Posted tagged ‘winter’

“Once you have a wonderful dog, life without one, is a life diminished.”

February 2, 2017

Gracie news is first. Yesterday morning around 5 she stood up on the bed and that movement woke me. All of a sudden I saw Gracie start to fall over so I grabbed her before she fell. She then collapsed on the bed. I held her around the neck and talked to her as her eyes were wide in fear. I then helped her stand up. She did but just stood not moving then threw up. I cleaned the bed and tried to get her off of it, but because my bed is an old one and quite high, she wouldn’t get off it. I finally lifted all 68 pounds of her to the floor. She walked to the stairs but wouldn’t go down. I went in front of her and she went down one step at a time. I decided to take her right away to C.A.R.E., the emergency vets. We got there around 5:30 and waited a bit. Finally we went into the treatment room. The vet listened to what had happened then took her for some tests. They were all fine except Gracie was a bit dehydrated. She has a heart flutter but is on meds for that. The decision was to leave her overnight so she could be rehydrated and given some X-rays. The vet called in the afternoon and Gracie was doing well, no aftereffects. I called this morning and she is staying there until the afternoon when she is going to have a cardiac echo. My poor baby! I just hope everything is okay.

My house feels cold and is quiet.

Punxsutawney Phil has predicted six more weeks of winter. It is cold today so he might just be right, but that would unusual. Poor Phil is correct only 39% of the time, but considering the three coldest months of the year are December, January and February, this might be one of those times.

The sun is shining with the sharpness of a winter’s day. The breeze is slight. I’m hanging around the all day house though I have stuff I need to do including going to the dump, but I’ll save that for Gracie and me tomorrow. She’ll love it.

“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 Since then the sun has been replaced by whitish clouds.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.

“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.

“After luncheon the sun, conscious that it was Saturday, would blaze an hour longer in the zenith,…”

January 14, 2017

The cold is back. Alexa just told me it is 28˚. The high will be 36˚. In whose world is 36˚ a high? I know it is winter. I’m not deluded, but I am hopeful. Come on 50˚. Come back January thaw!!

When I was a kid, Saturday was the best day of the week. I didn’t have to go to school. I could go anywhere I wanted or I could stay home glued to the TV watching Creature Double Feature. Nothing was better than two B-science fiction movies in black and white one after the other. I got to watch spiders, giant ants, grasshoppers and even monoliths destroy cities and kill people. I sat as close to the TV as my mother allowed.

If my mother didn’t want us hanging around the house all day, she’d send us to the Saturday matinee. My brother and I would walk uptown to the movie theater. We usually arrived early so we waited in line none too patiently with every other kid who arrived early. We’d buy a ticket, choose a candy bar then find a seat. I never liked being too close to the screen. My mother would have been pleased. The theater was never quiet. We’d clap and yell for our heroes and boo the bad guys. It was easy to tell them apart. In westerns, the good guys wore white hats which never fell off their heads, even in fights with the black-hatted bad guys. We’d watch a serial, two movies and a cartoon, not bad for a quarter, up from the dime of my younger days.

I can’t remember the last time I ate a Sugar Daddy, but I loved them at the movies. They lasted longer than any other candy. My favorite part was chewing the caramel from the top and pulling with my teeth until threads appeared. They were always hard to bite. Once in a while I’d buy Sugar Babies. They were the same taste as Sugar Daddies but were soft to chew. Sugar Mamas joined the family. They were my favorites as they were a Sugar Daddy covered in chocolate.

When I go to the movies now, I buy popcorn and a drink. Sometimes I sneak in candy. I prefer Nonpareils. They aren’t as much fun as Sugar Daddies but are far less dangerous for my fillings.

“Spring, summer, and fall fill us with hope; winter alone reminds us of the human condition.”

January 8, 2017

It hasn’t been the best of mornings though it is a pretty day with the sun glinting off the snow. When I let the dog out, I could see how much snow had fallen as it was piled high on the back deck. I had a bit of trouble opening the storm door and had to push the snow away. Gracie waited then slid out the door and stood at the top of the stairs wondering, I guessed, if she really needed to go that badly. She did. I worried, but she made it without falling. I opened the front door next and could see my papers lying on the top of the pile left by the plow. From the house to the papers seemed miles away. There had to be at least 10 or 12 inches of snow. It was if I was being taunted by the papers. How much did I want them? I put on socks and shoes and plodded my way to the papers then stepped in my footprints back to the house. My shoes and my pants to the knees were covered in snow, but I had my Sunday papers. I filled my cup with coffee then sat down to read the Globe. I reached for the coffee and missed. I overturned the cup and coffee spilled all over the table, the floor and parts of the paper. I cursed. That was my morning.

