Celebrating Winter

Amethyst Brook Falls, Massachusetts ~ Stephen Gingold

It’s Wednesday night, and a lovely sixty-four degrees in my neighborhood. Two hundred miles to the northwest, in Austin, it’s dropped to thirty-nine, and when an even farther-west friend in Kerrville went out to collect wood for her stove, it had dropped below freezing. Up on the Caprock it’s eighteen; in assorted Panhandle towns it’s only ten, and creeping toward zero. Winter — real winter — is on its way again.

Everyone in Texas remembers last February’s snow and ice extravaganza, with its statewide loss of power and loss of life. Still, as one of my favorite meteorologists put it on this Groundhog Day, Pennsylvania may have Punxsutawney Phil, but Texas has ERCOT Earl. He saw his shadow today, so we should get six more weeks of power. As  freezing rain begins across the state, we certainly hope so.

I’m not particularly fond of ice, but I have wonderful memories of snow, and wouldn’t mind seeing it again. Since that’s not likely here on the coast despite the coming cold, I thought I’d relive the experience through one of my favorite poems: written and revised over the years. If you’ve had snow, have snow, or are hoping for snow, perhaps you’ll enjoy it; if the cold lingers for a while, perhaps you’ll find a way to enjoy that, too.

 

The Grammarian In Winter

Winter speaks in passive voice,
conjugates brief slants of light,
parses out cold stars along a tracery of oak.
Beneath the rising moon, fine participles gleam.
D
angling remnant leaves pull free
to tumble down the winds,
evocative declensions of a season now unbound.
Split by ice, the pond breathes smoke.
Split by cold, the blackened ferns release their shattered fronds.
Split by hoarfrost, fences bend and crack across the cold-boned land.
Infinitives abound.
Silent, shrouded by the pond’s slight breath,
clear-eyed herons sweep the snow
as if to scry its source;
their spellbound cries declaim the day,
then punctuate the dim and drifting hills.
Linda Leinen

 

Comments always are welcome.
For more of Steve Gingold’s marvelous winter photos, Click Here.

130 thoughts on “Celebrating Winter

  1. The poem has wonderful opening lines. Hope it doesn’t get too cold in Texas. I know folks aren’t set up for frigid weather the way we are. But no matter where you live, ice is always unwelcome.

    1. Thanks, Laurie. A friend up in Panhandle awoke to -7 this morning: that’s almost Maine-level temperatures! The cold will work its way south (my 64 degrees changed to 36 overnight), but the good news is it’s not going to be a days-long event. That said, my squirrels clearly are happy for their double portion of peanuts and sunflower this morning.

    1. We all hope for no repeat. People farther north already are getting ice and sleet, but it seems that icy roads and bridges will be the worst of it for us. I did bring in some plants and readied the freeze cloth for others. A bit of ‘real’ winter here isn’t the worst thing in the world if the power stays on, even though the slightest bit of ice can create havoc on the roads.

    1. That’s everyone’s hope here, too! Things are getting dicey farther north, with some power outages, but those are due to downed limbs on power lines because of ice, and other such problems. It’s a day to stay inside, and to think sympathetic thoughts about the linemen who are out in this trying to repair things.

  2. Hope you do not get too much ice – we sometimes get black ice where I live and it is is not fun
    and six more weeks of power – very fun –
    I clicked the link on the ERCOT and looks like they. have things covered

    1. Black ice is the worst, although the buildup of visible ice on power lines and tree limbs isn’t any fun. There already are problems farther north, but my area still has rain, and firm reminders from our weather gurus that the freeze line is on its way.

      I just looked out the window and discovered that a possum has stopped by for a snack. Everyone wants a little extra sustenance today!

      1. I am sending good vibes your way that things are not terribly bad!

        and oh how awesome to have that possum stop by – hahah – not something we encounter in my area.
        quick little story.
        Back in the 1980s we went to pick up my friend Dawn to go out. you know – older teens getting together – well she comes to the door with this huge animal head slippers (remember those) well we were all smiling at them and tryignto guess what animal they were supposed to be.
        They’re possums she said so sweetly – and two guys that were with us didn’t know what those were – (I know…. I know…) anyhow, we all got a kick out of it and such a random memory but possums remind me of her

  3. I love the poem. But it didn’t make me love this winter we are having here anymore.
    31 this am and warming up tomorrow to 40 for rain all day for my birthday. But not nearly as bad as the 10 degrees we had for the week after Christmas. And no black ice so far. It terrifies me.

