Slow as molasses in January.


Did your folks ever use this expression when you were growing up?

Perhaps Mom was commenting on the ketchup as it took forever to make its slow journey out of the bottle, while her French fries were cooling off too quickly.

Or, Dad was bemoaning the poor counter clerk at Bob-Jo’s Frozen Custard in Wyandotte, as he tried to herd the neighborhood kids together, while she tended to an endless stream of customers on a hot Summer evening.

Or, maybe … your folks were being critical of you and your pokey ways, equating you to a slug, or, perhaps a tired brown bear at the end of a deep sleep during the Winter months.

Well, today there were a couple of things that made me think of the expression “slow as molasses in January” …

The first was that fog that hung around forever.

Before I suited up around 9:00 a.m., I peeked out the door and couldn’t see across the street. The weatherman had been saying 3/4s of a mile visibility, but, I had to verify it for myself.

Well, they got that forecast right. Nope, I was not going anywhere for a long time.

Since I am still on this cleaning and organization kick, I put myself into gear to while away some time, until I turned the news on again at 11:00 a.m. Okay, now 1/4 of a mile visibility.  Well, that was more like it.  I got dressed and finally departed around 11:30.

I had been so intent on the fog report, however, I neglected to pay much attention to the air temperature.

When I stepped out the door, I saw my neighbor’s window was open, the curtains blowing in the breeze. I thought about going back and changing into a lighter coat and said to myself “well, now how warm can it really be?”

Plenty warm – believe me!

Besides the still-murky conditions, it was humid and extra mud-puddly as well. I had to step around the puddles, and mud-caked sidewalks from the recent rains.  The leaves, still left on lawns and sidewalks from Fall, were slick and slimy feeling, and glommed onto the bottom of my shoes with each step I took.  But, it wasn’t ice, nor snow, so it was basically good walking weather.

I aimed to walk the entire perimeter path, i.e. both loops at Council Point Park, when I set out. But, it wasn’t my furry friends at the Park that shortened that walk, but I was to blame since I got overheated.  First, the coat came off, then the gloves seemed to be burdensome without the coat, and then … there were no more layers to remove as I wearing a heavy turtleneck sweatshirt.  I eventually headed home, extremely overdressed, since I passed people in tee-shirts and shorts in the neighborhood.

This balmy weather even brought out the motorcycles, plus a bicycle or two.

And Marge wasn’t the only person welcoming in some nice fresh air. I saw many house windows were raised, vehicle windows were lowered, and the radios blared, not unlike that first warmish day in March, when everyone enjoys just being outdoors, after being cooped up over the long Winter.

The fog was not the only item on today’s agenda that was slow as molasses in January.

The U.S. Mail gets that moniker as well.

I saw Jenny, our mail carrier, had been by, so I grabbed the mail and rifled through it while walking to the door.

I was surprised to find a Christmas card that was mailed one month ago today from one of my mom’s friends who lives in Toronto.

I had worried about Rose since I never got an Easter or birthday card from her in 2016, and, when no Christmas card arrived, I had thought the worst.

She mailed it somewhat timely, as mail usually takes a week to get here from Canada, and the Christmas rush may have made it tardier, but a month from door to door?

So, do we blame Canada or the U.S. for the slow-as-molasses delivery of the mail?

Thus, this was a day that evoked memories of another one of my mom’s favorite sayings over the years, and, that saying also reminded me of her cure-all, a sticky tonic passed down from her mother and grandmother. It was a big spoonful of blackstrap molasses daily, all year round, to keep you healthy.  It was mixed into warm water, and merely tolerated, but surely not savored by me.  She and her kin touted it as a “cure for all that ails you”, and, in the Winter months, that daily tablespoonful of molasses was the “chaser” to the equally liberal tablespoonful of cod liver oil malt that greeted me every morning before breakfast.  Cod liver oil malt was a sticky concoction, with the consistency of honey, that contained a big dose of cod liver oil, guaranteed to ward off the sniffles and flu, those maladies that I was sure to bring home from my grade school classmates.  My mom would dip the spoon into the tall, dark-brown bottle, and twirl the gooey substance around it, then say “open up quickly before it drips all over!”  I obeyed because that stuff, for all its nasty taste, did the job – I never got sick, except for measles and chicken pox which I got on my mom’s birthday and Mother’s Day, respectively, the same year.

I hear the fog will creep back in overnight and settle into the neighborhoods once again tomorrow morning.

I shall try to be less impatient and keep my foot-tapping and arm-crossing to a minimum, dress appropriately and rejoice about the near-tropical temps we will enjoy on the 22nd of January.


[Image by Steinchen from Pixabay]

About Linda Schaub

This is my first blog and I enjoy writing each and every post immensely. I started a walking regimen in 2011 and decided to create a blog as a means of memorializing the people, places and things I see on my daily walks. I have always enjoyed people watching, and so my blog is peppered with folks I meet, or reflections of characters I have known through the years. Often something piques my interest, or evokes a pleasant memory from my memory bank, so this becomes a “slice o’ life” blog post that day. I respect and appreciate nature and my interaction with Mother Nature’s gifts is also a common theme. Sometimes the most-ordinary items become fodder for points to ponder over and touch upon. My career has been in the legal field and I have been a legal secretary for four decades, primarily working in downtown Detroit, and now working from my home. I graduated from Wayne State University with a degree in print journalism in 1978, though I’ve never worked in that field. I like to think this blog is the writer in me finally emerging!! Walking and writing have met and shaken hands and the creative juices are flowing once again in Walkin’, Writin’, Wit & Whimsy – hope you think so too. - Linda Schaub
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2 Responses to Slow as molasses in January.

  1. Marge Aubin says:

    I heard most of these saying from my Mom. It must be a Canadian thing. Her dad and grandmother were big on sayings.


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