It is only 18˚ but I have a high of 25˚ to look forward to this afternoon. The low will be 10˚. I am not going anywhere even after Skip comes to free my car and shovel the walk. The pretty day doesn’t entice me at all to leave the warmth of the house.

Winter waited in the wings a long time, but it has arrived with great fanfare. All last year we didn’t have a winter storm which dropped as much snow as this one. We got walloped, but the snow is light and fluffy which is a good thing. The tree branches have almost no snow left on them. The wind took care of that.

I’m sitting here comfy in my sweatshirt, flannel pants and warm slippers. I just poured a cup of coffee destined, I hope, to stay in the cup. It is hot and delicious. The animals are asleep. Music is playing. Alexa has chosen well. All is now well with my world.

“Winter bites with its teeth or lashes with its tail.”

January 3, 2017

We have rain and 44˚. The low for the day will be 43˚. This is not winter in New England, but winter is impatiently waiting in the wings. Daytime tomorrow will be 50˚ but tomorrow night will be in the 20’s. The rest of the week will be 30’s during the day and 20’s at night. That’s a warm winter in New England!

The winter weather never mattered when I was a kid. I still had to walk to and from school every day. It wasn’t miles or feet of snow, but it was cold, freezing cold. The blasts of wind from across the field at the foot of my street whipped through my jacket. I remember using my mittened hands to protect my ears, red and numb from the cold. The hat my mother insisted I wear never kept my ears warm, just the top of my head. I’d hurry to get to the street below the field, the one with houses on both sides, buffers from the wind. It was a straightaway from there to school.

The middle of my classroom was always warm. Near the windows was chilly so most of us wore sweaters over our uniforms. The girls wore blue skirts and white blouses. The boys wore white shirts and blue pants. We could wear any shoes and socks. I don’t remember what shoes I wore, but I remember knee socks and pink long underwear which warmed my legs almost to the hem of my skirt.

In winter the classroom was never quiet. Even if we were silently reading, we could hear the hissing and wheezing of steam escaping from the radiators. I think that’s the sound I most miss from long ago winters.

My house has forced hot air from my gas furnace. I keep the daytime temperature at 68˚. That used to be warm enough. It isn’t anymore so I wear a sweatshirt around the house. The air blows and the house gets warm. I know this system is far more efficient than the radiators were, but the radiators did far more than spew heat. Coming in from the freezing cold, I could sit with my back to the pipes and quickly get warm. My mittens on the top of the radiator sizzled as they dried. My shoes with their curled toes looked like something Aladdin would wear after they’d dried under the radiator. When I was falling asleep, the radiators would hiss, crackle and even groan when they were warming the house. It was a comforting sound. I knew heat was coming.

“All writers have this vague hope that the elves will come in the night and finish any stories.”

December 3, 2016

Winter is poking its head in the door. Last night was downright cold. This morning is warmer but is still chilly. The sun is shining but seems to serve little purpose except as scenery. I’m hanging around today though I do have an errand or two on my new list. I’m thinking I might just get to that laundry still sitting in front of the cellar door.

I’m using sticky notes for my lists. There are three notes attached to my table which conveniently is metal. The notes are a bright pink. One is a list of things to do and places to go. It looks long. Another reminds me of fairs and an open house at my potter’s  tomorrow. The last list is just a couple of gift items for Christmas presents and where I can get them. Luckily my table is big so there is plenty of room for more bright pink lists.

I figure to start making a list (yup, another one) of the cookies and candy I want to make for Christmas and the ingredients I need. Some traditions still hold. I’ll make fudge for my sister, orange cookies for Clare and if I have time, toffee for Moe and Rod. I’ll also pick some other cookies yet to be decided. I like to try new cookies year by year.

I sometimes wish The Elves and the Shoemaker was real. It would be so neat to wake up and have everything done. I’d be happy to leave a list for the elves. I have plenty I’m willing to share. While they’re at it, they might just do my laundry.