November 2, 2016
In the aftermath of all the little ghosts, goblins, superheroes and villains who came to our door Monday night (a group I collectively refer to as “the little Halloweeners”), I awoke the next morning to a decidedly dull and winter-threatening sky. The clouds appeared to be what my beloved and I always refer to as a “snow sky”. Well, it is November, and that is usually the first month we get snow. I wondered, what does the Farmer’s Almanac say about this season just technically one month and 20 days away? So of course, being at the keyboard, I decided to find out.
Ugh. I wish I hadn’t looked. To quote: Exceptionally cold–if not downright frigid–winter weather will predominate over parts of the Rockies, Prairies, Great Lakes, Ontario, Quebec, and the Maritime Provinces. Gee, thanks, Farmer’s Almanac. Just what I didn’t want to hear. On the plus side of things, I do have a not yet even one year old furnace. I tend to purchase my groceries so that I likely have about a couple of months’ worth of provisions here—with the exception of those highly perishable commodities like milk and eggs. Maybe I can buy some milk in those cartons that don’t need refrigeration until you open them. Do they still make those? And hey, I know the old timers used to store eggs over the winter in buckets of oil (because chickens don’t lay eggs overmuch in the reduced sunshine time of winter). A light oil, like mineral oil is supposed to work. I’ve heard they also used to use lye. Not sure if I want to put that theory to the test myself, but it is a possibility, I guess.
I’m grateful that at this point in my life I don’t have to do anything I really don’t want to do. When I was younger, I used to make fun of the old folks who liked to more or less hibernate in the winter. Now, being older, I get it. I am trying not to become too much of a hermit, but seriously, I am very happy and comfortable within the walls of my very humble home. The Internet and television keep me apprised of what’s going on in the wider world, I can sit out on my front porch and ruminate if I want to, thus assuring myself of fresh air and sunshine, or, on overcast days like today appears to be, just the fresh air.
I can’t stop the winter from happening. I wouldn’t though, even if I could. The farmers need a good snowfall and cold temperatures to help assure a bountiful planting in the spring, and to provide a good crop of winter-wheat. People who spend the money to have plows installed on the front of their pick-up trucks need some snowfall to allow them to make additional income by plowing parking lots and neighborhood driveways. Not to mention the snowmobile dealers, the ski resorts, and all the others who make their bread and butter from the reality of winter weather.
I can insulate myself against the worst of it, and that I have been doing for the last few years. If it’s too terribly cold, I don’t go outside. It’s not good for a person with heart disease to venture out into the sub-zero conditions, anyway. If the car gets buried in snow, I know that, if my beloved isn’t up to using the snow blower to dig it out, we have a couple of grandsons who can come and do that.
It’s not entirely comfortable for people like my husband and I to admit that we are no longer self-sufficient. There are some things we can’t do, that we need others to do for us. But really, that’s part of the grand scheme of life, don’t you think?
You start out in life as a baby, your every need and most of your wants seen to by another person or two. Then you grow, and mature, and eventually, you have babies of your own. Those babies receive your care and nurturing as you fill every need and most of their wants.
Then you age, and they grow to maturity…and give back. Well, hopefully they give back. There are sadly a lot of elderly persons in assisted living centers who rarely even get a visit from their kids and grandkids. But there are also many who are entering their December years who are held within the loving heart of a caring family.
Life is a movie on a continuous loop. We just need to understand where, exactly, our part comes in.