    1. Black ice is awful; you’ll get no disagreement from me when it comes to that winter reality. To be honest, the transitional phase can be miserable: cold and rainy, turning to cold and sleet’s no fun. But longer-lasting cold, with deep snow and its silence, is wonderful. I miss it from time to time. Even though I remember frozen door locks and the frustration of the city plow blocking the driveway just two minutes after it finally was shoveled, there’s real beauty abroad in the land.

  4. A beautiful poem and good to see Steve’s photo too. We don’t really have winter in HK. Anything below 20C brings out down jackets and fur coats. Today it is 14 but no prospect of ice or snow. I miss the seasons and would be quite happy to see a real winter again. I smiled at ERCOT Earl.

    1. The line’s a little different here, but the behavior’s the same. When it begins edging toward 7or 8C, women start pulling out their fancy sweaters. Below that, it’s time for down jackets and parkas. Just now, we have miserable winter: a thunderstorm and 3C. I much prefer the winter portrayed in the poem; I’m glad you liked it.

    1. I appreciate your kind words about the poem. Ice is causing problems in more northerly parts of the state, but that’s because of icing on power lines, downed tree limbs, and such. The grid itself is in good shape, at least for the time being. We all hope that continues.

  5. Hi, dear Linda,
    what a great poem; we love it .
    We didn’t have it cold here the last few years. For weeks we have it now sunny but just freezing and no snow.
    Yesterday we planted hundreds of snowdrops in our drive. Will they miss the snow?
    Keep well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    :-) :-) :-) :-)

    1. Thanks, Klausbernd; I’m glad the poem appeals. Our winter storm won’t look anything like the one portrayed there, but it’s wonderful to remember such winters, and celebrate their appeal. As for your snowdrops, I think they’ll be perfectly happy. I’ve seen them in two historic gardens here, and in one cemetery farther south. They appreciate a bit of cold, but it seems that snow isn’t required!

  6. I am enjoying it. We don’t get snow (haven’t since the ’70’s), but anything below our usual humid heat is outstanding to me!!

    1. Exactly! How many times in the depths of August have we said, “It sure would be nice to get some of that January weather”? Of course, in the midst of weather like this, more than a few of us start saying, “I sure do wish it would warm up.” The grass is always greener, etc.

        1. It sure is. That’s why in a restaurant my mother always would look at my dad’s plate when the food arrived and say, “I wish I’d ordered that, instead.” Sometimes he’d trade; other times, he’d say, “Well then — you’ll know to order it next time.”

  7. Winter is my least favorite season. I used to like it. But now I think it’s a pain. Here in greater Philadelphia we’ve had a cold winter so far, many overnights going into the teens or single digits.

    1. I’ve often thought about my childhood and youth winters in Iowa, when snow and cold didn’t seem to make one bit of difference to us. We played in the snow, walked to school, and went to dress-up occasions in skirts and heels without a thought. Maybe it’s age that makes the difference — or the necessity of coping with the adult responsibilities that come with it. Still, as much as I dislike cold, I wouldn’t mind it as much if it came with snow. I love snow.

    1. I think Matt (of Space City Weather) probably created ERCOT Earl — but how very fitting. We’re going to be right on the edge of freezing tonight, and probably a bit below, since Galveston’s forecast to be at 33F, but I see that you’re going to be around 25F with wind chills even lower. Keep those blankets handy!

  8. The first thing I saw was the photograph, which I had trouble reconciling with your location. Then I saw the caption. The thermometer outside reads 29° now. The roof of the house next door that I see through the window is covered with white from sleet or frozen rain. A while ago I heard a continuing noise out front and when I went to look I saw that a car’s tires were spinning as the driver couldn’t make it up the slope of the now-ice-covered street we live on. Shades of last February, when a driver temporarily abandoned a car in the same spot.

    Did you notice (or plan) the iambic rhythm of your last three lines?

    1. Here’s my confession: I neither planned nor noticed that those lines are iambic. I probably couldn’t scan my own poetry. I just work with the words until they sound ‘right’ — pleasing, image-filled, and rhythmic.

