Someone Should Kill Punxsutawney Phil (Oh Relax, Not Literally)

groundhog

groundhog (Photo credit: Greencolander)

AN OPEN LETTER TO MR. PUNXSUTAWNEY PHIL

Dear P. Phil,

What the hell were you thinking? This has been the nastiest winter not to mention the longest winter that we have had in years. What happened to the early Spring you promised us? Nothing, that’s what. It’s freaking freezing and we are in the third week of March with no tell-tale signs of budding flowers and warm temperatures. Why don’t we just get rid of this stupid tradition? I’ve never believed in it anyway but this year, I admit, I was longing for some good news so I thought four more weeks isn’t bad at all, I can handle that.

For me, a person who hates the winter in the first place, prolonging snow and freezing temperatures makes me feel that much worse. Hey Phil, did anyone teach you about sticking to your word? I am not, in any way, amused. In fact, I’m angry.I happen to know that I am not alone in my anger. I know many, many people who feel the same way. Another snowstorm in the forecast?  WHY NOT, I’ve stopped counting, we have all stopped counting because who can keep track?

The week my husband went skiing was one of the scariest times I have been through in a long time. Again, (what a surprise) the forecast was for a huge storm calling for a foot of snow and 60 mph winds, certainly enough to tear the power lines down to the ground like angry whips. It was terrifying. It was just the dog and me and our dog knew about as much as I did on how to figure out the nine page document that my husband left me to TRY and explain the mini generator. The man had given me graphs and diagrams, even flow charts and arrows. That rather long dissertation made me as crazy as the storm itself. Did he not remember who he has married for 24 and a half years?

I climbed the stairs, flashlight in my pocket, candles strategically placed around the house with matches nearby and climbed into my bed piled high with blankets. I felt like Laura in “Little House On The Prairie” except I was missing Ma and Pa to tucking me in and telling me everything would be alright. I really missed them. I went to bed early because what else was there to do? I prayed. In the morning I woke up to 12 inches of snow but we still had electricity. I was SO happy.

Punxsutawney Phil, as many of us now in mid-life are looking to start different careers,  may I suggest you do the same? I’m sure you can do some different things, you should look into as many options and career choices as possible because I think, as we all agree, you stink at this one.

Advertisements

The Hottest Hot Versus the Coldest Cold

frozen angel

Image by apdk via Flickr

Hello Sun, Good-bye Snow and Wind

I HATE being cold. I don’t like either extreme but if I had to choose I would rather be hot, glistening under the summer sun, sipping pink lemonade than freeze, slipping madly during an ice or snow storm. No matter how many old, supposedly, warm jackets I have I am still cold in the winter. I have wrapped myself up in scarves, layers of soft cotton, mittens and a hat….nothing helps. As some of you know the old, brown down jacket will be coming out, once again, from the closet to torture me for another winter. I don’t think there is a jacket or coat that can make me feel truly warm. If there was one, I would invest in it. Short of covering my face with a thick, soft multi-colored scarf, I’m never happy. If I burrow my face in my neck and turn the collar of my jacket up…..my feet freeze. I have bought the warmest socks and liners, fuzzy ugly boots and still……I’m never warm. If my feet finally get comfortable, my hands and fingers are like long icicles.There is ALWAYS part of me that freezes in the winter, and it’s a very long winter.

If it was up to me I would move to a warmer climate in a minute. Given that our children will both be in college soon it’s something to think about for the future if we are ever able to retire. That, could be a very long time in coming.

Powered by Plinky

“The Waltons” (Really Not Fun To Be Them)

“The Waltons” television show was a show during the seventies that I watched religiously.  I loved  the interaction of three generations living in the same house in the old days, eating meals together, without heat, without electricity, without modern day appliances and without complaint. Not so for my family.  Two weeks ago, the county that I live in came head to head with a blizzard whose strength was overwhelming. Nobody thought it would be that bad…little did we know. We got about 21 inches of snow, heavy, wet snow and it snowed for days. Sometime during that first evening our lights started to flicker. Uh oh. They flickered again. This time we were feeling uneasy and doubtful. Sure enough, two minutes later, the lights dimmed, the electricity halted, the tv turned itself off and we were in our little house, feeling the heat escape rapidly, minute by minute.

I must say we were all calm. We had put our flashlights and candles together at the first flicker,  thinking that we probably wouldn’t need them. The snow kept coming and the trees were getting very heavy with new wet snow. Some heavy branches were already kneeling down in the snow from weight.  When we started to hear trees and branches breaking and hitting the window, we were justifiably scared. It sounded like something you could only imagine in the movies; but it was very real and terrifying. Whip, Crash, Shudder, the branches sounded like breaking glass as they threw themselves at our house.

We managed to get through the four (really long) days and nights with firewood, food and an afternoon with my mom. My daughter had a sleep-over for one night, which she practically had to beg for, and my son and husband who volunteer for the ambulance corp, were able to spend time in their quarters too. Even family members of the ambulance corp were invited. Luckily we had cell phones that were able to be re-charged.  Interestingly, the absence of noise, brightness, computer screens, X-box was almost fun. Almost. I did miss listening to music but I read by the fire in the daytime and at night we huddled under our covers, blankets, sleeping bags, down jackets and pajamas. When it was just my dog and I home one afternoon, we lay against each other on the light green, navy, red squares of the carpet in front of the fire and cuddled; a sweet memory I am not apt to forget.

Our neighbors moved into their sister’s house, five minutes away in another town. All 4 grabbed their sleeping bags and left for the entire 4 days. I envied them at first,  immensely. There was no question of where they would go, it was a given.  In the beginning we were annoyed that no-one had invited US into their homes for the night, not to mention the duration of the storm. When I complained to my sister and mother we heard things like “well you should know you are welcome” and that angered us more. I was brought up NOT to ask but to wait for an invitation, especially knowing my mother and sister’s love (NOT) of overnight guests.

Our family stayed together, we froze together, talked together. Not a lot of that happens when school is in session and when everyone is so busy. There was no X Box, no computers, no music, no television. We sat, in front of the fire and talked, hearing the twigs crackle, the orange flames enveloping the logs, the night silent and still with utter darkness. The only light we had was the brilliance of the full moon in the sky that shined on us late at night.

When we awoke we saw that a large tree had crashed down through our fence and it lay suspiciously close to where my daughter’s room was. Two other trees were down and hundreds upon hundreds of branches. We were lucky, noone got hurt. We may have been cold, and cranky, we complained about the cold constantly and couldn’t wait for the electricity to come back up. When it did, 4 days later we were ecstatic. The heat turned on, the refrigerator buzzed, random lights went on, the music from radios blared and the silence ended. Even though we were freezing cold and we had no options,  I think we won, staying here together. My children may yell and beg to differ but for me but I have to say, in retrospect, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world. Good night, John Boy.