I don’t think the group Yaz (Alison Moyet) was being ironic when the lyrics to “winter kills” were being written (as in “that comedian just killed tonight”).  Nor do I think they were referencing the terrific work of Richard Condon.  It’s not an obscure Shakespeare reference either. I’m not sure why that particular piece of music comes to mind right now, but for the fact that we are in that part of the winter that seems to be dragging on a bit too long; the air in the house is too stale and dry.  There seems to be no end to the run on days of too cold to do much out and about, and the general malaise that has set in does not seem to lift.  I don’t know how people in Norway or Finland do it.  Live so high on the map, under the influence of cold.  I’m not one for heat as I have said before, but I get my fill of extreme cold as well.

I sat in the car with the engine off after dropping the wee one at school.   I sat in the driveway, looking at the garden space.  I sighed at all the work that needs to be done once the ground has thawed.  Once spring begins to creep back in.  I visited my grandmother’s grave a few days ago.  They have not properly filled in the site, what soil was laid down has sunk and more needs to be added.  But the ground is so hard right now.  I wonder when they will get to it.  I also wonder when they will set the marker.  I wish I could just plant a hardy rose bush there instead.

I did not master canning the past two years, and I wonder what I will do with the fruits of our garden labors this year.  I would like to do as my great grandmother did; have rows of green beans and bacon pieces, tomatoes, and pickles of every type in Ball jars on cool basement shelves.  The priceless leavings of summer to act as a palliative to winter blues.

We seem to have spent this winter in a 30×30 mile bubble zone, free from precipitation of every kind while all around us winter raged.   It has gotten so strange Husband joked that we must be in a weather experimental control zone.  What small amount of snow we had quickly disappeared. The wee ones lament the lack of snowmen, forts, and sledding they remembered from last year.

The cold drives people inside and life is dormant on the other side of the window.  The few squirrels and birds that do pass by find nothing to feed them and move on.  The chill in the house was impossible to shake today, and no warm bath or cup of tea could keep it out of the air or off exposed flesh.  The wind shook the trees and howled.  The house held its breath, but could not keep the cold out completely. I read the national weather service forecast for the week, and it may get into the high 40’s in a few days.  One must hope.  I can’t shake the cloudy sky in my head right now, and all I hear is “winter kills” playing in a far off room.  Spring will come, and the sun will warm everything it touches.  Soon, soon I tell myself.  Soon.

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