      I laughed when I saw this sign at El Arroyo posted this morning. I have to agree. It’s really icing in San Antonio, Kerrville, and Bandera, not to mention farther north, and the photos I’ve seen of the sleet in downtown Austin are pretty impressive. We have heavy rain now, and have had some thunderstorms. Everyone here is hoping the rain ends before the below-freezing temperatures arrive, or we’re going to be sharing in the misery.

  9. We had a lot of black ice in recent days that left cars in ditches and pile-ups along the roads. I’ve long been fascinated by the fact that in some states the snow can come one day and be gone the next. Here, it sticks around turning everything white (or gray) from fall to spring. Today our temperature is 17 degrees.

    1. When I first moved here, I was astonished to see signs like this everywhere. They seemed so incongruous in July, when everyone was dripping with sweat. Later, I came to understand. They used to have signs that folded in half, and they’d close them during the summer, but I guess they decided to change to permanent signs so they didn’t have to pay people to go around opening and closing them.

      Our roller-coaster weather’s due to our location where warm and cold fronts constantly are battling. When a cold front comes through, it usually is only a day or two until the winds switch into the south, the warm Gulf air sends the cold air back north, and we enjoy things until the northerlies get their act together and make another run at us. That battle’s primarily involved in our unsettled weather in spring and fall, when thunderstorms and tornadoes arise.

      Also, just as you begin to ask “When is this going to end” as March rolls around and the snow still is on the ground, we do the same in August and September, when we’re still trapped inside in the air conditioning, longing for the heat to break.

  10. Lovely poem, Linda. We have freezing rain and sleet. So far, the roads have not turned to black ice, but given the falling temperatures today, I think tonight will be a mess. I do miss the moderation effect of the Gulf in times like these. Stay warm.

    1. That moderating effect is going to be tested the next couple of days. Galveston proper might stay above freezing, but we’ll drop below, and the wind chills will be noticeable. I’ve got the plants inside, except for the Hawaiian schefflera, which should do fine tucked in a corner with freeze cloth. If it gets really cold, I’ll pull out a couple of work lights with 150 watt bulbs, and help them along.

      I saw some gorgeous photos of snow-covered Guadalupe mountains this morning. Of course, my favorite acerbic Tweeter, Evil MoPac, was around with gems like this: “ATTN: California. Now is a perfect time to visit Austin if you’re thinking about moving here.”

  11. I was watching The Weather Channel this morning and shivering at the bitter cold in West Texas, where I used to live. Of course, we got 4.5 inches of snow, ice, and freezing rain here yesterday, and as I type, the snow is still coming down (with a stiff north wind blowing it around). I suppose there’s plenty of misery for most of us from this nasty system. Stay warm and dry there, Linda. You’re lucky this will pass quickly, rather than lingering as it likely will here. Enjoyed your poem very much!

    1. Well, even if we don’t always share the same flowers, at least we get the chance now to share some of the same weather conditions. It’s not quite as pleasant as sunflowers and daisies, but that’s life! We are lucky that it’s going to pass relatively quickly, but there’s going to be enough problems even with a few days of it. It’s a good chance to spend some time culling photos and cleaning house, though; I’m certainly not tempted to head out with my camera! I know some people do, and I’m glad for it; otherwise, I wouldn’t have had Steve’s lovely photo for the top of the page. But I’ll leave photography in truly miserable conditions to others, while I find way to amuse myself indoors.

  12. Lovely poem. What a way to combine winter and words. It rather reminded me of those diagrams whereby we parsed sentences in grade school. I still picture dangling participles desperately clawing a ledge to hang on.

    1. “Winter and Words” would have made a good title for the post, too. And you’re exactly where I was when I was writing this: imagining those sentence diagrams for the imagery of the poem. I really enjoyed doing those diagrams, and I laughed at the image of the dangling participles. They’d never have a chance in this winter ice!

    1. You know winter, and you know language, so I’m especially pleased that you like the poem. It was great fun to put it together, and to try to find a way to incorporate all those English lessons into something with at least a little aesthetic appeal.

