It Happened on Bonnet Street

Snow on the little rabbitpatch was a lovely sight to behold.  The cottages on the Bonnet Street , grand or not, all had lights shining from their windows, making the place  charming and cozy.  There wasn’t a bit of movement and so silence filled the air.  Kyle and Christian went out with the boxer and then the world wasn’t as quiet.  I made snow lanterns while the boxer leaped about.  The boys had a wild snowball fight. We must be the only children on the block, for not another soul was in sight.  We came into a house full of the smell of fresh baked bread.  That was a nice day. 
That night the powdery snow became ice.  We did not lose power, thankfully.  Jenny told me the adventures they had with snow.  The girls could not get enough of it and were exhausted by evening.  Brant has to work in such conditions, but Sydney and her parents made sure that Ryan enjoyed the day.  The pictures they sent proved it was a memorable event, for all of them.  They built a snow family, with a cat-and when Brant arrived, Ryan had sled rides.  It is safe to say, that not a single one of the grandchildren went lacking in joy, this day! 
I do not work on Mondays, and schools were closed.  I have a lot of reading to do for my job and a bit of paperwork. There are also a few little projects to do in the house.  An extra good supper is planned, for I have the extra time.   
My youth was full of bigshot dreams.  Life winnowed them out, until at last, I ended up right where I ought to be.  I wouldn’t have guessed how much pleasure could be derived from just tending the house and cooking for my loved ones.  I never thought big enough to understand the joy of growing flowers or having pets or writing about such things.   No one ever says, ‘I want to be a grandmother, when I grow up”, yet it is one of the best things that could ever happen to us. 
Today I sit in another drafty, very old house as content as I can be.   . . and thinking about what to cook for supper.  It does not take “fame and fortune” to live happily, as it turns out.   
By Wednesday, only remnants of snow, in shady nooks, remained.  There was sunshine-clear and brightly shining -but it has been cold ever since the grand event. 
Believe it or not, another winter storm  is in the forecast for the coming weekend.  There is a chance of snow again.  Snow or not, it will be brutally cold.  Kyle asked if I would make crepes again, at the prospect of snow. 
Thursday, was a busy day.  I left school, later than usual,  then I had several tasks to accomplish.  I felt unusually tired . . but it was the headache that stopped me altogether.  I do not suffer with headaches . . not even occasionally.  It was the worst headache, that I could have imagined.  My eyes hurt, so that I could not hold them open.  My ears hurt, my throat hurt- so I went to bed before seven! The next morning, which was Friday, I woke with body aches and weakness.  The headache was better.  A test confirmed my suspicions  . . I had covid.  With the headache reduced to just an awful memory  now, I just feel like I have a cold-or a mild flu. 
As I was remembering my elders, that morning, I thought first of Aunt Josie, for it was her birthday.   Aunt Josie, my moms’ sister, had married quite young.  She married an especially handsome man who was in the army and off she went so far away, from everything she knew.  Aunt Josie was either very brave or  madly in love (or both)  to  go halfway across the country-away from the farm-away from her family.   Back then, folks did not travel as they do now.  Both Kansas and Texas seemed like foreign soil, when I was very young. 
Maybe, I was four or five, when Aunt Josie came back to the farm.  By then, she had two little sons.  There had been so much cleaning and scrubbing going on, that I was quite certain these people were quite special . . and they were.  I still remember meeting them for the first time in Pop and Grandmas’ living room.  I do not remember when, but my cousins, Chuck and Chris became more like brothers to me than cousins.   They remain that way, to this day.
Aunt Josie was a cheerful aunt with a beautiful smile and the handsome uncle Charlie, had a distinct laugh.. . and he laughed a lot.  Aunt Josie had learned some new dishes, that were quite unfamiliar to us country folks.  She made goulash and spaghetti!  In the summer evenings the adults would play cards and listen to Hank Williams, while we  untamed kids ran wild as rabbits.  . .left to our own devices.   
Aunt Josie and I were close, to her last day . . and I still miss her. 
 The wind was blowing with a vengeance, when I woke today.  It was eight degrees and there was but a slight dusting of snow was on the rooftops. 
I wasn’t going to make snow lanterns anyway. 

