I've been participating in Slice of Life, started by Two Writing Teachers. I love the challenge of composing a piece of writing at least once a week about life or teaching.
Many of you, like me, have been experiencing the bitter cold and snow that 2014 has brought with her. We were supposed to go back to school on Monday, but alas, we are still home, buried beneath blankets and sitting by the fire. As much as I was looking forward to seeing my students, I love this "real" winter and don't mind the extra days continuing to sleep in, read, write, exercise, watch Season One of "Downton Abbey" since everyone had been raving about it, and finally doing the grading that I put off during break. They say that we haven't had these temperatures in Cincinnati in over 20 years.
When I look back (more than 20 years, I daresay) to my childhood, I remember having to brave subzero temperatures to take care of the chickens, ducks, the horse, cows, and an ornery goat that we had back then. I had to go to the barn before school, gather the frozen buckets, bring them inside to attempt to break the solid ice and refill them, and bring them back to the barn. I made sure they were well fed and sheltered. The animals would be huddled close together; the horse's breath would billow out from his soft nose, his winter hair thick and fuzzy. The chickens fluffed up, sitting still and indignant in the straw, and the ducks quacked furiously, angry that their beloved pond was completely inaccessible with ice. Even then, with those freezing chores, I loved the winter.
It seemed like we got a ton more snow back then, and I have been missing it! I haven't enjoyed the long, brown, rainy "winters" we've had for the last several years . I welcome the still and quiet ice and snow, adorning the trees and brooks, the morning sunlight dim and frosty through the trees. Spring will come, and I will welcome it when it does, but for now, I will enjoy January.
January 1977 (10 years old) with my helper, Purriece (I was in charge of naming the cat. Oops.)