Posted tagged ‘red cheeks’

“I want to caution you against the idea that balance has to be a routine that looks the same week in and week out.”

January 2, 2016

Today is windy and chilly. It is winter cold. Gracie and I will be making a dump run later. The dump is all open land with no trees or buildings so when the wind blows like today, it is so cold I always think of the Russian steppes. I can never empty my trunk fast enough.

I don’t remember it being all that cold when I was a kid, but I do remember the wind. It blew across the field at the foot of my street and the strongest wind would sometimes almost blow us away. We’d laugh and even raise our arms like sails so the wind could catch us. Some days we’d walk backwards as protection from the wind. Our collars would be up. Our hats were pulled down to cover our ears and to save them from flying off, from being borne by the wind. We’d hold the bottom of our jacket sleeves to keep the wind from sneaking up inside. I’d arrive home almost breathless and with cheeks reddened by the wind.

I never counted days until vacations. I counted days until Christmas but that had to do with Santa and new toys. Going back to school in January was no big deal when I was young. That was my lot in life so I just took it all in stride. Later, when I was older, I was far less pleased at the end of vacation because it meant back to my routine, to long hours which left little time for fun, for enjoying even the smallest piece of the day.

I figure retirement is a gift, a recompense for all those days. I have a routine of sorts which involves coffee and the papers and KTCC but then that’s it for the rest of the day. I fill the hours handily and usually happily.

“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.

“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. 


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