A Different Kind of Snow Angel


A good snow meant one thing as a kid – FUN. We didn’t care about roads, power outages, or having to rush to the grocery store for OMG MILK, EGGS, BREAD…no, all we cared about was playing in the white stuff. Staying home didn’t make us roll our eyes, no siree.. staying home made us yelp with joy and dance with insanity. It made us….

DOWNRIGHT GIDDY.

We would willingly spend nearly 30 minutes putting on enough gear to go outside and dive into the winter wonderland. I don’t know about you, but one of my favourite things to do as soon as I stepped outside was to fall down and make a snow angel. I particularly loved doing this if we got to go outside while it was still snowing. There was always something so intensely magical about laying there, supported by inches of snow, slowly waving my hands and feet as flakes drifted down from above and melted on the few inches of my face exposed to the elements. Sometimes I stuck my tongue out to catch the flakes.

It’s funny how snow doesn’t mean the same thing now that I’m all grown up.

I don’t remember the last time I made a snow angel. Or went sledding, for that matter. I could have this past winter but I didn’t have the appropriate gear so I passed. I will have the proper gear this next year, however, and I can’t wait. (Disclaimer – I lived for nearly 20 years in the deep south where they don’t get snow often but they do get ice occasionally. Nasty, yucky ice.)

The snow this year was intense. I have tried to be humourous about it, but honestly, the past few storms have nearly made me weep. This year, I discovered my limit. Apparently when enough snow falls where the “removal” piles get so high it makes me claustrophobic is my limit. A lot of other people also hit their limits, I suspect. (Including a few folks I know who are expecting blizzard conditions tomorrow… my heart goes out to you, it does. Spring isn’t far away, you guys!)

Over the past week, the temps have soared, snow has melted, and more grass is visible than is covered by snow in most places local to me. The greenish brown landscape is almost alien at this point, given how accustomed we were to everything covered in white.

We hit another milestone today as well – for the first time in a couple of months, we can see our deck. Not just a few inches around the outer edges – the entire thing. At the peak of our snowy season, we had nearly 20 inches of snow covering our deck. Not anymore. It’s all gone.

Something of note here – turns out that snow angels aren’t just made by humans throwing themselves down on top of the snow.

They’re also made by melting snow – as a happy reminder that there is always someone watching over us:

snow angel

And that, people, is sometimes all the sign you need that spring is on the way. Well, that and a fleeting rainbow in the sky as the sun sets and clouds drift lazily on by.

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Spring Forward


March.

Such a tumultuous month, isn’t it?

So many sayings, so filled with change and rebirth.

Spring. The Ides of March. St. Patrick’s Day. In like a lion, out like a lamb.

Our first weekend of March is definitely the roar of a lion. As of right now, there’s a giant snow storm on the way, predicted to drop up to 14 inches on us. It’s frigidly cold outside.

We had a tease of warmer spring weather last weekend when it hit the upper 40’s and low 50’s. Growing up, I begged to wear shorts if it was forecast to hit 50. Years in the south jaded me and 50’s became the temp at which you bundled up. Last weekend? I wasn’t quite in shorts but I wasn’t wearing a coat either.

Last weekend was filled with hope. Birds flitted here and there. Snow melted. Grass appeared. Icicles disappeared. For the first time since early December, my heart danced with the mesmerizing rebirth that is spring.

And then.

Talk of this weekend’s storm.

Just.NO.

The birds are quiet. The icicles are re-appearing. The grass will be a distant memory after this storm, yet again. I saw large uncovered spots of grass today. Snow piles will expand, filling even more space we do not have to give to the frozen white stuff. For instance, there are parking lots with limited access and piles of snow claiming several parking spots – yesterday, at the gym, for example, I backed into a space next to a giant snow pile, with my car halfway on the pile and nearly backed into the snow pile behind it because it was one of the only spots left within proper walking space.

I’m fighting to find the silver lining at this point.

I’ve done a lot of baking. A lot. I conquered sourdough. I made sourdough bread and now make sourdough english muffins. Sourdough pancakes are above and beyond buttermilk pancakes….seriously. You want a fantastic melt in your mouth AMAZING pancake? Make a sourdough one. Dear.Sweet.FOOD.HEAVEN.

I made split pea & ham soup in the crockpot the other day. I have Borscht planned for this next week.

I am a comfort food expert at this point. Not that I wasn’t before but I have definitely expanded my horizons.

Things I’m looking forward to once warmer temperatures (finally) arrive:

  1. NO MORE SNOW.
  2. Sunshine.
  3. Birds singing.
  4. Trees with leaves.
  5. Grass, lots of it.
  6. Sitting outside in a warm breeze, drinking coffee.
  7. Warm rain.
  8. NO MORE SNOW.
  9. Summer food – lighter fare.
  10. Rabbits. Squirrels. LIFE.
  11. WARMTH.
  12. No more air that hurts my face.

I want to drive down the highway with my windows down, music blasting. I want to open the windows at home and not run the heat. I want to only see the colour white in the sky, not on the ground. I want to relish in the colour green being the prominent colour on the ground. I want to swoon over wildflowers and daffodils. I want to breathe in life and watch the Earth exhale poetry.

That’s what I want.

 

Dear Snow, It’s Not Me, It’s You


Dear Snow,

We’ve seen far too much of each other this year.

At first, it was magical, watching you turn the landscape into a winter wonderland as your flakes drifted this way and that, dancing in the air as they fell from the heavy clouds drifting lazily overhead.

Then, you insisted on dropping by every week, unannounced.Sometimes, you stopped by multiple times  and overstayed your welcome, dragging your crap with you.

