Posted tagged ‘slush’

“I’ve buried a lot of my laundry in the back yard.”

March 14, 2017


Today is miserable. The snow started early. When I first woke up at 9, I checked out the window and saw snow blowing north to south. I went back to sleep. When I woke up at 10, it had just started raining. I went out to get the papers and yesterday’s mail. Gracie was with me on her leash. She hated it and looked beaten walking close to the ground with her ears down. The street was pure slush, snow topped by rain. I left footprints right down to the street. Gracie finally peed then ran to the door. She should have stayed out as I know she still has more to do, but I wanted in as well. I was soaked. Later she wanted out again but didn’t take the plunge. The wind was ferocious so Gracie just backed into the house. We did that twice, both to no avail. She is sleeping now. I hope she enjoys her nap. My hair is still wet.

The first load of laundry is in the dryer. I threw the bags down the cellar stairs last night so I wouldn’t have to look at them anymore. This morning I decided to bite the bullet and do the laundry. I found a missing gray sock on the floor in front of the dryer so I reunited the pair. Two other socks wait for partners. I first thought them a pair but realized in the light one is black and the other dark blue. There must be another exact pair in today’s laundry.

On the Peace Corps Ghana Facebook page are pictures of current trainees doing their laundry. They are all sitting on the porch edge with buckets of clothes in front of them. Clean laundry hangs on lines behind them. I got a chuckle out of that bucket brigade. All through training, my group found Ghanaian women to pay to do our laundry. During the first two weeks of training, the women were from Winneba where we were staying. You gave laundry to them one day, and it came back the next, ironed and folded. The only exception was undergarments. Those we had to wash ourselves. I hated bucket laundry. In retrospect, I figure maybe a smidgeon of that feeling is responsible for two bags of laundry sitting in the hall for nearly a week. Maybe, though, it is just laziness, but I suspect running out of clean undergarments forced my hand and prompted my memories.

“For centuries men have kept an appointment with Christmas. Christmas means fellowship, feasting, giving and receiving, a time of good cheer, home.”

December 17, 2016

It was nearly 4 when I fell asleep. Gracie, however, had no problem as she was snoring away as soon as she hit the mattress. It snowed a bit last night, but I missed the best of it. I woke to rain. The snow is now slush, the sort where you leave deep footprints when you walk through it. Both today and tomorrow will be warm which is a good thing as the slush won’t turn to ice. I’m staying home. I’m going to turn on all the Christmas lights, watch Hallmark movies and enjoy a lazy Saturday.

My friends came to dinner last night. It was a wonderful evening. The meal was great says the cook. The conversation was funny. We just sat at the table a while after dinner. I love to do that, just sit and talk. My friend did all the clean-up which I completely appreciated as it takes a while to make the dinner, clean up as you go along then clean everything. Her doing the dishes was a gift. We then played a word game and sat in the living room so we could enjoy the tree. I had a come from behind victory. We also exchanged gifts. Usually we don’t get together for presents until after Christmas so we figured early was due. I was thrilled with my present, an Amazon Echo and a speaker. I’ll play with Alexa today. My friends too loved their presents, and my friend Claire, the dishwasher, especially loved her present from Ghana.

Woolworth’s and the annual parish Christmas fair were my go to places to buy gifts for my parents then my sisters and brother if I had any money left. My mother was the consummate actress. When she opened my gift, she always looked so excited and happy.  I was thrilled that I’d found just the right gift at such a bargain, usually about 50¢. My father  loved his handkerchiefs, white ones, Woolworth’s best.

My favorite of all the Christmas movies is A Christmas Carol starring Alastair Sims. It hasn’t been on yet so I keep looking. I watched the old Miracle on 34th Street the other night. The book is dated 1947 the same as I am so that makes it special. The old Bishop’s Wife is another favorite. Come to think of it, even the worst of Christmas movies are favorites of mine.

“You’ll wake up on Easter morning, And you’ll know that he was there, When you find those chocolate bunnies, That he’s hiding ev’rywhere.”

