Reading, Teaching, Learning

Tuesday, January 7, 2014

Slice of Life - Winter Reflections

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.)


  1. Wonderful description of what those snowy days were like. I grew up in Buffalo, so this "hits home!" Stay warm!

  2. I worry for the animals during this frigid time. Aren't you glad you aren't caring for the menagerie now? Stay warm and soon it will be past and life will resume its hectic pace.

  3. We are enjoying the "real" winter chill as well in Minnesota. No school for two extra days! It feels a bit odd but nice to read, write and watch the snow from inside. The -25 with 50 below wind chill has me not opening any doors until we get to zero. Hopefully today - I miss my winter walks.

    Love your winter image!

  4. I love the name of your cat! I also love the indignant chickens--that's a perfect word for them. You brought back great memories of breaking ice in stables. Thank you!

  5. Purriece. Hahahahahahahahahaha.

  6. I thought I was the only one who remembered more snow in the winter. We raised rabbits and it was so much fun bringing them into the house. I'm sure my mother thought otherwise but for a little girl it was great.

  7. I loved the glimpse into your winters of long ago - and the picture of you and your perfectly named cat.

  8. I love your imagery! I remember 77 and 78. I grew up in northern Indiana where lake effect is a factor and those winters were awesome for a kid. I'm kind of glad our kids get their own. :-) We are on day 4 of extended vacation. (It is Thursday -- right? :-) )