Posted tagged ‘Snow’

“The most serious charge which can be brought against New England is not Puritanism but February.”

February 19, 2017

Today is a bit of a gift from Mother Nature, and considering how many times I cursed her this winter, I am surprised by her generosity. It is sunny and warm, even springlike. A few puffy clouds add texture to the blue sky. A breeze ruffles the brown leaves. It is a day to be outside. I’m working on getting there.

My neighbor put my newspaper on the front steps for me this morning. I saw it and one other paper when I opened the door. The other paper is the Cape Times from February 13th. I have no idea where he found it. I didn’t  miss a paper. I figure it must be my neighbor’s, and it got tossed here with the snow when her driveway was shoveled.

Small mounds of snow are still visible but only on the corners of the streets. Between the rain and the above freezing temperatures, the snow had no chance. I’m glad it’s mostly gone.

My front lawn, mostly on one side, is a total mess. It is covered with branches and needles from the tree sized branch which fell. There are long gashes on the grass. I’m thinking that whole side of the lawn may need a reboot.

This is school vacation week. I used to like traveling to one place for the whole week. My mother and I spent this week in Rome on our last vacation together. We saw it all. One of my favorites was the catacombs, a couple of bus rides and a long walk away.

Each night we’d have a drink in the bar before going to our room. My mother had cognac. That was a shock. My mother was a whiskey and coke drinker. When I mentioned my shock, my mother said it was vacation mode when anything goes. I loved that.

My week will be quiet. Actually, the rest of February will be quiet. I have an empty dance card until March.

Gracie needs to be fed, and I need to get dressed in my outside the house clothes. We are going out to enjoy the day.

“Shut the door not that it lets in the cold but that it lets out the coziness.”

February 16, 2017

Last night we had a sprinkling of snow, less than an inch. The sun was out when I woke up but has since given way to clouds. The melting has stopped. Cold is creeping in, and it is down to 32˚. We’ll have flurries today.

Yesterday it poured most of the day. Gracie and I went to the dump, and, of course, it started to rain just then. I got wet.

I’m ignoring my lists. The last few days I have been lazy and have crossed off nothing, except the trash and the dump from Saturday’s list.

Winter is a time for hibernation, and I think I’m hibernating in my own way. My days are routine. I mostly stay inside. I find ways to keep myself occupied. I watch TV. I read, and every now and then I randomly clean. I live in my comfy clothes. Afternoon naps are common. The phone rings and strange phone numbers from all over the country appear in the corner of my TV. I don’t ever answer, and they don’t ever leave a message. They interrupt my naps.

Spring training has started. The Globe is filled with baseball stories. I read them all. Thoughts of baseball conjure green grass, warm days and steamed hot dogs.

I hate commercials, but I don’t hate them all equally. Some I hate more than others. The Dole fruit cup commercial where the haughty woman says to her husband, “Oh, they are drainers,” is the worst. She looks at the other couple as if they are plague carriers instead of drinkers of sweetened fruit juice. I change the station.

The catalogs stopped for a while, after the Christmas sales were over, but now they’re back. Some I toss right away into the recycle bag. Others I thumb through hoping to find a treasure.

It’s time for lunch: chicken noodle soup from one of my favorite places, Spinners. The soup is perfect for a cold winter’s day. It warms the innards.

“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.

“You can’t get too much winter in the winter.”

February 11, 2017

The tree is gone, reduced to its smaller pieces and stacked on the side of my yard. The lawn is covered in snow, sawdust, small sticks and pine needles. The only victim of that tree is one section of my front fence. It is standing only because it is propped by a pine branch. Come spring, it will be replaced.

Last night it snowed another inch or so. This morning, the car was covered as was the path from the house, around the tree to the car. The walkway got shoveled after the tree was gone so I can now use it to get to the car. As I have to go out today, that’s a good thing.

The day is in the high 30’s so some melting is happening. The roof line of my house has icicles hanging from it. They look pretty, almost like a postcard: Welcome to Winter in New England. Speaking of ice, I’ll have to remember to spread the meltaway on the front steps. It will get below freezing tonight.

The sky is gray and looks to be threatening rain. The snow always gets ugly when it rains. It becomes pock-marked then disappears from all but the huge piles left by the plows. The best day is the day after the snowstorm when the snow is still beautiful and clean and sparkles in the sun. That was yesterday.

My Christmas lights still come on every night. The centerpiece is the star with trails of lights. It shines from the top of my driveway fence. Last night my neighbor called to thank me for leaving the lights. She was surprised to see they had made it through the storm, but, if she had looked, she’d have seen them covered with snow but still shining through on the night of the storm. I love the lights. I just can’t take them down. They are my defense. They keep the darkness of the winter’s nights at bay.