  13. I read this morning that 50,000 Texans were without power, Linda. Hopefully, they get it back soon. Great capture of winter in your poem, and a grammar lesson to boot. Who could ask for more? –Curt

    1. It’s still in that range; here’s the current number of people without power. The ‘good’ news is that it’s not a grid issue; it’s serious ice bringing down transmission lines, bringing tree limbs onto power lines, and such. Here’s how things looked at 7 a.m.; at noon, the grid still was holding nicely. As the weather system moves off to the east, it will be easier for the linemen to get out and do their thing.

      Even without power outages and massively disrupted traffic, winter can be dramatic. It was great fun to include some of its natural drama in the poem.

      1. I remember a major ice storm in Oklahoma when I was recruiting for Peace Corps there ever so long ago, Linda. Beautiful but no joke. Walking anywhere was impossible. Another time, I was in Atlanta and could see a slightly downhill curve beneath my hotel window. I watched as cars slid into each other in slow motion. It was like watching a demolition derby! –Curt

        1. I still remember the January my parents were returning to Iowa after a Christmas visit here in Houston. They got as far as a Dallas truck stop when a trucker who’d just made it through Oklahoma asked where they were headed. When they said Iowa, he told them to find a room, and not leave it until the ice melted. They were there for at least three days, as I recall. I never head to Kansas City after October — it can be lovely here and lovely there, but in between lies: Oklahoma!

          1. A wise trucker, Linda. And your parents were wise to heed him. And you are wise to avoid Oklahoma after October. That’s a lot of wisdom. :) I had my share of driving on black ice in Alaska. There was one corner near my home that was particularly bad. I learned how to master it with just the right amount of sliding at a very slow speed. It was kind of fun.

            1. Now that’s clever. Either that or it is one of those, “Oh, that’s what I intended the whole time,” after seriously blowing it. I did one of those 360s once when I was driving down a steep mountain road and thought my four wheel could handle it. Ha. And there was a 100 foot drop off the side, which, thank the winter gods, I avoided. I finished by backing down the road and continuing to slow down by plowing my truck into the snow bank on the other side.

  14. l also hate ice and love snow! All we have to do is shovel snow, or wait until it melts. But ice causes all sorts of mayhem, and there’s no real way to prepare for it. Thanks for sharing the poem, I enjoyed it! And here’s hoping that the cold weather down your way ends soon….

    1. We get ice more than snow, and the ice we do get generally is the sort that makes driving dangerous or impossible. The real ice storms tend to be farther north, as in Dallas/Ft. Worth, but I remember some here in the 1990s that were plant and power-line killers. One took out hundreds of palm trees in Houston, and in one, a friend got iced into the boat she was living aboard. It’s always something!

      The temperature’s dropping, and we’re going to be quite cold for a time, but by Saturday we’re forecast to have a high of 46F. I’d prefer 70, but it’s much better than sub-freezing!

  15. Outstanding poem, Linda! Clever and lovely.
    The winters here tend toward the concrete, and loaded with imperatives, like “It’s imperative that I get inside and have a hot cup of tea.” And now I must leave in a bare infinitive, shivering!

  16. I don’t wonder you’ve kept that one over the years. It’s a goodie. It has that smooth feel of being fondled like worry beads run through the mind fingers over and over to catch and smooth out the rough bits. .

    1. Producing something that’s ‘just right’ is a rare experience. But, a little time, a little luck, and a willingness to let the right words reveal themselves can lead to a fine result. Rick Nelson got it right in “Garden Party” — you can’t please everyone, so you might as well please yourself.

    1. Thank you, Yvonne. I miss Steve’s photos of snow and ice; I hope he begins posting again. On the other hand, I’m at the stage in life where the thought of going through what has to be endured to get photos like that makes me understand people’s reluctance to get out and about in winter!

            1. Enthusiasm’s like the tide: it ebbs and flows. For me, music always helps. One of my favorites is this acoustic version of Adele’s “Rolling in the Deep” from a live radio broadcast in the Netherlands. The “Gi-El” refers to Giel Beelen, a Dutch radio DJ who had his own show for years — still may.

              When I can’t get rolling, this always does the trick! It’s one of the greatest performances I’ve seen.

            2. I followed the link but I don’t think that video would do it for either one of us. I tried to search for the one you meant to share but couldn’t find it. I did find a few live performances.

            3. Not sure why it took me to a “First impression” of Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” but I am glad that I followed the link from the actual post.

