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Wednesday, December 30, 2015

January Thaw

This is the time of year when we used to have a period of weather the older members of the clan called 'the January thaw'.
This year, however, the entire month of December has been the January thaw, so it is somewhat turvy-topsy.
The J-Thaw is a period of relative warmth coming after the cold in December. It would have been cold right up to a frigid New Year's Day, then back to work and everyone in the doldrums so no one noticed anything-unless there would be a blizzard-but everyone just plodded along, not looking up...until one day when the sun was out and the tears did not freeze to your face when you gazed up into the blue sky.
The January Thaw had arrived.
It would be followed by more cold, but in the meantime, life was good.
This year we shall take the Christmas tree down well before the Kaiser's birthday on January 27th. (The old, old relatives used to let the traditional tannenbaum stay up until Kaiser Willy's birthday, even when they were in Brooklyn, but nowadays few people do so.)

All the decorations of light - the auroras of artifice! - come down as we plunge back into the dismal grey clime of the area. Words cannot express how the light of Christmas fills my soul with gladness. Contrariwise, when cleaning up after Christmas, a somber mood prevails.
I do not play Christmas music while taking down the tree. That would be too sad. So I played Leonard Cohen, who was as cold as a new razor blade.

For Christmas itself my mother presented us with some little gifts such as old candles, half of which had been previously lit. We have resigned ourselves to being the last link in the chain between certain consumers in our lives, their purchases, and the inevitable dust bin and land fill.
We are the trash facilitators.
She gave my nephew her electro-lighthouse, which has a motion sensor which starts a fog horn blowing, a bunch of lights flashing, and wide spiraling circles soldered with crescent moons, gulls, and pennants turning with all the gusto of the seaside!
One year she gave my niece a very nice American Spoon Food box we had found while cleaning up the summer house. It was an empty box, but it had a nice sort-of-Grandma-Moses picture of a harbor filled with boats and punts festooned with flags.

The warm weather has preserved the pansies on the porch, which are wrapped with fir tree greens. Pansies seem to be rather hardy. They had come through a couple cold snaps without any visible discomfort. And in the balmy days before Xmas, they were doing fine.

This morning, as I write this, I hear the rain falling.
The great storms have blown through Texas and the belly of the country, and we have a desultory sleet/rain/snow. The fir garlands and the greens still shelter the pansies, providing protection in case of cold, and the pansies still bloom - not with vigor, but with faith...
There is nothing inconvenient about that truth.


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