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

February 9, 2017

The Cape is under a blizzard watch. The winds could get as high as 55-65 MPH. The snow in Boston is already accumulating, but it hasn’t started here yet. It is still a bit warm, a holdover from yesterday’s 50+ degrees. The amount of snow we are now expecting is down a few inches from the earlier prediction, down to 8-12 inches.

They announced today’s school closings last night. My sister and I remembered waiting to hear the fire horn and jumping up and down when it sounded. I don’t remember my mother’s reaction, but I suspect she silently groaned.

The wind is picking up here. The tops of my trees, especially the pine trees, are being blown and are tipping almost sideways. I imagine the ocean is furious with white capped waves hitting the shore. The sea walls won’t keep the water back.

I almost got dressed to go outside this morning. I wanted Oreo cookies, double-stuffed, but I didn’t go, and now I’m regretting it.

The house is dark. The sky is dark clouds, snow clouds. Outside looks different when it’s going to snow. The air looks hazy. It lacks the sharpness of the winter’s sun.

Gracie has gone down the back stairs to the yard but only with me facing her and touching her as she goes down a step at a time. Her back legs slide. She is still afraid, but she trusts me to help her and keep her safe.

I’m thinking this is a day for hot cocoa with marshmallows melting and spreading over the top. I wonder if I have the ingredients to make chocolate chip cookies.

The weather has gotten fiercer. The wind is stronger. It has started to snow, with big wet flakes. The day has little to commend it. I’m happy to be home even without the Oreos.

“Poured a cup of hot sepia coffee in a wisteria flowered mug, dandelion sunshine spilling through the periwinkle sky.”

February 3, 2017

Gracie is home. A multitude of tests gave me nothing new. She has a heart flutter, but she has been taking meds for that. That she was dehydrated was the only concrete diagnosis. She is still skittish about the backstairs and wouldn’t go down them this morning so I took her out front. I’m going to try and get her down the other outside stairs which aren’t as steep.

I have decided not to lift 68 pounds again.

We are at the midpoint of winter. Behind us is only a little snow and too warm for winter temperatures. Ahead of us is February with the reputation of often being the snowiest month. It has already started out a cold month. My windshield has been covered with ice every morning. I notice it when I get the papers. In the old days, I would have been out scraping, but not anymore. It just melts.

I used to like to color. I always got a new box of Crayola crayons to start school and another new box in my Christmas stocking and sometimes one in my Easter basket. Crayons almost never got thrown away. I used to keep mine in a cigar box. The crayons were all sizes from almost brand new to stubs with barely enough room for fingers and no paper left to identify the crayon color. They became just blue or green or red and lost fancy names like Venetian Red, Cerulean Blue or Pine Tree. We didn’t have sharpeners for our crayons back then so the tips would blunt and could only be used in big areas. I never used the white. You couldn’t see it, only feel it. Faces got left uncolored. My finished works got more sophisticated as I got older. My young stuff was mostly in the lines and I used basic colors, nothing fancy. My older coloring, when I was 9 or 10, was shaded, nuanced. I’d spent time choosing just the right colors as if my pictures were works of art. My mother always put them on the fridge.

When I was in Ghana, in one of my Christmas boxes, was a paint by number. It was one of my favorite gifts. I took time finishing it as I wanted the fun of it to last. When it was done, I hung it on the wall. It was a vase and flowers, a still life masterpiece.

 

“I couldn’t shed the cold; it clung to every bit of me.”

January 31, 2017

I walked out of the house to get the papers and was totally taken aback at how cold it was. It was sunny then but the sun was just a backdrop providing some light but no heat. Since then the sun has been replaced by whitish clouds. Snow will be coming later but only an inch or two. I’m staying home today where I’ll be warm and comfortable.

When I was a kid, winter usually meant staying inside after school. I’d do my homework and then watch TV. The only exercise I had was walking to and from school. We, the four of us, must have driven my mother crazy. My brother and I would tease our younger sisters. He and I would sit on the couch on each side of one sister and point at her. That drove her crazy and she’d yell to my mother about us. We’d yell back and say we weren’t even touching her, but my mother knew. She’d tell us to stop.

I didn’t my bike out much in the winter. Mostly I walked everywhere. Some Saturdays I’d ride with my father when he did his errands. My favorite stop was at the Chinaman’s as everyone in town called it. The shop was where my dad left his white shirts each week to be cleaned. Behind the counter on shelves were bundles of cleaned shirts wrapped in brown paper tied with string. The laundry was always steamy from the big ironing machine by the window. I used to watch the Chinaman iron.

On Sunday, if I was up and dressed early enough I could ride with my father to church. He was an usher at the eight o’clock mass. He’d give me a dime to put in the basket. I always sat in a pew where he collected the money. The ushers never sat. They just stood in the back entryway and talked in whispers until it was time for the money offerings.

One of the best parts of being retired is staying home on the coldest of days, a day like to day.