            4. Well, I have to correct that. I clicked the link in my email notification and it took me somewhere totally different from what you meant it to. But…when I clicked the link in your response on the blog it did take me where intended. Very odd. And the performance was very good. I am not sure it will be on my playlist but I did enjoy it.

            5. There have been weird things happening. Often, my own responses to comments on my blog don’t appear on the blog, but if I check the ‘comments’ section of my admin panel, there they are. If I unapprove and then re-approve my own comment, it shows up on the blog. At least I found a way around that glitch.

    1. The rain has ended, and despite the cold the power grid’s holding just fine. There are some scattered outages because of icing, but the last time I checked it was about 17K people out of twelve million-plus: that’s akin to a good summer storm. If we’d gotten snow like that, I’d be out and about, but all we have is cloudy and wind chills in the teens, so I believe I’ll huddle by the warmth of the computer screen.

  17. Linda, the grammarian, wrote a fine wintery poem. We, too, up here in the true north, love winter. There is so much beauty in the snow, ice, snowflakes and ice crystals, especially under a sunny sky.

    1. When I remember ‘good’ snows, I remember the crunch, the squeak, the sparkle, and the shush of new snow blowing across old, crusty drifts. Snow is so much more than just ‘white and cold’ — as you so well know!

  18. Beautiful poem. I love this: “shrouded by the pond’s slight breath.” I was watching the fog rise from the pond the other day and now, after reading your poem, will think of that as a warm breath rising into the cold air. I hope winter wasn’t too hard on you with this current storm. It’s a little easier by the coast, or at least that has been my experience here.

    1. It’s true here, as well. We’ve been wet and very cold, but missed the worst of the ice: although I did have to break the skim of ice on the bird’s water bowl this morning. While winter brings certain challenges, I’m always happiest when it appears as a distinct season: a reminder of the larger cycles we live within. Here by the water, our most dramatic winter experience always is the sea fog that develops when truly cold air moves over the waters; I could watch it for hours.

    1. All things considered, our storm was a relatively benign reminder of winter’s power — especially since the power that warms our houses and cooks our food continued to flow. By Sunday, I’ll be able to haul my plants back outdoors, although I’ll clean the patio before I do, in a first bit of spring cleaning. I’m hoping that spring will get my writing juices flowing again, too.

  19. Thanks for pairing my image with your wonderful and clever poem, Linda. And in reading one of the comments your acquaintance experienced a colder day than we have here. All that snow and ice that swept through New England last week missed us…only 3″. It’s odd when Texas is having a more winter-like winter than we are.

    1. I had wondered how much of that snow you’d gotten. It didn’t seem like you were affected as badly as those nearer the coast. We’re plenty cold, but by tomorrow the highs will be back in the lower 50s; it’s the typical Texas roller-coaster. Even when we get cold, it generally doesn’t last long; last year’s deep freeze being the exception.

      1. We were in a “dry” spot. To our east, not that many miles in that direction, many received the 4-6 inches and just beyond that 8-12. Tom’s area got quite a bit more. We are having a roller coaster also. Low 20s yesterday, 30s today and then we’ll see 40s again starting Wednesday.

        1. How’s this for ‘roller coaster’? Today, it got into the 60s, and I ended my work day in a cotton shirt and jeans. It looks like it’s going to be low to mid 60s the rest of the week, and believe me — I’m grateful!

  20. At least your infinitives didn’t split in the cold! I think of winter as active, not passive, when we get out in single degree weather. It’s aggressive, and I test myself against it. Thanks for your poem, and for posting Steve’s fine icy stream image.

    1. I think (hope!) my infinitives are safe for another year. We’re up to 40-ish, and will warm into the 50s the rest of the week. Then it’s Valentine’s Day, the traditional time to prune roses, and then? We’re almost to the big-time wildflower season in March. Before long, everyone will be grumping about the heat and wondering why they didn’t appreciate cold weather when it was here. Grass, greener: etc.

      My memories of snow are vivid, but I can’t post them with a poem, so I was glad Steve agreed to let me use one of his. If I ever manage another snow poem, I’ll be in touch!

      1. Hard to believe wildflower season starts for you in March! That’s the start of mud season here, when the snow and ice start to melt. Looking forward to your flower images and perhaps a flower poem.

