Winter has come. The temperature has dropped, not as far as single digits or negative numbers, but cold enough that I sit wrapped in a blanket, holding hand warmers that were last year's Christmas gift, trying to warm myself. I'm not sick, just getting old, I suppose. We've avoided snow, except for an inch or two— nothing worth shoveling, at any rate, but we had rain—a lot of it, so the basement is flooded. Other places have it worse, and at least we've got working pumps to keep the water level down. The cold and damp seeps up through the floor; this old house isn't up to keeping out all the drafts as the wind howls around outside. When the snow began last night, we kept our fingers crossed, hoping the hoses wouldn't freeze. They didn't and we are thankful. Our backs were thankful too— they dislike shoveling as much as we do. But cold rain has been falling all day, and I try not to think of how much longer it will be until we see the basement floor again. The days are short and dark comes early, though the optimist in me whispers the light lengthens a little every day, and there's a meatloaf in the oven, the perfect stick-to-the-ribs meal on a cold winter's day. That's another thing about the cold, it makes you think of eating all the time, like bears getting ready to hibernate. People aren't supposed to eat like that— at least not civilized people. Maybe if I was allowed to hibernate, I wouldn't feel so grumpy. Alas, I am not bear and the universe will not let me sleep for months at a time. But I can pretend for a little while, as I curl up on the couch, with my blanket wrapped up to my nose, that I am not old and the cold doesn't bother me at all.
~Elise Skidmore ©2024