Winter solstice. The shortest day of the year. And nearly fifty degrees! I can sit at my beautiful Towl Park this afternoon!
My ears are plugged to all those who keep mourning that we won't have a white Christmas.That is FINE with me. I don't know when my strong dislike of snow started. Probably in my thirties. Most likely after I found out that I had rheumatoid arthritis and suddenly turned into that old woman who could tell you if it was going to rain or a storm was coming because "I feel it in my bones!" I went from a near total disregard for weather to an almost pathetic grudge holder against snow and ice. I had to change. One fall and it could take months for me to recover.
Plus, snow simply stopped being pretty to me. I no longer looked at it as a sweet blanket but a treacherous mess. Snow brought slop into my house and froze my feet. When I was nestling in my warm, snug bed listening to a blizzard howl and shriek, I no longer felt safe and secure. I would start thinking how lonely the wind sounded. I would worry that animals were caught out in it. I would hope that the electricity wouldn't go out. That I wouldn't be late to work because I had to shovel out my driveway.
I began to long to move south. It hits me every Winter now. As soon as the chilly air of Autumn turns into the frigid air of Winter, all I do is dream of Spring. Neither Christmas nor Valentine's Day help. No. I ache physically and mentally for soft, sunny days or even cool rainy ones. Anything but this frozen wasteland.
Today, there are a few dog walkers at the park. Nearly everyone I see wants to talk about the mild weather.
"It sure doesn't feel like Santa, does it?
"My relatives from Houston are coming in tomorrow for Christmas and they love the snow, but this year it is colder there than here!"
The dogs are loving the weather. It's cold enough that they enjoy a good runaround. It's warm enough that their humans aren't hurrying them along but meandering slowly and stopping to talk with that older woman who sits in the chair and comes to write.
A stout, younger couple comes to walk. I met them early in the Autumn. They are dieting together. They both want to lose fifty pounds each. The man is doing better than the woman. This annoys her to no end. They eat the exact same foods, get equal amounts of exercise. They both are nurses who work the same graveyard shift at a local hospital. They get home every morning at 7:30 a.m., drink an Atkins shake and go right to bed. They sleep until 2:00 and then get up and walk around Towl Park together. Afterwards, they go home for a late, healthy lunch and do errands and housekeeping until 6:00 and then take a nap until 8:00. They get up, shower and eat a healthy dinner and watch television or read or whatever until they leave for work at 10:30 p.m. They started dieting in early September. The husband is down forty pounds. The wife has lost 18 pounds. She's understandedly ticked off.
"I just don't get it! Why does it melt off of him and barely come off me? He even cheats with a pop tart sometimes! I NEVER cheat!" she says.
She explains to me that her doctor tells her that this is common, that weight loss just seems to be easier for men. She shakes her head at her husband who smiles ruefully. It's not his fault but I get her frustration.
It's like dancing, I tell her. Like they say, Ginger Rogers did everything that Fred Astaire did but did it backwards and in high heels. It's just a man's world. She nods.
"If it helps, you are so much better looking than I will ever be," her husband tells her, smiling. She smiles back and slaps his arm playfully.
I tell them both that they look great. They do! We all head back to our cars together. The husband remarks that he sure wishes that it would snow. I tell him to stop that talk right there. NO snow! His wife takes my side. "No snow!" she agrees.
But, I think it will probably snow anyway. It can't hold off much longer and I've never been all that lucky.