        1. I just looked through some of my files, and discovered that in 2020, mid-February was the beginning of our season. I’d best get my chores and my work caught up before it’s time to hit the road again in search of those spring beauties.

          1. Up here at my latitude, it’s going down to -3, if the forecast is right. Flowers? April, with a few special ornamentals earlier than that.
            February? Texas is the place!

  21. Oh Linda, you remember your grammar far better than I! It’s a wonderful poem, so very evocative of what I am seeing every day! (We got 13.5″ of snow and more since then.) I’m glad you have power. Rick leaves tomorrow for Dallas. His first flight was canceled (it was supposed to arrive tomorrow at 11 or 12) and now he’s on one that arrives around 9. I wish he could wait a bit but duty calls! Take care — I’m glad you have warmer temps!

    1. Given the hours we had to spend at the blackboard, diagramming sentences in front of the class, I doubt if I’ll ever forget how to do it: at least, the basics. I wondered if Rick would make his flight, since Dallas had so much more ice than we did. In fact, we only had a light glaze on roads and bridges, and it was soon gone. Today, the sun’s shining, and even though it still is colder than I like, it’s not so cold that I can’t run a few errands. The car washing’s going to have to wait, though.

  22. Thanks for this wonderful poem. I especially like the “split” stanza just before the infinitive line, both because of the evocative imagery and personal distaste of split infinitives. As for winter, it is one of my favourite seasons in the years when the cold is consistent and the snow generous.

    1. Consistency and generosity are good in a number of realms, but particularly when it comes to cold and snow. As I recall, one of the least attractive winter months was March, when cycles of melting and freezing led to misshapen drifts and dirty snow: hardly the stuff of great memories! Do you cross-country ski or snowshoe? I’d think that would be great exercise as well as a fine way to experience the silence of a snowy landscape.

    1. Thanks, Ann. Needless to say, I’ve not seen a winter like this in many years either — our last substantial snow was in 2004 — but I often think of the winters of my early life, and imagining them again brought about the poem. They’re sweet memories, although I’ll confess I’ve turned into a warm weather lover in recent years!

  23. Lovely poem… and for me when Oklahoma gets winter precipitation its a novelty that sticks around a short while to enjoy. We ended up with seven inches of snow here, and only patchy ice under as the ground temperatures were still warm. Yesterday we got above freezing and the spots on the landscape that got full sun, are completely free of snow now!

    Oddly, I was up in Nebraska for two weeks, and made it back to Oklahoma for a short reprieve, just before the winter weather moved in. It’s been warmer up there with no snow, than it’s been down here since the storm moved in! It’s still warmer up there than here for the next days. I’ll be heading back up on Tuesday to help my siblings with hospice care for mom. Last trip I packed my warmest clothes and boots and I was still cold! I think I’ve become soft in the thirty-two years I’ve lived in Oklahoma.

    Enjoy your novel winter weather!

    1. I’m sorry to hear about your mom. It’s good that you have siblings to help, and that you’re able to be there for her. It’s always difficult.

      It’s interesting how bands of warmer and colder weather can alternate across the country. Systems moving west to east often cause more dramatic effects than the north/south we usually think of. You think you’ve grown soft in Oklahoma? You should see me, in coastal Texas, when it gets below 50F. During this recent freeze I’ve been keeping the house at 68 during the day and 66 at night, and I shiver like crazy. But today the sun is out, and we’re predicted to hit the mid-50s, so we’re headed in the right direction. It looks like my work week will be all 50s and 60s, so I’m happy. (Of course, some 70s would be even better!)

      1. I would be reveling in 70’s!! I hope you get that! I brought snow boots and my heavy work coat on the last trip three weeks ago, but never used them. I questioned that this upcoming trip but my sister Jodi said I’d better bring both. I’ll need them if snow flies up there. I don’t mind scooping snow as long as I have appropriate clothing!!

        1. Down here, those of us who work outdoors call this the “four change season.” We start out in gloves, jackets, and hats, then get rid of those. Eventually, the long underwear gets exchanged for just jeans, then we move into cotton shirts and Capris, and then start putting it all back on at the end of the day!

    1. It seems we share what we call ‘roller-coaster weather.’ It certainly does make extreme cold more bearable, as we know it will end in days rather than months! Summer, of course, is a different proposition here. August and September can seem interminable.

