Thursday, December 20, 2007

Topsy Turvy World

What a topsy turvy world we are living in. Here in Missouri’s wine country on Dec. 5th my husband and I were out Christmas shopping in our shirt sleeves and snapped the attached photo of a geranium still in full bloom planted next to a tree with its trunk wrapped in Christmas lights.

Several days later we awoke to find everything coated in a thick coat of ice and feeling as if we had been transplanted into the Ice Castle scene in the Chronicles of Narnia.

Before the week was out we were shoveling several inches of snow from our driveway and watching the geese walk across the frozen lake near our home.

What unusual weather we are having this year but we were among the lucky ones. Many of the good folks in our area were spending several days without electricity or unable to travel the steep hills that abound in our small town causing them to be housebound.

I am not a winter person by a long shot and would prefer to be able to live in a climate that does not require wearing a coat. But, I have to admit that I am enjoying this weather because of my Frank. After 40 years of living in southern California he is like a kid in a candy store. His excitement is sure catching and I am finding it fun to see it all through his eyes.

I overheard him telling the cable installer that he had done something that day that he had never done before in his life. When ask what he replied “shovel snow.” Frank has not been without the camera and is constantly snapping photographs to send to his grandchildren back in California that have never seen snow or ice. He has captured everything from the squirrel’s robbing the bird feeder to the sunsets over the frozen lake.

A month ago Frank was reluctant to go shopping for cold weather clothing and after much urging finally agreed to purchase a winter coat and gloves and now I believe he is wishing that he had also gotten a hat and boots as well. He is such a dear that he came home the other day with a new pair of boots for me but has yet to get them for himself.

As a retired navel officer Frank has had to spend many Christmas seasons away from home and apparently the ones that were spent at home in California just did not have the same excitement that the weather is giving to this holiday season. Plus, I suspect I am more prone to overdo the decorating and fussing than he is used to. I have always gone a bit overboard for the holidays and while he has been a real trooper and pitched in and helped with everything I don’t think he started to enjoy it all until the snow came.

We have spent evenings driving the neighborhoods checking out all the lights and counting the number of nativity scenes set up in the yards with Frank giving a running commentary on how it is all so different in sunny California. I have found it all very educational and extremely exciting. And, just maybe I have worked a little harder at putting things together this year to assure that Frank’s first Christmas here, and our first together will be his best ever.

I wish all of you out there a Christmas as wonderful as the one I am having this year.

Today is January 6th and I want to add a postscript on this crazy weather we are having here in Missouri. Today the temperature got into the low seventies and so Frank and I like most everyone else in town spent the day outdoors.

At one point we walked around our new yard checking things out and discussing plans for the gardening we wanted to do come spring and were overwhelmed to discover all is not as it should be around our new house. First, the grass is much too green for January and we found a dandelion blooming in the front yard. Then we discovered what appears to be tulips poking leafy green sprouts about 3 inches above the soil around the back wall. Next, I discovered a spider plant that had been left sitting in the corner of the patio under the decking and it not only has survived it looks quite healthy and is putting out new baby shoots.

Who would suspect that signs of spring could be found here in Missouri in January. Simply amazing. Perhaps Frank was right when he said he planned to bring the best of California to Missouri with him.

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