Sunday, January 24, 2016


A good winter storm always takes me back to the mountains of North Carolina when every winter brought a least a couple, if not more, storms similar to this weekend's Winter Storm Jonas.(When did snowstorms take on names??) Those of you who were students at Appalachian Elementary will recall we didn't go to school for over a month during the winter of 1960.

Memories of snow cream (not tainted from air pollution), waxing the rudders of my sled for greater speed, Mom's hot chocolate made from scratch, and cold, burning fingers and toes from staying out way too long. Richard Randall and I played at his house on snow days; like siblings, we'd get on each others' nerves, and I'd break one of his crayons, only to be sent across the driveway by Aunt Lera to get my crayon of the same color as a replacement (which I would break in half and claim mine was broken, too.) But mostly, we played and tunneled in the snow and played some more.

I don't get bored or lonely when I'm snowed in.  As a career teacher, I can vouch for the fact that teachers always have their fingers crossed for a snow day at the sighting of the first flake.

Here are a few ways I keep myself busy when snowed in. (Notice that cleaning / organizing did not make the list.)

I've knit. This weekend I worked on teaching myself a couple new stitches I'd like to use in some upcoming projects. The hat below matches my new neck warmer, and the dishcloth served as my project to learn the berry stitch - quite simple, really. Recent research, verified by several article on Facebook, tell of the stress relief my favorite hobby brings, so on snowy days, I pull out the needles and keep them clicking.

I channel Miss Jane Hathaway (of The Beverly Hillbillies for you young'uns) and bird watch. I've observed pine siskins, mourning doves, blue jays, goldfinches, titmice, nuthatches, cardinals, red-bellied woodpeckers, downy woodpeckers, hairy woodpeckers, towhees, juncos, house finches, and others devour the oil seed I pushed through the knee-high snow to get to the feeders. PepĂ­n, the partially leucistic house finch who was here last winter has returned, much to my delight.

I watch TV - a couple of movies & documentaries, some basketball, ice skating, etc. 'Nuf said. PBS Series recommended. Most other TV, not worth the watch.

I listen to a lot of music and search for new artists who pique my listening ear. And, I tune in to a lot of NPR radio to fill in the gaps. I am aghast by the numbers of folks who take Donald Trump seriously. Likewise, Ted Cruz nauseates me, as does Sarah Palin. (My cousin recently reprimanded me for posting too much #feelthebern into on FB, but I'm "feeling the bern," so I don't care!)

My makeshift indoor greenhouse in my bathroom holds my orchids, and I piddle around with it,  cleaning and rearranging the plants housed therein. All my orchids are thriving - a contrast to the winters they've endured without sufficient protection from the too direct light and inconsistent temps. Since I can never remember the proper names for the orchids, I call this one the Dancing Russians Orchid - in glorious bloom and happy as a lark.

I'm also happy with the coleus I rooted from last summer's stock.  Nice colors on dreary days.


I hang out with two corgis and attempt to keep the house as free of their year-round shed as possible. They're not big fans of heavy snow falls since they get lost in the drifts. Mac tends to enjoy plowing through the snow with his nose; MerryBelle would just as soon stay inside.

Cleaning up the clutter and going through papers has yet to make the list. My entire house looks like my office used to look. There's a chaotic organization to my clutter, however, and I can live with that, especially when snow's on the ground and I can do all sorts of other things.

Finally, I layer up in a mountain of clothes and go out to play. Looking like the Pillsbury Dough Boy, I waddle through the snow, make a couple of snow angels, check out the barn, and do laps out the lane.

That's where I'm headed now.

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