  24. A chilly celebratory post!

    Our son in Houston sent photos of the solid chunks of ice at the ends of their roof gutters. I returned the favor with a photo of our day on the coast with blue sky and 85 degree temperature.

    Your lovely poem did, indeed, evoke a few memories. As native Floridians, we did not grow up knowing snow. Our marriage began in upstate New York where I attended Syracuse University. By the time we left, we were all too familiar with snow and ice! True, we discovered some its charm in the woods and waking while camping in the wilderness to newly-fallen snow was magical.

    Happily, we note your forecast is a bit less bone-chilling and it seems “mostly sunny”.

    I’ll hold my celebration for Spring.

    1. While I’ve known enough snow to be able to write about it, I’ve also come to the point in life where I’d far rather visit it than live in it. Of course, some would say the same thing about our heat and humidity, and “blizzard or hurricane?” is a heck of a choice!

      Just now, we’re at 45 degrees. Even if we drop a degree or two before dawn, that’s still a higher ‘low’ than the high temperatures we reached during the recent unpleasantness. It is going to be a sunny and even warmer week, and me and all the other critters are happy for it. I suspect the plants that beat a temporary retreat will be pleased, too.

    1. We’re warming now; it’s always up and down here in the spring. The rest of the week we’ll be enjoying lows in the upper 30s and highs in the 60s, so the plants and such are safe again. Even a week of cold and gloom certainly helps me understand the winter-weariness of those who live in the ‘real north’ — which for us, is anything north of Dallas!

  25. A friend of mine, who lives in the northern U.S., once said that if you’ve going to live in a place with snow, you have to find a reason to love winter. I think she’s exactly right.

    1. She sure is. And the other side of that coin is what I had to learn down here in the heat and humidity of the Texas coast; you either learn to love it, and find ways to deal with it, or you’re going to be miserable for two or three months of the year!

    1. I’m with you. Ice is treacherous, and leads to every sort of problem. But nice, fluffy snow is beautiful. Even a blizzard can be exciting, if you can watch it from inside, with a cup of something hot and lights to illuminate the swirling flakes.

  26. Beautiful poem, but it made me cold!! When I’m out at 5 am in the winter all bundled up I love the silence of the crisp morning. Glad we all made it thru the cold snap and are closer to Spring!! The photo of the stream was beautiful too!

    1. If it made you cold — or even colder than you are anyway! — then my poem was a success. I’m glad you liked it, and I completely agree about the beauty of those still, silent cold mornings. On the other hand, if I could experience two winter sounds again, I’d love to hear the squeak of really cold snow, and the bell-like tinkling of melting ice falling off branches.

  27. That was lovely! I could picture each scene that the poem evoked – and it made me homesick for Ohio a little bit.

    We did get some snow a few weeks ago – and on Monday we had sleet mixed with snow which is absolutely NOT my favorite combination. But I didn’t have any trouble making it to work, so I guess it was ok.

    1. Even writing it made me homesick for Iowa — a little bit. As I like to say, visiting snow is wonderful. Living with snow for months on end? Not so much. On the other hand, snow is easier to live with than sleet or ice. Some warm clothes, some snow tires, and a set of ice skates, and the season can be pleasant — especially if I have a couple of Mason jars of my dad’s rum punch waiting to be taken out of the fridge and heated up.

    1. I’ve always enjoyed four-season environments, so getting accustomed to living in another land of perpetual summer (Liberia) was a bit of a challenge. As I’ve aged, cold has become less of a treat for me, but I still can become a little nostalgic about snow, and enjoyed putting some of those memories into a poetic form.

  28. Once again, I managed to be out of town for the cold snap here in Houston. Both times I was somewhere even colder but more capable of managing power, so I stayed toasty warm! Love the poem; you have posted it before, right? Will send to my cold and grammar-loving mom up north today for her birthday!

    1. I have posted this before. As my distance from real snow increases, my ability to write about it seems to be decreasing, but I still enjoy remembering winter — especially if it comes with the ability to escape into warmth! This was such a fun poem to write. I always enjoyed diagramming sentences, and I’ve wished that the teacher who stood over me at that blackboard still was with us, so I could send her this poem and say, “See? Some of it did take!”

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