March 21, 2016

First we had rain then we had snow last night but only a dusting to an inch. The weather today is in a weird cycle. The snow started to melt earlier so most of the branches are no longer covered. Right now, though, it is snowing again, big flakes falling straight down or from the north. The snow cover on the ground has slush underneath it. My shoes would leave only a hole, not a footprint if I walked in the yard. The day is dark and uninviting. It is a read a book day or a day to do that project I need finished by Easter. The problem, however, is I have little ambition, not even enough to turn pages. Cozy under the covers on a dark and snowy day seems just about right.

Easter never had the anticipation Christmas had. It didn’t have any rules about the necessity for good behavior but it didn’t have any wishes either. We knew pretty much what we’d find on Easter morning. The only surprises were the small toys and books my mother tucked into our baskets. A tall chocolate rabbit was always the eye-catcher. Around it were jelly beans, big round hard colored candies which were white in the middle, a few small pieces of chocolate and some yellow Peeps, wild out of the box. I remember if I ate a piece from something, like the ears from the big rabbit, and put the rest of the rabbit back into the basket, it would stick to the grass at the bottom. Later, before I could have another bite, I’d have to pull off the grass shoots.

We didn’t have a giant rabbit at the mall the way they do now. We just had Santa at Christmas. Seeing Santa made a lot of sense but seeing the rabbit doesn’t. What do you talk about? What do you ask him to bring? He doesn’t care if you were good or bad. You’ll get an Easter basket regardless. I suppose you can always fall back on the sort of stuffed animal you want, the one usually sitting beside the basket, but beyond that, I’m clueless.

“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.

“Winter giveth the fields, and the trees so old, Their beards of icicles and snow…”

February 6, 2014

The snow came early yesterday morning starting around four. It covered the trees and the roads and was pretty for a while then the rain came, and the snow wasn’t pretty anymore. Under the trees the snow was pock-marked. On the streets and the walkways snow became slush. My plow guy came, shoveled the snow and pushed the slush to the side then spread Safe for Paws De-icer on the tops of the steps to keep them from freezing overnight. During the snowstorm I went out and filled the feeders. They were popular all afternoon.

The snow is crusty from freezing overnight. My paper had skidded down the driveway so I had to walk through the snow to get it. The top of the snow was slippery. As I stepped, cracks fanned out from my footprints. I was cautious. On my way back up the driveway, with papers in hand, I stepped in my footprints.

The sun is now trying to break through the clouds, but it won’t be a warm sun. It will be a bit of light on an otherwise grey day.

This will be the third day in a row I haven’t left the yard or done much with any purpose. I put away my laundry and did some frantic furniture polishing, but mostly I’ve been idle. I read and even took an afternoon nap. Falling asleep warm and cozy under the down comforter seemed an act of defiance against winter.

I generally accept the weather. It isn’t as if I have any control over what happens. Getting grumpy and cursing it only frustrates me. It’s winter. Snow is inevitable. It will be cold. That’s what winter is: snowy and cold. Every now and then we do get an unexpectedly warm day. I always think of it as Mother Nature fiddling with our heads. She’s probably sitting somewhere laughing and planning the next big snowstorm. That woman has no heart.

“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. 

“Snow is not a wolf in sheep’s clothing – it is a tiger in lamb’s clothing.”

March 22, 2013

Sleigh bells ring, are you listening? In the lane, on the grass and on the deck, the snow is glistening. It started snowing around 10 last night, and we probably have about 5 inches of spring snow which sounds like an oxymoron to me. A dusting is spring snow. 5 inches is winter. The snow is heavy. I swept the walk to get my papers, and when I got to the street, I found slush under the snow. I left wet footprints. The branches of the pine trees are covered with a layer of the heavy snow and the bushes in the front are leaning from the weight. If I were a kid, I’d love this snow. It’s prime snowman snow: thick and heavy and sticky.

The Christmas cactus in here has a flower. I think of it as a gift as the plant was once my mother’s. It sat at the end of her kitchen table near the window. The table was in a niche in front of a bank of windows but one end of the table, flush with a window, had a cabinet beside it so we couldn’t sit on that side. The plants sat there instead. I remember when all of the cactus on the table were in bloom. The flowers were beautiful. Now I have one.

Today is just one of those days. I finished my monkey poop coffee, my back has soured my mood, and I am so tired of gray clouds. The sun was out for maybe a half hour yesterday, another taunt from Mother Nature. I can’t imagine what we did to anger her but it must have been a doozy.