Let’s talk about your buddies Frigid and Ice. Excessive cold temperatures and wintry mixes? As if excessive amounts of your crap isn’t enough to deal with? What the hell is up with dragging these idiots with you? They’re not making you look good.

You’ve littered on the lawn, the deck, the roof, the cars… you don’t pick up after yourself and you’re making it damn near impossible to go out anywhere because all you wanna do is lay around and watch Netflix whilst drinking hot cocoa.

I’m out of things to watch, I’m sick of chocolate, and quite frankly, I don’t appreciate the way your buddy Ice makes cars spin out of control. He’s a real dick, by the way. Plus, you’re getting grey and dingy around the edges.

Not to mention Frigid has the neighbors convinced they need to run their vehicles for at least 30 minutes before they go anywhere.

You gotta go. It’s over.

It’s you, not me.

I yearn for colour. For the green of grass, the purple and yellow buds of spring, the chirps of new birds, the blue sky embracing a warmer temperature.

I can’t take any more of these “looks like it’s warm outside but OH MY GOD WHY DOES THE AIR HURT MY FACE” days, Snow. I just can’t.

I am tired of looking outside at a pile of your crap higher than the windowsill. I’d like to be able to see the curbs again and not have to pull halfway out into the road just to see what the hell is around the bend thanks to the giant pile of your crap at the end of the neighborhood road.

I AM TIRED OF BEING STUCK AT HOME AND I’M SLOWLY GOING MAD.

Stop sending your fluffy magical flakes to me. They will not win me back. I’m done.

Let it go, Snow, let it go.

This is not Frozen, you are not Elsa, and Spring WILL come. The Groundhog said so.

Take your buddies Frigid and Ice with you.

All three of you are hereby evicted in favor of Warmth, Sunshine, Sanity, and GREEN GRASS.

Love, Me

PS. If you show up here again? I’m getting the flame thrower. Or catching a flight to Jamaica where I’ll stay until Spring. Who’s coming with me?

 

Hidden under the snow


All day today, I stared at the green landscape surrounding my home. The trees, the rolling hills, the asphalt. I listened to the sounds of the day pass by – the hum of traffic, the murmur of voices as people greeted each other in the halls at church.

Then we came home. We closed the door to the outside world and hunkered down in order to stay safe from the incoming snow storm.

In so many ways this is just like an episode of Postpartum.

If only we could see it coming and hunker down to stay safe and healthy.

If only the outside world wouldn’t throw a blanket over the mess of it all.

If only we wouldn’t forget what real life looks like after it has been covered up.

If only we could remember that the world is beautiful even if it’s not covered with a white blanket.

If only we didn’t let that white blanket weigh us down.

If only we didn’t let that white blanket break us.

If only we could shake it off, free ourselves from the falling chaos.

But sometimes we must break.

Sometimes we need to be covered up.

Sometimes we need to rest.

Sometimes in order to grow strong, we too, must break.

Only then will we recognize the strength which lies deep within us as we slowly wake up.

Only then will we be able to finally shake that frozen white blanket from our hearts and minds.

Then…. we will be free.

 

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Friday Soother: Ralph Waldo Emerson plays in the snow


 

"20 years of Snow" by Magnus Larsson

From within or from behind, a light shines through us upon things, & makes us aware that we are nothing, but the light is all.

~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Friday Soother: Victor Hugo finds a Purple Crocus in the snow


"PrimaVerno" by Luca.Candini @flickr.com

Life is the flower for which LOVE is the honey.

~ Victor Hugo~

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I’m BACK!


So you may have been asking yourself – where’s the new stuff? She’s been so awesomely active lately and then BAM – offline! What’s going on???

Well, for starters, I have been blissfully Bill Gates free for nearly 6 months now (I think) and using Ubuntu, a Linux based OS. One day in the not to distant past, my Firefox refused to open. It would open up long enough to load and then disappear. So I’ve been using Epiphany, a no-frills really annoying browser that limits what you can do on the world wide web.

Last Friday I finally backed up my data onto a 2GB USB key so I could reformat with the hopes of getting Firefox and my website design (formerly NvU but now Kompozer, a Firefox extension) back on track. You would think this would be easy, right?

Yeah well, here we are eight days later, an entire day of which was spent without power due to 6.5 in of snow dropping here in Georgia on March 1, and nearly 3 entire days of which was spent without an internet connection due to said storm. Oh, and our schedule was insane this week. Charlotte went back to ATL for speech therapy and had her early pre-K eval, Chris had surgery to deal with his kidney stones, and for added fun, our landlord did some cleaning up after the storm on Friday and burned some debris – the smoke enshrouded the house and I ended up spending the better part of the day at the in-laws because our house is drafty and I didn’t feel like not being able to breathe or see through the allergic reaction tears. Oh, and did I mention the run-in with a trash truck’s drive-train on the way home from ATL? Scared Charlotte and I to pieces!

My poor little Centro has been quite the workhorse and thank God I didn’t get behind in email otherwise I’d really be in trouble. I know it’ll be happy to get a break.

Ubuntu didn’t want to re-install. I didn’t want to go back to Bill Gates land and was not willing to compromise on that. My dear husband has really worked as hard as he could to get me up and running and thankfully he was successful tonight! Still have some glitches to iron out but hey, I’ve got Ubuntu runing, I’m posting here, and all is well.

Oh, and in the meantime I managed to clean my kitchen. The sinks have been clear of debris for the better part of the week. Yeah. Brings to mind a famous quote I’ve seen circulating before: “Show me a clean house and I’ll show you a broken computer!”

But I’m back.

Oh how I’ve missed the Internet on the big screen!