This is the first post in a series: January Dreaming. Click here for the rest of the series.
My late Mom always hated January. For many reasons.
The emotional let-down after the excitement of the holidays.
The dreary, gray, chilly days.
The lack of a real identity for this also-ran of months. Nothing big happens. All the other months get the glory.
Mom was a warm weather person, and grumped her way through all her Januaries. I think she kind of enjoyed putting down her least favorite month, and she had a real patter going about it “too cold, too damp, too boring, no spice to it!”. She spent her January days dreaming of warmer good times and letting everyone know about it. I miss that, and her.
That’s Mom above at the beach where I grew up, in Gilchrist, Texas along the Gulf of Mexico. The floppy hat illustrates her personality so well – she definitely marched to her own drummer. So in Mom’s honor, I’m going to do some January Dreaming posts about warmer days. First up will be scenes from a Paris taxi ride in July (my next post – stay tuned).
Update: the January Dreaming series ended when January passed its chilly baton to February, but you can dream of good times in warmer months at any time by clicking here.
said the Grill-Meister as he fired up the outdoor burner to cook bacon in 5° weather.
It was also snowing.
We don’t cook bacon inside because our tiny cabin will retain the smell for days. That marvelous aroma that warms your cockles when it’s freshly cooked and ready to eat becomes your worst enemy later, don’t you think? The Grill-Meister was definitely “taking one for the team” when he fried up the bacon on the snowy porch.
Simple food tastes really great in the mountains: scrambled eggs with peppers and sausage, bacon and drop biscuits were a New Year’s breakfast fit for royalty.
Road trip time! Halfway between Glover Gardens and Little House in the Rockies lies the west Texas town of Amarillo. I’ve never done much there but sleep during our overnight stops, but its holiday vibe charmed me from my hotel window on Thursday night, and again in a different way on Friday morning. It was haiku-worthy.
at night all sparkly Amarillo by morning was muted by snow
In almost six years, we never saw a magpie at Little House in the Rockies.
And then on the Fall Colors 2018 Trek in late September, there they were at Tarryall Reservoir. With the blue on their wings, they are mag(pie)nificent!
And over Thanksgiving, they finally came right up to our front porch to feed on the suet. Despite their chatty reputation, our maggies were a little shy, so I wasn’t able to get many photos of their tuxedo coloring with bright blue wingtips. However, the one below, which is accidentally dark, made me happy enough to haiku. Intensifying the blue made me even happier. So I give you, Magpie’s Blue Period:
blue-winged forager stopping at the suet bar gorgeous in profile
I got a new camera for Christmas, the first one ever that has interchangeable lenses that detach and rates a case instead of rambling about in the bottom of my purse like my previous little point-n-shoot models. A respectable camera. A DSLR. I’m the family historian and photographer and have always been a shutterbug, but a very uneducated one. I didn’t even know what DSLR meant until I looked it up recently.
So – I have a lot to learn! I’m very excited about this new journey and wish I had more time to spend on absorbing the basics, but for now I’m mostly using the automatic settings.
I’m sharing all this to set up a photo for you. We had a snow day here in Southeast Texas in January, and then the sun came out at the end of the day. I took a very chilly walk about the neighborhood with my brand new camera and took photos of everything and nothing, just to play with the zoom lens. I was looking through my photos just now and found this one from that day, and it made me happy.
Trees and sunsets make me happy in general – how about you? They embody the reassurance of renewal; they speak to me through their beauty. Indulge me for a moment.
The trees are saying,
Sure, I lost my leaves for the winter, but don’t worry, I’ll get them back! I’ll grow a big canopy for you to picnic under come summer. I’ll be here for your future grandkids to climb.”
The sunset chimes in.
I’ll only be around for a few minutes – enjoy me! I’m here to remind you that while today was challenging, another day is on the way. My partner, the sunrise, will be here before you know it. Use the coming darkness to rest and reflect, and I’ll see you again tomorrow.”
darkness everywhere, no respite from bleak grayness – y’all must be stoic!
Moscow endured a December with almost no sunshine – can you imagine??? The minute I heard about this I felt an empathetic psychosomatic case of Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) coming on. How did they manage? BBC News correspondent Oleg Boldyrev describes a hundred shades of grey in How to survive in Moscow without sunshine – BBC News.
I first heard this story on NPR’s All Things Considered; click here for the transcript or here to listen. One thing I’ve noted in the several articles I’ve read about this sunless situation is that folks in Moscow seem to be very stoic and are taking it in good humor, much better than I would. I would be SAD without sunlight for an extended period.
Here’s to you, Moscow, and hopefully you’ll see the light soon.
If you’ve been following Glover Gardens this week, you know that it is really cold here. Freaky cold. Snow and ice and sleet, oh my! It just makes you want to stay inside, drink hot chocolate by the fire and have comfort food for all your meals. One day I said to the Grill-Meister, “Wouldn’t tomato soup and grilled cheese be the perfect lunch today?”
Less than an hour later, I got this text and photo from my friend Nancy:
Channeling my inner Kim with grilled cheese with red onion, tomato, and fresh basil— along with tomato/basil soup!
A sleety celebration with jazz accompaniment!
Can you believe it?! While I was daydreaming about the perfect cold-weather lunch, Nancy was making it, and chilling out (pun intended) with some jazz! The Grill-Meister and I laughed and laughed — and we would have crashed her sleety celebration if it wasn’t too dangerous to be on the roads.
It’s probably obvious that Nancy and I go way back. Waaaay back, to our days in the Old Sugar Land when we were semi-young moms of young sons, and getting together and talking helped us figure out the world and our places in it. (Actually, getting together and talking still helps us figure out the world and our places in it.) One of the many things Nancy and I enjoy together is making and eating wonderful food, and I’m not surprised she knew my perfect snowed-in meal. I celebrate our friendship in this haiku.
Haiku: Sleety Celebration
she’s channeling me tomato soup and grilled cheese comfort food friendship