Posted tagged ‘snowflakes’

“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.”

February 13, 2017

Last night was warm and clear. I took Gracie out front before bed, and she was far more interested in the night so we came back inside. That was our regimen. She’d wake me up and she’d be panting and shaking. We’d go back down the stairs and back outside. That happened three more times. Finally, I decided to sleep on the couch and so did Gracie. We slept the rest of the night. Wouldn’t you know it?

We got a couple of inches of snow during the early morning, and it is still snowing. The wind is blowing the flakes sideways, and the pine trees are swaying back and forth. My car and walkway are covered again. Gracie had been going down the back steps again, but I won’t have her go down when the stairs are slippery.

The classroom I remember the best was my very first school room. It had a cloakroom right outside accessible by two different doors in the front of the room. We were on the first floor. Our side windows looked out over a driveway, a border fence and some houses. The back windows looked over the school yard, which became the parking lot on Sundays. We were all subdued on days like today. We’d keep looking out the windows at the falling snow. It was mesmerizing. It still is.

No cars are on the road. It is not a day to be out and about so I’m staying home today. I’ll take the dog out when necessary, but I won’t like it. It’s an ugly day with little to commend it. I’m glad I have heat and electricity, a fairly full larder and Netflix. I’m thinking popcorn and a good movie are perfect to while away a snowy day.

“What a severe yet master artist old Winter is…. No longer the canvas and the pigments, but the marble and the chisel.

January 17, 2017

We’ve lost the sun. It’s a gray day with no wind. Rain will be here tomorrow. You’ll hear no complaints from me. It isn’t snow.

When I was a kid, I loved winter. I sledded and went ice skating at the town rink and at the swamp. I built snow forts in the tall piles left on the sides of the road by the plows. My friends and I had snowball fights. We’d build a short wall in front of us and across from each other then start making ammo, snowballs. When both sides had enough made, the fight began. I don’t think there was ever a clear winner. We’d finish the day so soaked and frozen that even the shoes inside our boots were filled with snow. My mother would sometimes make us cocoa with Marshmallow Fluff on top. I remember watching the Fluff spread from the heat of the cocoa. When I drank the cocoa, I always had a Fluff mustache.

At some time in my life, winter got boring. I started dreading snow. I hated scraping the ice off my windshield and driving to and from work in the dark. I admit snow is pretty especially right after a heavy snow storm when the tree branches and streets are covered. I do like watching the snow fall. I turn on the backdoor light so I can see the flakes, delicate and lacy. When I was a kid, there was a streetlight right near my house. Even back then I loved watching the flakes under the light.

I never knew the temperature when I was young. In my mind it was winter and winter was supposed to be cold. Now I asked Alexa the day’s weather and watch the news. I want to know what to expect. I’m happy when I hear 44˚ and groan when it is in the 20’s or even lower. I stay inside on the especially cold days.

I don’t think I’ll ever reconcile myself to winter. It had its time when I was young. Now  I accept summer as the season for we who are growing old.

“It is the life of the crystal, the architect of the flake, the fire of the frost, the soul of the sunbeam. This crisp winter air is full of it.”

October 30, 2015

Mother Nature has blessed us with another lovely day. Though not as warm as yesterday, it is still in the high 50’s, breezy and sunny. Every time the breeze blows more leaves fall and the trees become barer. I kept the front door opened and stood for a while watching the leaves flying and twirling in miniature eddies. I can see my neighbor’s deck for the first time since the beginning of summer. Fall has begun its annual wrap up to make way for winter.

I have never had the urge to go south for the winter. I am a New Englander who abides all four seasons. Admittedly, winter is my least favorite for the cold, not the snow. Ever since I was a little kid I have loved snow. I’d stand at the picture window, my head resting on my hands bent at the elbows, and watch the snow fall lit by the streetlight below my house. I could see individual flakes in the light. Sometimes they fell sideways blown by the wind. The street would disappear. I’d see the hand-rail but not the steps which led to the sidewalk now buried under snow. My father’s car was a mound of snow. When it was time, I’d go to bed hoping for a snow day, hoping to hear the whistle blasts from the fire station announcing no school. That would give me a whole day to play in the snow, to sled down the hill and to have a snowball fight.

I still love watching the snow. I go from front door to back door to see how much has fallen. My deck disappears and sometimes I can’t get the door open. I worry for poor Gracie who tries to get out but the snow is too deep for her. Sometimes I brush away enough for her to get right outside the door where she barely squats before running right back into the house.

The morning after a snowstorm, before the plows and shovelers, is always beautiful. The snows glints in the sun like diamonds. Everyone is still housebound and the snow lies untouched. It is why I stay here in the water.

“The bigger the darkness, the easier it is to spot your little light.”

