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Thursday, January 12, 2012

Knock on Wood


I am almost afraid to write about this, for fear of jinxing things, but we’ve been having a mild winter.  And NO, Snow Gods, there is no need to interpret that as in invitation.  It’s just that folks who have been following Middle Passages for a long time may recall I’m not a fan of the season, especially when parked in our family room where the temps, for some reason, hover ten degrees below the rest of the house.  

Being of the frugal, New England Yankee sort, we keep our thermostat on a timer.  It maintains the heat as low as tolerable during the day (tolerable being a relative term).   In previous years, I have transitioned my writing desk at the back of the house to a winter residence in by the laptop in the warmer (again, think relative term here) front living room.  In spite of this improvement, to survive over the last two winters, I climbed into a cold-weather writing costume before sitting down at the computer. Let’s just say a scarf, a knit cape, fleece boots and occasionally, a hat were involved.
 
This year though, I’m still camped out in my cubby in the back corner, and though I won’t call it warm, my daughter’s plaid flannel scarf suffices.  I have no complaints.  But it struck me recently, as much as I hate to admit it, there are parts of winter I'm missing.  Other than a dusting of snow that melted by noontime yesterday, we’ve had none.  We have yet to wake up to the cotton quiet of a muted dawn after an overnight storm.  The cement meeting pond, on the town common across the street from the building where I now work part-time remains liquid, absent of toddlers pushing around chairs while learning to skate.  The thwack of hockey pucks fails to echo down the street from our house, because the rim of ice around the edges of the pond there surrounds black water.  The down jacket I inherited from my daughter two years ago hangs on the hook in the closet where it’s been since last March. 

I can do without the singe of cold that ices the inside of my nose when the temps drop into the teens, but when the thermometer does register that low, there’s something alive about stepping into breath-gasping air to pick up the paper in the morning.  When dressed right, a walk in those temperatures defies something powerful, and celebrates a determination to muscle through, no matter what. 
  
Folks who move out west, or down south after living in New England often say they miss the seasons.  When  I hear that, I roll my eyes. “Try me,” I say and for the time being, I guess Mother Nature is calling my bluff.  I'd be lying if I said it doesn't feel more than a bit off. 

But then there's this; at least when unexpected visitors arrive, I don't have to run and hide.

20 comments:

Anne Gallagher said...

I miss the seasons. Two days before Christmas I was in shorts, it was 68 degrees. Two days ago it was 65, more like April in RI than Jan in NC.

We won't have snow at all this year. Not the cotton kind anyway. And even if we did get snow, it's not the same as from home. It's icy, sleety, it doesn't float gently in big white flakes, it slams itself to the ground with an attitude. And then usually within a half hour it's gone.

Believe me, I hear you on the triple layers. My heat is set at 66 in the house and where I write is freezing. I wear a bathrobe over my clothes and half gloves, big uggy slippers and most of the time a hat too. We should post pics. LOL.

Old Kitty said...

Although the forecast is for frost and colder temps in the next few days, the weather has been most warm and mild - at least here in the south. It's been most disconcerting - the daffodils are springing up already!

Take care
x

Yvonne Osborne said...

Well said. It's almost the middle of January and we've had no snow. None, unless you want to count a thin dusting Christmas Eve. We might get some this weekend. It would be reassuring.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

I'll say it - I miss the seasons! Here in the South we have two months of mild winter, one week each of spring and fall, and the rest is summer. Blah!

Jan Morrison said...

I'm not a fan of winter - what I'm usually bitter about is the lack of spring here in the Maritimes. But this year is just weird. It is like it is pending, hanging over our heads like Damoclesus's sword (or how ever you spell that) and it makes me antsy. My guy loves winter - he is of Labrador stock. He wants us to move there in a few years. Yikes. Winter from November to April, bugs from April to November. I think I want New Mexico. But on the seasonal thing - I didn't like the enevibility of the seasons down south (Jamaica, Cuba). the days that last the same length, the everything being 'in season' all year long, so yes, I like the reminder of the ephemeral quality of life. And I don't like global warming.

jbchicoine said...

I also "miss the cotton quiet of a muted dawn after an overnight storm." We haven't had much snow here this year--maybe tonight, though. From the looks of the radar, you all are due for some nasty weather--or is that more north of you?

Bish Denham said...

No matter where one lives, there are seasons, it's just a matter of whether they are in your face or more subtle. Our winter has been mild too, compared to last year when we had some bitter cold. But Texas is still dry, dry, dry. Water is our big issue at the moment.

jabblog said...

Our winter is milder than usual, too, though we're promised colder temperatures in the next few days. I would miss the seasons if we didn't have them - sometimes we have all four in one day;-)

Colette Martin said...

I am really not missing the snow and the cold. Maybe it's because the freak snowstorm in October gave us a heavy dose.

Liza said...

It's all rain here Bridget.

Catherine Denton said...

I love how you describe the cold--so beautiful I could feel the "gasping" moment. I'm craving snow too. We got just a snippet last night. Hoping for more.

Nicole Zoltack said...

I live in Pa and I like that we have 4 distinct seasons. I just wish winter was a little shorter, but you're right, it's been relatively mild and I pray it stays that way!

Jennifer Shirk said...

I TOALLY remember New England winters! In fact, when we first moved up there it was 1995/96 and I remember we were hit with so much snow I was ready to move again. LOL

Joanne said...

I'm with you! My two favorite seasons are spring and summer. I'm the one who will wear my flip flops until my feet are practically freezing in the fall!
Blessings, Joanne

~Sia McKye~ said...

Liza, we keep the heat down here too. We have seasons, but no, I don't miss New England snow, nor do I miss NW Wisconsin snow--my parents lived there until 1995. Funny, I do miss snowmobiling to the resorts. That was fun.

We got about 2 inches of snow and arctic cold the past two days and I can not get warm--even in layers, lol!

Sia McKye OVER COFFEE

missing moments said...

It is mysterious weather but I'm not going to complain. I just hope old mother nature is not storing up a surprise for us!

Carol Kilgore said...

I've lived all over - with seasons and with the same season year-round and everything in between. I do like strong seasons. Winter is the only one that's weird for me. It can begin as early as it wants to because I'm usually ready for it. But come February, I want it over and done. I'm always VERY ready for spring.

Catherine Denton said...

Horrified that you hadn't tasted snow ice cream, I put the recipe for it in the comments of my blog. But in case you missed it, here's the link: Snow Ice Cream

Ella said...

I have lived both worlds. Now living in NC, I miss it! I did get over it, for awhile when I lived in Anchorage. Yes, one hundred inches of snow and lot of shoveling cured me, for quite a while. Then went home to Maine and had to shovel snow off a roof and keep a pathway clear. I had amazing biceps :D What I miss most is the quiet walks in the early evening, with the snow lightly falling. I'd be the first one to the town wharf, alone in the quiet beauty. I miss it!

Stephen Tremp said...

Okay, I do miss the seasons. i really really do. All this sunshine and warm weather in January. Its difficult. And my kids wonder what it would be like to have a snow day.