Posted tagged ‘tundra’

“I don’t know who invented high heels, but all women owe him a lot!”

January 5, 2018

You’re probably wondering why I am up at the crack of dawn. Okay, that’s an exaggeration as it is 7:30, but I am so seldom up this early that it seems totally out of character for me, the winter sloth. Gracie had a vet appointment at 8 for acupuncture, but I have cancelled. My road is a sheet of ice, and my car’s tires are encased in the ice which probably wouldn’t matter that much in getting it out to the road, but I just don’t want to make the effort. I haven’t even gotten the newspapers.

Bitter cold is the only description for today’s temperature. I am living on the tundra in the dead of winter. It is 18˚, close to the forecast of a high of 19˚. The low will be 4˚. I can see sunshine breaking through the clouds and shining in the backyard against the pine trees, but I am not impressed. It is only a prop. It carries no heat. The blue sky is pushing away the clouds. I’m glad for the color.

I am not bored staying home. Last night I read until close to one. My tree is still up and decorated though I have removed Christmas from three other rooms. The laundry still sits in the hall. In the old days, I seldom had undone chores as I used to feel guilty. I had a schedule I religiously kept. The laundry never sat in the hall and the finished laundry went right upstairs and was put away. Now the clean, folded laundry sometimes sits for a while on a living room chair. I don’t really care, an attitude which took me a long while to foster, but I’ve done well in espousing the sloth effect.

My trunk has trash and recyclables. It is dump time, but I’m thinking, “Tomorrow Is Another Day!” the Scarlet way of looking at life.

I am so glad I have missed the return of high heels, some so high you could get a nose bleed. I watch and wonder at the women wearing them. Their feet and calves must really hurt after standing on those heels for a while, but I figure it comes down to fashion. No self-respecting maven would be caught in small heels. The binding of women’s feet in China was all the rage, especially among the upper class. Think on that for a bit.

“In the winter she curls up around a good book and dreams away the cold.”

December 28, 2017

The high today will be about 12˚ and the low around 6˚. The rest of the week will have similar temperatures. I dread going out, but I haven’t any choice. My trunk is filled with trash, I’m out of bread and cream and Gracie is out of canned dog food. I fear the dump stop most of all. It is open land and the freezing wind whips across the recycling area. I think of it as the local tundra. Avoiding it today only postpones the inevitable. Warm weather won’t be here until after the new year.

Yesterday was a day of leisure. I didn’t even get dressed. I read most of the day and was so exhausted I needed a nap.  Last night I had leftovers from Christmas for dinner. They were delicious. Now, only a bit of green bean casserole and some beef are left. Soon they too will be gone and Christmas dinner will be a delicious memory.

I don’t love being out in the cold, but I do love the cold as an excuse to stay home, comfy and warm. When I take Gracie out, I plead and beg for her to be quick, but she doesn’t really need my exhortations as she doesn’t like the cold much either. Boxers have short fur and on their bellies they have virtually none. When we go out, Gracie wears her coat to keep her warm while I am in the stores. Her coat is quite fashionable.

After Christmas, I feel a bit letdown. Everything which made the day special is finished. The leftover wrapping paper and ribbons are stored until next year. The decorations will soon be stored down cellar. The tree will be emptied of ornaments and thrown outside. I hate that most of all. It seems like an ignoble end for something so beautiful, for something which has keep the dark winter nights aglow. Its pine aroma still fills my downstairs rooms.

After the tree is gone, it takes me a while to get used to the house as it always is. The corner where the tree was looks wrong. That’s the most difficult part of Christmas, the end of it.

“The very fact of snow is such an amazement.”

December 8, 2017

Yesterday was the second day of the wrap the presents marathon. I dosed myself with Aleve and by the late afternoon I was ready to go. All of the presents were wrapped by nine then I started clearing and picking up each room. The den is back to its usual clutter. I can start breathing normally again, no more hyperventilation. A few bags and a bunch of boxes were loaded into the car for a future dump run. The dining room is now back to normal. The living room is the only room discombobulated, and it will stay that way for a while. The couch and the chair are filled with bags filled with wrapped gifts, all headed to Colorado. Each bag is labeled with a name. I have to close those bags and staple their tops so I can pack them in boxes I don’t have yet. The post office is on my list today. I also want to finish my cards. It seems my to-do list, despite everything I do, never gets any smaller. I want to start decorating the tree by first putting on lights then moving the tree to its usual spot, in the corner by the hearth, before I add strands of tinsel and ornaments. My house too needs to be decorated. I’m talking all of downstairs, four rooms and a bathroom. Yup, even the bathroom gets a holiday makeover. You need something to look at.

The day is chilly and cloudy. Tomorrow will be cold, in the 30’s, and they’ll be a mixture of rain and snow, maybe 1-2 inches.

When I was a kid, I wanted lots of snow for Christmas. I always thought the whole season revolved around snow. Santa had a sleigh with runners, not wheels. It was pulled by reindeer, natives of cold places like the arctic or the tundra. Santa was completely bundled in a heavy coat, mittens and a warm hat. He wore boots. He was dressed for the cold.

I’d look out the window every night and check for snowflakes. I’d listen to the weather on the radio, and I’d hope to wake up to a wild storm of snow slanted sideways from the wind. Most mornings I was disappointed.

“Colder by the hour, more dead with every breath.”

January 28, 2014

Cold isn’t enough of a descriptor for the weather today. Bone-chilling comes a bit closer but even that seems inadequate. Yesterday was “…Just spring when the world is mud-luscious.” The snow was soft, perfect for snowballs. The streets had reappeared and the icicles were melting from the roof. It was like a day in early March when the first green shoots start appearing and winter begins its swan song. Today, though, is pure winter. The snow is hard and the water of yesterday has frozen making it slippery especially along the sides of the road. I walked gingerly and carefully to the driveway to get my papers. The high today will be 20˚. The only bright spot is we will not be getting any snow. That will fall in the most unlikeliest places like the Virginias and the Carolinas where more than six inches are predicted. Forecasters have called this storm a once in a generation winter storm. I have to think kids will be thrilled with their first ever snow day.

I have errands, but they’ll have to wait until tomorrow because of the dump. It is closed on Tuesdays, and I really need a dump run so I might as well lump all of the errands together for tomorrow. I do fear the dump most of all. It is open ground and like the frozen tundra with the wind blowing and howling and with no place to find shelter. I will even wear my winter coat for the first time this season. I swear I saw a polar bear on the last dump run.

My mother used to keep her heat so high we wore t-shirts around the house when we visited her in winter. She was always cold. I finally understand why. The older we get the less resistant we are to the cold. I always wear a sweatshirt around the house now. I used to wear only a long-sleeve shirt and was plenty warm. That won’t do any more. Socks with my slippers are now a necessity. Nothing is worse than cold feet. I haven’t moved my thermostat any higher to combat the cold. I’ve decided to layer, even in the house.

I got an energy report from the gas company. It seems I burn more gas than my neighbors. That makes perfect sense considering four of the neighboring houses are empty most of the winter and my two closest neighbors heat with oil. I guess I win the prize by default.