Happy Birthday Jenny . . .and Snow on Bonnet Street!

I was waiting for snow, the last time I wrote . . . I still am!  There were a few snow showers, last weekend, certainly nothing to brag about.  Now, a winter storm is forecasted this weekend.  Everything here is closed.  We are all waiting for snow and ice.  Snow is welcome -but ice with all of its’ beauty is known to break old trees and hinder power.  We are as unequipped as ever, in the south and so we all stay home.  Only those who must, go out.  Our emergency heroes, first responders, linemen and other such noble servants, brave these unfamiliar elements so the rest of us are safe and warm. 
When the forecast first hinted at inclement weather, I turned my thoughts to my usual agenda for such occasions-food and books and writing-maybe an old movie or two.  We are supposed to have this thing upon us for several days.  I made haste to get to the grocery store, as I knew full well, pickings would soon be slim.  The stores are never at full capacity these days, storm or not.  I did find what I needed to make crepes and pizza.  Most things needed were already in stock in the little house on Bonnet Street, for I am likely to make anything, anytime. 
Jenny had a birthday on Thursday.  I used to call her “my little snowbird”, for it was likely to snow on her birthday, the few years that we get snow.  Today is further proof of that.
What a treasure, my only daughter is.  She was born with the heart of a mother-and a quick mind.  These traits show up now, for she takes care of all of us.  Jenny pays keen attention to our needs-and acts on it.  If I need advice, I go to Jenny, for she has an understanding of my heart, second only to God, I think.  I believe her brothers would say the same thing. 
Now, Jenny is a mother-of two little girls.  She is a sensible and loving mother. The “extra mile” does not intimidate our Jenny and so she knows it by heart.  Of all the things that a daughter can accomplish, being a good mother “takes the cake” to me.  What could matter more, after all?   
I went over the day of her birth, all day  yesterday.  How clearly I remember the details.  Some memories are recalled with precision, even after decades.  I had another name picked out for the baby-two in fact for in those days, we did not know if the baby would be a boy or a girl. You had to be prepared for both.  The name that I  had chosen, for a little girl, was only loved by me.  Her father accepted it, but I didn’t think he was so fond of it, either.  When I looked at this bundle of wonder I abandoned my first choice.  I decided that she looked like a “Jenny” and so she was named in that way.   I remember rocking her, by the woodstove, those first days home and neighbors coming in, full of excitement.   . .to see our Jenny.  Now, here I sit waiting for snow, just as I did on her first birthday, all those moons ago. 
While I waited, a pot of soup simmered. I was constantly looking out the window to see if snow was falling from that silver sky.  It was about thirty degrees,  not counting the wind chill.  I have only seen snow falling  a very few times, in my life, for it usually falls at night, here-if at all. 
When the silver sky, grayed, sleet started.  It made a tinging sound on the tin roof.  We ate soup and then had a dessert of pancakes with fried apples and caramel sauce and whipped cream.    I went to bed soon after . . .still waiting for snow.  Kyle woke me at some odd early hour to say, it was at last snowing. 
I got up before dawn to a beautiful winter scene.  I think we had about four icy inches.  My first thought was of the little grandchildren.  Lyla has been wishing for snow for two years.  Brynn does not remember snow, as she is just three.  Ryan saw snow falling last weekend, but has never walked in it or really touched it!  I am sure though, that this morning, all are building a snowman and maybe Ryan-a snow fort-knowing Brant. 
I am not sure how icy the snow is, for I have been drinking coffee by a window.  While, I was gazing out at Bonnet street in winter, a little bird flew up to say good morning.  I had never seen his kind.  He was gray on the back with a bright yellow stripe on either side of his breast.  We stared at one another in a friendly way for a few moments and then he flew off, as if he had an appointment.  Straight away, I sought to identify the lovely creature.  He was a Myrtle warbler, it turns out, and he is welcomed back anytime.   
Now today, the crepes are on the menu-and Kyle wants brownies.  Christian chose the supper.  Until further notice, I will be reading or making snow lanterns, writing or in the kitchen  . . .and every time I glance out the window, I will keep my pealed on the silent beauty of a snowfall . . .and for my new feathered friend.  

