Snow and ice, they grip and hold
the cold. Long days and nights
but close about
spring giggles. She knows
snow and ice will pack and run.
The months have been dry, even to the extent that a severe water shortage had been declared, and we were admonished to use restraint in our usage, especially when irrigating our lawns and flower beds. The drought has continued through the winter, and here we were into February, little rain, and our snowfall of less than an inch had been disappointing. A couple of weeks ago it started raining. And raining, and then again, until I threatened to gather gopher wood, and I thought I glimpsed a thin line of animals trekking down our lane. Last night came heavy snow, mounding on our deck tables, ledging on our window frames, and spreading over the new daffodil shoots that bravely this morning are still pointing skyward. Snow is forecast to last throughout the day. Yes! We need it, and I love it.
Winston hates the rain. When he must go out, I give him a little shove down the back steps, he does his business and shivers his way back up the steps. But snow? He loves snow! Trots rapidly, pushes it around with his nose, and when we were almost home after our walk this morning, he turned in to Ken and Nancy’s across the street and barked for Shelby, their golden retriever. “Come out and play,” but Shelby didn’t like the snow too much and when Ken opened the door to let her out, she held back on the deck while Winston loudly barked at her.
“What shall we have for breakfast?” I asked Jerry after Winston and I were back inside, and he suggested waffles and bacon and that was deliciously fine with me.
Do you know about our waffle iron? I suspect not, for I have been dilatory about posting faithfully on this blog, and have a hunch I have not told you. Since I’m positive you want to know, I’ll tell you now!
During the Memorial Day holiday here in our mountain communities we have mountain-wide garage sales. Hundreds of people organize (or sometimes not!) their things, set them out on tables or blankets on the driveway, or . . .you know the routine. and we shoppers cruise by and if someone’s offerings appeal to us, we park our cars (often with great difficulty here) and browse through the items. It was three or four years ago now when Andrew and his crew were up for the event, and we were involved in said activities, when by the side of the road we spied a mound of boxes and bags and a sign that snagged us: FREE. There among the stuff set this beautiful, red waffle iron. Now I have never owned a waffle iron, and I said, “Look at that!”
“Want me to get it, Granny?” said dear little Brady.
“The rest,” as they say, “is history.” The perfectly operating red iron has now waffled out scores of crispy treats, its count increased this morning when Jerry and I chomped down on a couple of our own.
Those daffodils? They’re vulnerable. Because it is in their DNA, they have pushed through the cold earth . . .but they are fragile, and before their blooms burst into their intended glory, death and destruction will try to snag them. Disease. Rodents. The stomp of a hard-soled shoe, the wayward strike of a hoe.
I care about those plants on my front bank, and will see to them. See to their safety and to their progression.
We’re all daffodils. We lean on each other.
During the night I saw that our electric bedroom clock had a black face, and having heard the forecast, I knew–at least I suspected. The unusual May storm had moved down the coast and was now pounding our dry, hungry area, and when I peered through the bathroom window I saw that our gardens were covered with snow. The great winds and heavy snow had somewhere caused a tree to fall into electrical lines, and “the power won’t be back on until 11:00 this morning,” said Bill when Jerry called to check on him after we first got up. Bill is our astonishing 94-year-old next door neighbor.
Looking out our dining room window, and across Lake Gregory, we saw this incredible scene, one my eyes never tire of seeing..
The coffee situation was of prime concern, and soon found me with both knees flat on the floor, my head stuck into a bottom-most cupboard. I hauled out pots and pans, then finally from the very back, I drew the prize. The ancient dented drip style coffee pot had rumbled around in all our motor homes, where on small burners it would gurgle and fuss, as among the steaminess it wafted out scents of brewing coffee. In addition to serving within the motor homes, it had treated us and our friends well at many a camp fire across the country. On the upper counter in my kitchen were two fine coffeepot specimens, a Keurig, and a Cuisinart, but although clothed in fine stainless steel attire, and wearing fancy knobs and boasting of superior settings, they both were helpless. Battered pot to the rescue!
As it was 30 degrees outside, warmth was a consideration, for our furnace, though gas, requires electricity to operate. Throughout the day–for the electricity actually was not restored until a few minutes after 7:00 in the evening–Jerry carried up loads of wood and kept a fire roaring.
I pulled on boots and Winston and I nosed around in the back where I saw that our plum tree was so weighted with snow that its top branch had bent until it touched the ground, as did our largest lilac bush. Two plum branches had broken off completely. But the snowy scene was stunningly beautiful. I admired frozen water drops on green stems, flower blossoms that were encased in ice, and other snowy forms and images.
I missed the light, though, and throughout the day I thought of distressed people in Nepal and of those who have never known electric lights, and of tribes who would stare with wonder at a microwave oven, or at a washing machine, or at the screen of a computer.
I remembered that Jesus is the light of the world, and reflected on the dominance and far-reaching considerations of that thought.
Delightful is this day, and excepting that all my family and all my friends are not here with me, the day is close to perfect. For hours gossamer snow has fallen from the grayish skies, so that now the yards and the decks match, having set aside their individual colors to take on the pristine white that only comes from an ermine shawl of fresh snow. The house is completely decorated for Christmas, inside and out, strings of tiny lights offering up their glitter as a gift to the festivities, Winston is snoozing here and there as pleases him at that moment, and Jerry is fixed in his recliner, by turns reading the paper and talking by phone to friends and relatives. This afternoon I will bake things in anticipation of our open house we will host next Saturday. A fire is blazing in the living room, while outside the snow continues to fall. The tall pines and cedars are well-dressed now in their winter finery, and when I open a slider, I hear the sizzle that miraculously snowflakes make as they curve through the frigid air.