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Posts Tagged ‘Winter’

Slow as… January

Bears and molasses: slow in January

“Slow as molasses in January” is a phrase I often heard my grandmother use when I was little—one of those phrases that lodged in my memory, but without any real comprehension of the significance at the time.   Now, I ‘get’ it, of course; I use molasses in recipes not infrequently, and I understand the effect of cold on syrups.  I suspect, though, that the phrase predates electricity and central heating—when a lot more people had a much more direct experience of molasses and cold.  Our house is old and poorly insulated (I’m wearing a coat as I type this), but it’s still nothing to how cold I imagine it would be if we had to rely on the fireplaces for warmth. (Assuming they were working, that is—they are all long-since closed off, but the mantles remain to show where they once functioned.)

I feel a bit like molasses myself, in January.  There are those who like to jump right into the new year with both feet, and I find this a wholly admirable approach; if the year only started in May, I might try it myself.  But my idea of what to do in the winter is very much a bear’s idea.*  Hole up, and wait it out.  Comfort food (since I haven’t mastered that storing up three months of fat thing—nor, come to think of it, do I want to), and minimal commitments.  Getting holiday messes cleaned up is a good start (I’ve started, does that count?), maybe a bit of virtual housekeeping, such as archiving the 12+ gigs of photographs from 2011 (arg), finally watching those Sherlock DVDs I was given some months ago (loved it!).

Last night we had hot chocolate for dessert.  I am the sort of person who likes to make these things from scratch, but this time I started with a pouch of cocoa mix that had arrived as part of a holiday gift (and made it as far as the kitchen counter, where it was showing signs of putting down roots).  Warmth, sustenance and tidying up after the holidays—now that’s my (January) idea of multitasking!

*Although, truth be told (and money no object), I think the birds have the better plan.

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December

Oh, look.  Another month year snuck by me.

As predicted, back in October, it’s been a blur.  I’m robbing January to pay December at this point (heck—I might even be borrowing time into February by now), putting off all sorts of things that I shouldn’t be, because there are a hundred others needing to be done now, now, now.  Yesterday.

Almost (but not quite) too busy to notice the cold.

Almost (but not quite) too busy to appreciate the little things that make the cold worthwhile—all the little things that I would miss about Winter if I never saw it again…

The sky was wonderfully crisp last night.  Oh, to be sure, my teeth were chattering, but the sky was gorgeous.  And the sun, to make up for its brevity, shows up in unexpected places now, like painting the pantry with tree branch shadows. We see (and hear) hawks a lot more in the Winter—I could hear one calling outside as I was taking pictures of the tree shadows in the pantry.  And if it weren’t for Winter, I’m convinced that the bugs would have taken over the Earth by now.  And then there’s citrus.  Citrus is not a little thing.  It’s a Big Thing.  You will be seeing more about citrus in the coming days.

I love having seasons, really I do.  I just always seem to be ready for Winter to leave a lot sooner than it’s ready to go.  But for now, there are still a hundred things to do.

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