Winter is a Time to Remember

The first light this morning was a pale golden quiet color.  How softly the sun proclaimed the day . . like it was telling a secret, in a whisper.   . . meant only for the early birds.
  I spent the new year with my three oldest children-and the grandchildren.  The weather was unseasonably warm.  We exchanged gifts right off and then had all sorts of fancy snacks.  It reminded me of “old Christmas”, though it was too early for that.  The whole time we were together seemed like a constant celebration and I think we were all sorry when it ended.  Cold, windy weather was coming and a slight chance of snow, with it.  In the south, even a “slight chance”  causes a commotion. 
I left early on Monday, in thunder and lightening, wind and rain . . .and it was cold!  That afternoon, snow fell on the rabbitpatch, but not a single flake stuck.  I spent time just watching it fall and paid no attention to dust and dishes. 
 I have mentioned before, that I do not make New Year resolutions, for first, I can not keep them .   . .most especially if the resolution requires some rigid routine or restrictions of any sort.  I am weary of them by February-and disappointed in my self.  I do self reflect and revaluate and clearly define my priorities,  regularly. Once, I am convinced of something, I am likely to be successful . . .but it could happen on a Tuesday in May!  Prompts seem to spring up , when I am least expecting them!  I became a vegetarian, one year in October and  I did a massive decluttering, several  years back, in the hot month of July- I stuck to those things. 
Oddly, though, just before Thanksgiving, this past year, a “prompt” popped up “out of  the blue”  and another one, this week.  One, is another way to simplify-and the other adds more enrichment in my life.  I value authenticity and both ideas support that, so now I am once again pondering “lofty notions”, while I peel  potatoes. 
I finally took down the Christmas decorations.  I always wait for “old Christmas” to do so.  “Old Christmas” helps me admit that Christmas is really over and it is always a very spiritual thing for me.  There are less distractions, for one and I find that I really can focus more on the Gift, the grandest of all, bestowed on this world.  I take it personally.  While I disassemble the tree and pack away the wreaths, I  feel melancholy and grateful, all at once. 
 Now winter seems to have finally settled in, in the little coastal town, that I now abide.  Skies are often pewter and the trees hold no secrets.  I love their bare branches and want to be like them, for their beauty changes , but is constant, in all forms. Jade leaves in spring, scarlet in fall, blossoms, fruit or  nuts , resting or not . . . I love trees.  In winter, their shadows fall in lacy patterns  and I have yet to see two tapestries alike.
Winter is the time to make creamy soups and stews.  It is a time to make bread and roast potatoes.  . .or make a good pot of beans   The smell of a kitchen in winter is cozy and warm.  It is a happy time, when the family walks in to such a kitchen . I remember well how good it was to come home from school to Mama frying chicken.  Daddy would pull up from work and every day we celebrated, when all were safely in. Those were “golden” days. 
I am often accused of being old fashion-and with good reason.  People my age certainly know about progression, for we have lived through it and have  seen the results.  Some of our new  methods are wonderful . . .and some are not.  It is just that simple.  As the world  rushes on, I will pause, as needed.  I will daydream by still waters and grow hyacinths and read poetry and linger with wild things in wild places . . .so maybe I am old fashion, after all. 
The time of winter is a time to remember what things matter. The heart may be fickle at times . . . but not always.  Somehow, regardless of intellect, culture or worldly status . . or whether or not we are listening- we know our truth, for it rings out like a church bell. . . and most especially in the quiet of winter. 
Now snow is in the forecast again and what an uproar   that causes, amongst the southerners  ! Southerners either love it or they don’t.  It is only a “chance”, but those of us who love it are clinging to it.  No one has to shovel out their drive way, for the place shuts up altogether.  If we get any snow at all, it is gone quickly, so I am not sure what all there isn’t to love. 
 In light of  even the possibility, I am already plotting.  What will I read, what will I cook and most of all, what will I ponder?       .