An unsettled day, something about the weather not right for what I know of December.
Winters came early in Wyoming, usually with October snow that stayed until spring. Bright blue skies and high sunshine predominated, but companioned by winds that roared icily down from the mountains. Standing on my west-facing porch I could taste and feel snow or sleet bourn on the rushing air, watch a storm roll down to the valley until the buildings across the highway were lost in the white and howling blur. When the storm gusted past, the sun glittered on snow, the cold bit fiercely at fingers, ears and toes.
December in Vermont could be a time of capricious weather; a time when the sun rose sullenly [if at all] over the Green Mountains, skulked behind a wall of clouds, riding a lowering sky westward to sink behind the wooded ridges which marched darkly toward Lake Champlain.
Usually there was snow--Christmas card pretty, covering the roofs and gardens in the small villages, disguising the frozen mud of farm dooryards, powdering hedgerows and shorn fields with a
clean white coverlet.
Christmas was about practice for school programs--construction paper in red and green, paste, glitter; costumes contrived and shared.
Christmas was Junior Choir rehearsal with the flapping raven-black choir robes brought out of the storage cupboard and held up for length. Mothers took them home to iron, to starch the wide white collars. We were lined up, drilled in the dignity of procession to a 4-4 beat--"Angels From the Realms of Glory.'
The snow was admired, the winter skies watched; no one wanted a 'Green Christmas'--a thaw that brought sleet or freezing rain reducing back roads to a slithery hazard, lawns to a brown-green slush.
Stirring the ashes of last night's fire while the morning coffee perked, I wondered if we needed heat today. The heavy curtains over the sliding doors stirred in the breeze as the cats rushed in and out, restless,
I drove the few miles to Wal Mart early in the afternoon--an excursion guaranteed to make me as cantankerous as the restless cats!
I had decided--belatedly--that I needed a few cards to send out.
I roamed through the aisles of Christmas clutter--shiny paper, glittery baubles, net bags of pine cones so heavily infused with cinnamon as to be over-powering;
Racks teemed with cards labeled ridiculously as to their intended recipient [aunt-religious; son and his wife--humorous; spouse--inspirational.]
Failing to find any that interested me I headed to the office supply section hoping at least for a holiday-themed paper for my printer, a packet of red envelopes.
I stomped about, disgruntled, picked up the necessary coffee cream and headed for the checkout stands.
On a rack in one of the stands [not open, of course] were a few boxes of cards--the old-fashioned dignified sort.
I wavered over one with a lovely cardinal on a pine bough.
In the end the artistry above won the day with the nostalgic black and white of an old New England farmhouse, bare tree branches, a silvery moon.
It is doubtful that I'll get them out on time--that will mean another trip to the post office in town.
[Grumble, Bah! Humbug!]
Rain spattered, the power cut off as the oven was heating for chicken and biscuits, flicked back on again and held steady. The cats huddled on the hearth rug as the wind swept past the house.
Darkness moved in early, heralded by the unexpected rose and lavender of a mid-winter sunset.
December in Kentucky may take getting used to--but it beats shoveling snow!