Tag Archives: sun

Winter is Coming, and Staying, and Staying…

I am ready for warm weather. I’m ready for fried zucchini and grilled hamburgers. Eating cookie dough ice cream outside and drinking Pinot Grigio (outside or inside, doesn’t matter).

I’m usually one of those crazy people that enjoy the seasons. I like summer and winter. I love fall and spring. For instance, on any given day during winter months when it’s cloudy and dismal for others, I envelop myself in a warm sweater covering up with a blanket if at all possible and either write or I read a good book. I don’t discount the fact that I have the privilege of just reading or working at my computer at home. I used to be one of that larger percent that spent their days at work. I enjoyed dark and cloudy days even then. I know. Crazy.

But when it was time for spring and then summer I was ready for that, too. Spring means renewal. Spring means second chances. How could you not enjoy new growth? Daffodils? Lightweight jackets versus heavy coats? And then, shorts!

But I am convinced that spring has decided to take a leave of absence. Because,  I’ll tell ya, this winter has gone on way too long. It seems as if there is an ever-present weight in the air having nothing and everything to do with sleet and ice. Everyone in the Midwest is experiencing this heaviness. Our friends, family, and anyone we happen to converse with,  be it restaurant servers, cashiers, passers-by, just seem, well, kind of lethargic and non-committal – about anything!

I understand. And I am getting tired of this winter myself. There’s only so many days that even those that enjoy snow and cloudy days can endure. But in the general scheme of things, what can we do? I know the long-range remedies that pertain to climate change. Doing our part is very important. But right now, on gloomy, cloudy, snowy days how do we keep from eating stale, frozen old Christmas cookies while looping “Smilla’s Sense of Snow” on TV over and over again?

Here’s some suggestions:

  1. Watch “Baywatch” instead. Seriously. Not the recent “Baywatch” movie, but the original TV series. You know, with David Hasselhoff? You will wish you were on a beach at the same time you are glad it is winter 2019 and not anytime ever in the 1990’s.
  2. Make ‘Baked Alaska.’ That’s right. For those people born after 1990 that are familiar with “Baywatch,” but not Baked Alaska, this is a dessert that is frozen at the same time it is hot. Google it. It’s ice cream in the oven. Which is like Vin Diesel with a toupee or shooting golf balls through a basketball hoop, inconceivable and wonderful.
  3. Paint a scene like the one we in the Midwest have been looking at all winter. This will require only a canvas. No paint, paint brush or other medium. Believe me, if the canvas is white – that is all you need.  Hang the canvas in an appropriate place while you enjoy watching “Baywatch.”
  4. Follow friends on Facebook that are in sunny, beachy “Baywatch” places. Constantly check their status and then look up the locations. Find a live webcam of the place and put a blanket over you and your computer while watching so there is no way for you to acknowledge that you are not there yourself. If that doesn’t work start commenting on your beachy friends posts telling them that you prefer the cold. Let them know that warm air and sand are no longer trendy. As evidenced by the availability of “Smilla’s Sense of Snow” and “The Revenant.” Smilla or Hugh Glass wouldn’t be caught dead in warm sand and sun. No, they would rather be snuggled in a warm parka or inside a dead horse carcass. They wouldn’t be caught dead in swim trunks and flip flops either. That is so last year!

And last of all, my best suggestion is to sit and read “The Long Winter” by Laura Ingalls Wilder. While drinking a glass of red wine. You will be so glad that you don’t have to use twisted hay for fuel and eat stale wheat cakes that you will make a toast to winter weather with all its snow and cloud-filled days. And then make another toast to the fact that summer is inevitably on its way, believe it or not. Before too long we will all be wishing for cold weather again. And watching another 1990’s treasure, “Northern Exposure.”  

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Solar Eclipse – Dancing in the Dark

DSC04150I’m not much on nature. I don’t camp. I don’t float (well, I didn’t float until this year and I’m sixty-two years old), and I’m not crazy about certain vegetables. But I do love the sun. It seems to me that the sun connects us all. It gives us light, creates shadows that you can use to dance in, and in most instances the sun when shining guarantees the absence of rain.

And I love the moon. Probably equal to if not more than the sun. I think it has something to do with the dark, which I am partial to. The dark is where you can make stuff up. Creativity begins in the dark – beginnings come oftentimes during the blackest hours. And besides, the moon is ours. It belongs to our earth. Whereas the sun has to be shared with a lot of others; planets, atmospheres, and fellow stars.

So when our moon takes on such an admirable and respecting move like going for blocking the largest star in our solar system (a star that’s heat can reach 17 million degrees Fahrenheit by the way), you have to agree, our moon has major nerve. Yeah, sure, the sun is basically a gazillion miles away, but just as I wouldn’t go close to one of Daenerys Targaryen’s dragons, I know I wouldn’t take on the sun, no matter how far away I was. Dragon fire or huge burning orbs, take your pick, I choose to stay away.

Far away from both the sun and moon, I stood in my backyard as millions of others did yesterday to witness a showdown of sorts. A miraculous confrontation. The moon did what it does best. It gave us an exhilarating glance into darkness. I stood there watching as every fiber of my being was telling me it wasn’t time for darkness, yet it descended anyway. And it was glorious!

In that minute and forty seconds the moon prevailed proving that darkness can’t be avoided. There are times when it comes as a night sky with a shining orb giving off enough light to give direction. Or as in the eclipse, it comes during the brightest of times, giving us the opportunity to dance in its shadow.

As mentioned earlier, I don’t like a lot of things about nature, but I do like the knowledge that she brings, and along with it sometimes the organized upside-downs. The moon is brave enough to initiate night on a sunlit day allowing us a different perspective. It gives us pause, a fresh outlook and a common cause, if only for a brief minute and forty seconds.