This bitter cold weather sure has put everyone into a funk, barely a week past the joy of the holiday season.
I started to title this blog post “Baked Alaska” after I heard an interview on WWJ earlier today with a resident of Anchorage, Alaska who said they are enduring a heat spell there. The temps were in the 30s and 40s, even up to a balmy 51 degrees! Please note I used the phrase “enduring a heat spell” … the gentleman in the interview stated most Alaskans enjoy their very cold weather and were not fond of the warmer temps. Hmm – well send that balmy weather here then, because when I ventured out to run the car this morning, it was four below zero and -17 wind chill. Brrr!
I was sitting in the car in the driveway looking up and down the street at the houses covered in icicles, both the real deal and those pretty icicle lights. I imagine most of the holiday décor is frozen to the ground or onto the houses right about now.
I try to be a glass-half-full person as much as possible, even if nowadays that glass of liquid is probably frozen solid. I struggled to create a list of the plusses for this cold spell, and I couldn’t think of any, except the snow didn’t stick to the shovel yesterday.
I did have a few observations in the half-hour that I braved that brutal wind chill to trudge outside this morning.
Today was National Bird Day and in the still morning I heard some tiny tweets coming from my ornamental tree out front. This tree is still cloaked in leaves and wearing a cap of snow over the top of it. That snow settled down onto the branches and has not moved, frozen in place, courtesy of a glaze of rain following that Christmas Eve snowfall. I think the bird was hiding in there as his tweets were faint and almost pitiful sounding. I bent down to peer through the tree, but I didn’t see him, so he must have been nestled up high, under the snow. I had nothing for him and I am sure that he, and his brethren, are missing the many feeders my neighbor Marge used to put out for them. A few times I’ve seen the birds looking wistfully toward her deck and there is nothing for them there, even the heated birdbath they once enjoyed.
I wandered around the backyard a bit before coming back inside – after all, it took me a half hour to get suited up to step outside, and there were no errands, shoveling or walks on my agenda, so I occupied myself with a trip to the backyard.
Two houses away, I watched the Comcast guy, after dragging his extension ladder out of the truck, hooking it together, then climbing slowly up to the top of the pole. He removed his heavy gloves and began to fiddle around with something. The cold air was obviously uncomfortable as he kept blowing on his hands, hoping his warm breath would breathe life into his numb fingers.
I discovered a large dead tree limb had come crashing down on my lilac tree the other day, and I wanted to check it out. I’m puzzled where that limb originated from. Was it part of the tree itself or the tall trees in the house behind? I can’t tell, but it has to be removed in the Spring before the tree comes to life once again … if it comes to life once again. I felt badly seeing the broken branches and hope the damage is not severe, as it as it is part of a pair of lilac trees, with its counterpart like a bookend at the opposite end of the back garden. These trees are over fifty years old.
I’ve decided that most people will be seeking comfort food this weekend, craving all those fattening goodies like baked macaroni and cheese with a crispy au gratin topping, or banana pudding, or even better … bread pudding. Perhaps folks will be cooking up a big pot of chili for these beyond-chilly days. Of course, we could overindulge and eat our way into a new size if we’re not careful, despite our New Year’s resolutions.
I, for one, can’t increase my girth because my landing is so small, that if I grow one inch sideways, I swear that I will not be able to navigate pulling off and on the boots, while balancing on one foot at a time, while trying to feel unencumbered in my bulky puffy coat. In my next life, or next house – whichever comes first, I want a mud room.
Winter is really getting old already, but I’m buoyed by the chatter about a January thaw by mid-week. Perhaps I can head down to Council Point Park, and get in a real walk, and maybe take the camera as well.