I had two lady of the manor moments today. Skip, my factotum, came and plowed my driveway then shoveled in front of my car and mailbox. He brought in the bird seed and case of dog food I had left in the trunk because I couldn’t lift them. While Skip was here, Peapod delivered my groceries; he even put them on the kitchen counter. Now I’m wondering where my upstairs and downstairs maids are.

I am supposed to get an x-ray, but it won’t be today. I’m going to be a sloth again, and I’m using my back as an excuse, not that I really need one.

“But mothers lie. It’s in the job description.”

March 19, 2013

The snow started last night and left about an inch before it stopped. The rain started early, before I woke up, so now we are a slushy place. I left watery footprints from the house to the driveway and back again when I went to get the newspapers. The birds aren’t even around. They don’t like this weather any more than I do and the filled feeders aren’t at all tempting. I have three quick errands today and have mapped out the shortest route so I can hurry home to warmth and coziness.

My sister got around 10″ of snow, and she is welcome to her winter wonderland. My father would call my snow poor man’s fertilizer. I never knew what he meant then I found out it is a spring snow when the ground is soft. It is good for crops and helps everything turn green. The nutrients and moisture in the snow penetrate into the soil and benefit the plants that will grow later on in the year.

Poor man’s fertilizer got me thinking about sayings and pearls of wisdom I don’t hear any more. I think they’re generational, and many disappear when each generation is replaced by the next. My mother had a whole arsenal of things she’d say to us. We were all pretty much subjected to the underwear accident warning, but there was also the peril of going outside with a wet head because we were bound to catch a cold. A little “birdy” told me drove me crazy. I wanted the source, and I knew it wasn’t any bird. A few times she was talking to brick walls, and she found that annoying. Her next question was,”What are you, deaf?” One of my favorite warnings was,”Don’t touch that. You don’t know where it’s been.” I was a kid. Where it had been was of little consequence. Because she was squeamish we were denied the pleasure of some wonderful find. If I told a lie, my tongue would turn black. I dare not make a face as it might just stay that way, and I was afraid I’d have to wear a hat with a veil the whole of my life. I would never join my friends in jumping off a bridge. I’d have to find one first. My town had no bridges. My favorite, though, was always the,”It’s not what you say. It’s how you say it.” My mother could pick up even the tiniest hint of sarcasm. Though I was too young to know the word sarcasm I knew the tone she meant. I said it on purpose.

I still turn out the lights when I leave a room, and I keep the outside door shut. My mother always reminded us in that voice none of us wanted to hear that we didn’t own the electric company and we didn’t live in a barn.

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”

March 8, 2013

Earliest I sloshed my way to the mailbox and then to the driveway to get the papers. My road is slush covered. Tire marks show the route of my paper delivery, and when I got inside, I could see my footprints. It is lightly snowing, slanted and from the northeast, but I can also hear drips on the deck from the roof. The weather for today is rainy and cold with temperatures in the 30’s. I just hope it stays above freezing. The wind was with us all night but has since pretty much disappeared. On the early news was a house which had fallen into the ocean. I suspect it won’t be the last as the rain pits and wears away the dunes. This is just ugly. The only bright spot is I have heat and electricity.

I stood at the back door while the coffee perked. The storm is a bit mesmerizing with the snow coming across rather than down. The railing on the deck outside the door has an inch or more of what used to be snow and is now slush. That slush is the color of cement and Gracie’s paw prints look permanent as if she walked across the new part of a sidewalk. Lots of birds are hovering around the feeder, the squirrel buster feeder. I filled it the other day so there is plenty of seed. All of the birds are gold finches still clad in their dull winter feathers.

March is a difficult month. It doesn’t know whether it wants to be the first spring month or the last month of winter. Easter is at the end of the month so March best make up its mind. Light dresses and pastels don’t work as well with winter coats.

I know they’ll be snow and frost and windshield scraping. I have lived in New England all of my life and haven’t thought about moving anywhere else. Winter is the price we pay for spring and fall, especially fall. All I ask is a sunny day, a winter’s sunny day is fine with me. I know the winter sun is sharper and colder, but sun is sun, and it makes me glad.

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