Category: spring is coming (page 1 of 4)

White Rain

White Rain, he calls it.

How clever. How charming. How distinctly incorrect.

Because no matter how cute you are when you describe it, it’s still spring snow. It’s still cold. It’s still dark. It still makes my feet cold. And my heart cold. And my temper quick.

How do I tell it?

Hard to describe
— Impossible, maybe —
How that particular patch
Of sunlight
On that particular patch
Of grass, just greening out of the
Winter-gray field
Made my heart lurch
With joy.

Maybe it was the cow,
Bending over to slurp a mouthful
Of gorgeous green.
But it was only a cow.

Cows are everywhere,
(at least around here)
And rarely make me

Almost-cry.

I nearly pulled out my phone
To take a photo.
But I knew it would be
Like it always it
When I see a thing in the
Natural world that
Snatches my breath:

Later, it’s just a photo.

Of a cow.

If I could paint,
Would my painting breathe
And glow
Like the new spring
And the sunlight and the grass and the life?

Maybe it would, but I can’t.

So I just hold the memory
Of the time
When sun and earth and life
Met together for a perfect,
Soul-strengthening
Moment.

Glad,
So glad
that I was there to see it.

Ketchup. Catsup? All right. Catch. Up.

I’m feeling much better. Thank you. And sounding almost normal. Keep the prayers coming / fingers crossing / voodoo dolls dancing. I’m totally feeling the love.

*Things I’ve Learned While Not Having a Voice* (In No Apparent Order)
## I can live without answering the phone for days at a time. Days, I tell you.
## In a pinch, Atomic Fireballs can stand in for coughdrops. But only if you’re a person who eats sugar. And if you’re a person who does not eat sugar or sugar-style substitutes, your cough drops options are slim and strange.
## When Mama isn’t talking, the decibel level in the house is strangely low and lovely.
##  Whispering is evil. And I should never, ever do it if I want my voice back. So… sign language.

Brilliant Kid 1 got her ACT scores. She had to go to the Rude Counselling Office Secretary [1] and ask for it. RCOS took her sweet time, for whatever reason having a difficulty with the spelling of our last name (sheesh). After moments of hemming and hawing (she really hemmed, and also hawed — it’s part of her job description) RCOS said, “You got a 36” and paused for a long time before saying “on the English section.” Kid 1 restarted her heart and possibly did a little fist-pump. RCOS then told her her other (only slightly less astronomical) numbers which “averaged” (I’ll trust her, I didn’t do the math myself) to 32. [2] We’re pleased. Why, yes, we’d love to send her to university for free. Thank you again.

I am again convinced that “GOOD OMENS” by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman is the funniest book I’ve ever read. I’m re-enjoying it oh-so-much. There might be some snorting aloud. It happens.

Sunshine? I’m ready for you. Although the theatrical cloudiness of the sky is lovely and poetic and stuff, I’m really ready for some afternoon rays.

You know how death and other unfortunate things are said to happen in Threes? I’m here to tell you good things do, too, if you’re looking for such good things. And if you can count to three. I think present company is good there. Details soon.

[1] As opposed to the very, very nice Counselling Office Secretary, who is always polite to both adults and students — just imagine that.

[2] 36 is a perfect score. ACT is the western states version of SAT. All righty. “They” say that a kid’s second try will often be 2 points higher than the first try. This was the first try. All done bragging now.

Again. Again. Again.

Do you ever feel like your life is on repeat? Those same things, again and again? Like, for instance, we watched the Les Miserables 25th Anniversary concert again this Sunday afternoon. And, again, it felt a lot like THIS. Also this time, I wanted the guy who designed the lighting to come out and take a bow. Wow. The lighting.

And I’ve been doing a lot of school teaching. And I love being a substitute teacher, because it gives me the very best of the teaching opportunities without any of the hard work. (Yes, that is just exactly the kind of girl I am. Are you new here or something?) And this week I got to talk about To Kill a Mockingbird, and even to watch Gregory Peck be Atticus. Oh, Gregory. Oh, Atticus. You are one in my heart. And I got to teach high school seniors about resumes, so naturally I took in like 500 bloopers from the worst resumes ever written and shared them. Also, I showed them THIS. Because I own the skill of getting around the local school district’s non-YouTube filter. Add Hacker to my resume. Also, yesterday this dumb thing I did: I asked a certain class to do a certain thing, and several of the kids said they’d do it. So I wrote their names down. Here’s the thing. I teach these classes now and then, maybe almost once a month. I’m THEIR sub, if you know what I mean. And they like me. And I like them, too. And I’m learning many of their names. But. Mostly the ones on the top half of the attendance rolls, because once I hit the Ms, I’m just ready to move on instead of making eye contact with everyone. See? So yesterday, I wrote down the names of the kids I could remember, then I had TO ASK A COUPLE OF THEM TO TELL ME THEIR NAMES. They were offended, in the most polite way. They teased me. One said, head cocked to the side, “Really? You don’t know me?” And I laughed and said, of course I do, you’re my very best friend, and COME ON. It’s not like you know MY first name. And he got that “What are you talking about?” look on his face and said, “Becca.” Like, duh, lady. Then he told me who he was and I repeated his name seventeen times, and now I will never forget it again. First or last. Or initials BS (no kidding). And I used to think I was good with names. Turns out that as a sub, you end up with about a thousand different students a month. And I’m just not THAT GOOD.