February 22, 2015

Last night it poured. I could hear snow and icicles sliding off the house to the deck. Even the dog woke up a couple of times, listened, heard nothing else and went back to sleep. Today has been a medley of rain and snow and rain again. My street is a sheet of ice. This morning I went across the street to get my yesterday’s mail and started to slide. I caught myself but the going and coming was so slippery I had to keep stopping to regain my balance. Finally I got to a snow bank and the walking was easy. That I didn’t fall is a miracle and soon enough the pilgrims will arrive to this holy spot.

Today is above freezing but tonight will be in the 20’s, the start of another cold trend. Tomorrow night will be 2˚.

When I was young, I thought of snow as a wonder. I loved to stand outside with my face raised to the sky and my eyes wide opened as I watched the snow fall. The individual shape of each flake reminded me of the doilies on the backs of my grandmother’s chairs. As the snow fell, the lawns and branches would get a light covering, but I could still see the tops of the grasses taller than the snow. The roads looked wet and the snow took longer to cover them.

Newly fallen snow undisturbed by cars or people is beautiful. Tall trees alone stand above the white carpet. Everything else is covered. My favorites are always the fir trees. They have snow but they also have greenery, mostly at the ends of their branches.

The strand of Christmas lights I didn’t take down from a section of my deck rail shine brightly every night. In the storm to end all storms, though they were covered in snow, I could see the different colors shining through. They looked as if they were covered by a white veil. Each night the little heat from those lights melted a bit of the snow and the bulbs’ colors got brighter. There is now no snow left on the rail. Tonight the lights will shine in all their brilliance and push back a bit of the darkness.

“I’ve learned that you can tell a lot about a person by the way (s)he handles these three things: a rainy day, lost luggage, and tangled Christmas tree lights.”

December 8, 2014

Today is so bitingly cold I didn’t even bother to go out to chase the red spawn off the deck away from the birdseed. I did watch from the window and thought of ways to discourage it now that I haven’t the hose. The potato gun is still in the top spot, and one of those blaster squirt guns has made the list. My poor birds can’t get at the feeder so I am determined to rid my yard of this vermin.

The weather is cold, dark, damp and ugly and will stay ugly all week as we’ll have rain for the next few days, and winter rain is seldom welcomed. Even running to the car means getting wet and being cold. The roads get icy. Stopping often means sliding. I sometimes slide right by my street as the icy corner is difficult to maneuver.

I hate scraping my windshield. Sometimes the ice is so thick it takes a monumental effort to clear. Two of the best reasons to retire are not having to scrape the windshield or leave in the dark for work.

I remember when we used to decorate the picture window with snowflakes, stars and snowmen. My mother usually bought the kit which had paper stencils and a spray can of fake snow. One of us would hold the stencil while the other sprayed. We’d take turns. It was a popular decoration when I was a kid, and most houses in my neighborhood had snowflakes on their windows.

My father always decorated the bushes in front of our house with strings of lights. The bulbs on those outside strings were huge and bright. We’d watch my dad from the windows and when he was finished, we’d all run outside to see the lights. My house at Christmas was always beautiful to me. Candles with orange bulbs were in the single windows and a five bulb holder was in the picture window. The bases of all those candles were white plastic, and my mother sometimes had to tape the bases to the windowsills so they wouldn’t fall. Every year we’d pull the old yellow tape off before using the new tape.

Darkness was the best time. We’d plug in the outside lights then run to the windows to turn on the bulbs. That was done by hand, turning each bulb until it lit. Christmas always brought light to the darkness.

“Surely as cometh the Winter, I know There are Spring violets under the snow.”

February 11, 2012

Last night I went to bed around one in the morning. It was raining enough that Gracie went under the deck to go to the bathroom. That’s her new strategy, and I applaud her ingenuity. When I woke up at 10 this morning, it was snowing and it still is. The snow is big and wet. The tree branches are covered, but the busy roads are not. I had to go to the dump, and I needed a few groceries so Gracie and I braved the elements. More people were out than I expected, but the dump was pretty quiet. The best part of the trash run was I didn’t have to leave my car. The high school basketball team is doing service at the dump and emptying trunks. They’re also throwing snowballs at each other from one side of the bins to the other. They are still at the enjoying snow stage of life.

When I got to my street, it had a layer of slush. Luckily, the temperature is above freezing now, and I hope it stays that way so the slush never turns to ice.

Today is a hot chocolate day, a mint hot chocolate day. It’s warm slippers, flannel pants and a sweatshirt day. It’s watch really bad science fiction on the TV from the couch with Gracie at my feet day. I know I’ll keep checking the snow accumulation as I’ve been doing that since I was a little kid. I press my face against the window and watch the flakes. Today it is a gentle snow which falls quietly, unaccompanied by wind. The snow is lovely today.