No More Marshmallow World!

Last summer in miserable heat when I couldn’t even go outside and draw in a breath, I determined that I hate the hot months and love winter. I’d rather have cold, I said. I can just put on a coat and go about my business. In summer, I couldn’t take off enough clothes. Nor could I enjoy a walk or sit on the patio and watch the birds or listen to the trickling of the pond.

Now the pond is frozen. Ice has formed to encapsulate the fountain. I haven’t seen a bird in days. I’d like to change my mind. I hate winter.

I don’t mind two or three days of extreme cold, when all I can do is nest on the couch under an electric afghan and warm my feet against the dog. When I forego my daily walk because the wind is bitterly painful. When we all six agree to cancel our writing critique group because it’s just too cold and we all want to stay in and nest on the couch. When snow falls for two days without stopping. And the heater runs nonstop. And the chill factor is zero or near there.

But we’ve had eight days of it. It’s enough. I wasn’t born in the South for this.

It started last weekend, and I realized right off that I hadn’t taken my hoses off for the winter, so as the temperature inched down to single digits, I ran to the backyard and unscrewed that one. Then I went to the one out front where I’d wrapped a towel around it in haste one morning before leaving for work. The towel was frozen in its wrapped position, and I could not budge it. I took my hair dryer outside and stood there for fifteen minutes in the frigid air holding the dryer on a key fold. I feel certain that when the neighbors see me doing such foolish things, they must just shake their heads and look the other way. I couldn’t unfreeze it; the terry layers were stuck for life, it seemed. My only resort was to pour a bucket of warm water on the towel, risking harm to the metal faucet or a quick freezing of the new water, but I did it anyway and tried to pull gently on the towel, and after much ado, I was able to release the wrap. I kicked myself for waiting so long to remove the hoses. I usually do a better job.

Then there’s the problem of two cars and two car batteries to keep running. Only one can fit in the garage because furniture and inventory from my husband’s office is still taking up one side of the garage from when I shut down the business after he died. So it became a daily ritual to drive one car and let the other one run a while each morning, and the cold was so intense the doors would almost not unlock.

Then there’s the problem of snow and how to drive in it. It takes planning — how to get to work from Franklin to Brentwood without driving over any backroads or any hills. Oh, it was nice when it fell on Thursday…and I was delightedly humming “It’s a marshmallow world in the winter,” but it’s been on the ground for four days now. I’m tired of it. I didn’t choose to live in Buffalo or Colorado or Alaska or International Falls. I live in the South and we’re supposed to have grass all year long.

I want my grass back. I want my 40 degrees, or 50. I want life to get back to normal. I want summer.

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