Thursday, November 30, 2006

Gratuitous postcard: isn't this a week or so late?

Postkarte "Flüewasserfall Davos." ca 1910 Switzerland

I mentioned in my pre-Thanksgiving column that, when I was growing up, we used to drive to Grandma's house every year in time for the holiday, singing "Over the River and Through the Woods" most of the journey. Usually, about the time we got onto the main highway, it was already beginning to sleet and snow. This year, Thanksgiving Day brought us sunshine and 65º F.

Winter weather was not on the agenda for my holiday, it seemed.

In fact, on Monday and Tuesday of this week, we hit record high temps for the dates (Monday, we matched the old record, Tuesday, we topped it by a couple of degrees). This is not supposed to happen in the last week of November -- or so I'm told.

Yesterday we were hit with pretty heavy rains around here... one estimate is, we got a little over 2.5 inches between noon and nine p.m. I don't know how accurate that was, but I'd say it couldn't be too far off. Unfortunately, following the rains, the temperature dropped, and I had to close the last of the open windows in my house. The forecast is for snows in our region -- as little as an inch, as much as ten inches between lunch and tomorrow's sunrise are anticipated for a little finger of real estate in which my house is situated.

To quote Ezra Pound (as I have already done to a few of my friends via e-mail):
Winter is icumen in,
Lhude sing Goddamm,
Raineth drop and staineth slop,
And how the wind doth ramm!
Sing: Goddamm.

Skiddeth bus and sloppeth us,
An ague hath my ham.
Freezeth river, turneth liver,
Damm you; Sing: Goddamm.

Goddamm, Goddamm, 'tis why I am, Goddamm,
So 'gainst the winter's balm.
Sing goddamm, damm, sing goddamm,
Sing goddamm, sing goddamm, DAMM.
Ancient Music, 1913-1915


More fun, though, than the thought of snow, is getting into and then safely driving my car. After the rains, there was insufficient time for evaporation before the freeze. It took me five minutes to open my car doors, and then the better part of a half hour to warm the doors up enough to get them to latch shut again, what with all the ice in the cracks and crevices. I suppose I should have done the hot water or ethyl alcohol trick my friends kept telling me about, but hot water requires carrying, and alcohol requires cash... of which I have scarce supply. (Mom buys the gas for the car I drive.) I ran the engine until the vents blew warm air instead of chilling my ankles, then I drove out to my favorite boutique, to fantasize over their holiday sales and, more, to run my engine until the doors thawed enough to operate correctly. The darned things shut, but only partly (left a gap) and only held partly shut when I locked them -- otherwise, they flapped open like my jaw does when I find actual news in the local paper.

There's nothing like driving a car five miles with the driver's side door flapping slightly in the breeze. My left nether cheek is still numb.

Ah, the joys of the rising chill!

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