to know about Santa and toys and Christmas. My sister assured him she would.

I don’t remember how old I was when I figured out Santa wasn’t real. It wasn’t all that traumatic, and I didn’t blame my parents for perpetuating a myth. My two younger sisters still believed so I never let on what I knew. That would have been selfish.

One of the best parts of Christmas is always the anticipation. Even knowing the truth didn’t diminish my excitement. I still feel that way.

“It is spring again. The earth is like a child that knows poems by heart.”

March 20, 2015

Happy first day of spring!

My friends and I went to the beach, as we do every first day of spring, to see the sunrise. The sky was spectacular colored as it was in the deepest pinks and reds in bands over the jetty. The low tide was lower than I can ever remember. The ocean was so still it could have been a lake on a warm summer morning. We heard seagulls squawking as they flew over. It was cold but bearable as there was no wind. The sand was rock hard as we neared the ocean. We watched the top arc of the sun appear over the rocks. It was huge and the brightest of yellows. We stayed until the sun had totally risen awing at its color and beauty and taking pictures all the while, but then the cold finally got to us. We went to the car where we sang our traditional welcoming songs to spring, Morning Has Broken and The Red, Red Robin. We finished our first day of spring festivities with breakfast and hot cups of coffee to warm the innards. It was a most wonderful morning.

I went back to bed for a couple of hours when I got home. When I woke up, the sky was grey and the sun had disappeared, probably exhausted from its spectacular entrance this morning. I thought how lucky I had been to see the sunrise and to see those colors framed by the blue sky and a few puffy clouds.

We will be having some snow tonight. It seems Old Man Winter is being recalcitrant and continuing to overstay his welcome. It is well past his time to pack up and leave, but he refuses and still lingers, cursed and unwanted. Leave, Old Man Winter, leave. Spring is here and welcomed with open arms.

“Snow’s all right on a fine morning, but I like to be in bed when it’s falling”

January 22, 2015

When I woke up this morning, I could see snow on the tops of the branches of the pine trees. I checked outside my bedroom window and we’d had a dusting overnight. It is the first snow of the season but not much of a showing by Old Man Winter. Mind you I’m not complaining but a fluffy dusting of snow is just annoying. You can’t sled or build a snowman or even make a snowball. The driveway was clear for some odd reason as were parts of the road. Now, an hour or so later, the temperature is above freezing, and the snow is gone from the branches. The sun even made a short appearance.

Gracie and I are venturing out later. I need some of life’s essentials: cat food, light cream and bread. I might also do a bit of shopping. I need a scoop to form meatballs and a metal masher for potatoes.

I’m thinking of a contest. Similar to a random guess of the number of marbles in a jar, I’m wondering how many unanswered calls will be made here before the caller gives up. The calls are from all over the country: the latest was Texas. The phone rings a few times then the caller hangs up. Names have recently been added to the caller ID, but they don’t tempt me to answer. Most calls are just after 9 AM and 6PM. I called the number. Surprise, surprise, the call could not be completed.

Here is a mystery for you to solve. What three well-known, popular to many people, singers have never appeared here. The reason is because I don’t like any of the three despite their popularity. I change the station on the car radio if I hear anyone of them. I’m sure there are many singers I haven’t posted, but these three are the only ones I deliberately ignore. Mrs. Miller is not one of them-that’s my only hint.

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