And Nunsense is a riot. We’re pretty darn funny, if I must say so myself. Again. (Saturdays in March at 7:00. 100N 100W in Heber City. I’ll be there, I promise. I’m the one in the NunSuit.)

Also, apparently while I was inside a building somewhere, Spring sprang up around here. Sprang is a word. Spell checker doesn’t even try to stop me from using it. Sprang, sprang, sprang. I’m giddy with freedom. Sprang. It sounds like “boing” — another word that is very fun to say and type and read. At least for me. And, need I remind you who this blog belongs to? I thought not.

And remember once when I told you I read NORTH AND SOUTH? And that I wanted to adore it? Well, I finally found enough minutes to finish watching the BBC miniseries. Guess what. Go on, guess. Oh, all right. I’ll tell you. I said these words to Husband: “The movie was better than the book.” He gasped and made me repeat myself. (It’s happened before. I feel that way about the Wynona Ryder/Susan Sarandon/Christian Bale version of Little Women, too.) But N&S was so lovely that I will watch it again. When I get 4 hours. Check back with me in a few months. (Keyword: Richard Armitage. Yes. Yes.)

I made hotel reservations to go to this lovely place in July. It will be glorious and tree-full and hot and humid and my hair will be a flat-out disaster. But it will be awesome nonetheless. (Sometimes I just like to write things that aren’t words normal people would ever say.) (Should ever say?) And my parents are there, and it will be so, so good to have a real, face-to-face, hug-it-out kind of conversation with them again. It has been WAY too many months. (11 already.) And I’m going to find out how to get an excursion on a Mississippi River paddle boat, ala Mr. Mark Twain. They’d have that, right? (Google, come to my aid.) (Again.)

And, since it’s been very nearly a year, I’m thinking about paying someone to cut my hair again. Just a trim, but a trim done by someone else’s hands sounds like quite a treat. Yes. That sounds like a lovely idea. I’ll let you know if I actually choose to act on that lovely idea.

Then there’s this: On my no-white-flour, no sugar thing, I lost 12 pounds (mostly in February). And then I started getting cocky and cheating now and then (pizza, yes — pasta, once — cookies, only the lemon ones — and it’s girl scout cookie ice cream month [thank you, Dreyer’s], so, Samoas, yes) and for the last 3 weeks, I’ve been at a stall. But I’m back on the wagon again. Why do I feel the need to tell you these things? I have no idea. But I told you anyway. You’re welcome.

 

Save me some Daylight

So tonight we move the clocks. Husband is very excited. He loves evening light, and even though he understands that the day isn’t actually ANY LONGER (still 24 hours, mostly 12 dark and 12 light as of now), there is light after he comes home from work, which makes him think (rightly) that he’s got a life outside the office and the commute.

I am less excited, and not only because I have a 7:00 meeting tomorrow morning. I like morning light. I like to wake up and see the sky holding that blue pre-dawn light. I like arriving at school on those work-days with the sky light. And let’s face it, I’m going to bed early, so the light night thing is less important to me (and even, sometimes, gets in the way of my plans to fall asleep by nine). (Just kidding.) (Sort of.)

But it has been the most mild winter in our 11 winters here in the Frozen Mountaintops, and we’ve even had a couple of warm-your-skin days lately. Spring is moving in, and I can give up some weeks of morning light to make room for Spring.

So I’ll see you bright and early (dark and early?) Sunday morning, and if I feel the need to grumble, I’ll do it while it’s still dark so nobody can see.

New! New! New!

I know, right? It’s a new year, and I’m already trampling all over my Exclamation Point Embargo. Hey, you know what? If a girl can’t throw down a few exclamation points, what’s the point of anything?

Okay. Sorry. I got carried away.

But it IS, in fact, the sort-of-beginning of a new year, the Kids are back at school, the Fat Loss Program is two weeks underway, the halls are bare of vinyl-pine needles, and we don’t have a lick of snow on the ground. In fact, the average afternoon temps from the last week hover right around 50 degrees. So, what I’m telling you is, Spring is Coming.

Oh, wait. That’s not what I’m telling you.

It’s the New Year. That’s what I’m telling you. And new things are good things.

Also, I am a terrible resolution-keeper. I think some of you knew that. But this year, I decided not to wait for January to set goals which I probably could not keep. So I started in December, and so far, so good.

Pound a week. Check. (Only through April. Not forever. Neither of us needs to worry.)

Speak and behave more kindly to my Kids (and other people, but somehow that’s just naturally easier, because I am wicked or something). Check.

Remember how to Get Over It. Check-ish.

Write. Wellllll… Um. It will come. I’ve been on vacation, remember? Vacation from my PROBLEMS.

Also, I’m Taking Back the Budget. I’ve always been a pretty good budgeter, but lately, I’ve been lazy with the grocery budget in particular. So, starting today, the weekly Wilhite grocery budget is $60. Plus a once-a-month trip to Costco, coming in under $150. Look at me go, putting it all in writing and stuff.

So, what’s new with you?

Pagan Day, Again

This is the post from one year ago today:

We’re not actually pagans at our house.

(Surprised?)

In fact, we think ourselves rather committed to all things Godly. But today, on this Winter Solstice, we have a little bit of a heathen celebration. Every year. Because, you know, this is an important day. It’s the shortest day of the year. Meaning (by logical extension – see if you can follow me) that tomorrow will be a little bit longer than today. There will be more theoretical sun time (even if it keeps snowing until our house is buried*). And days will continue to stretch a little longer every single day until Spring comes, and beyond.

And that feels good. Spring, I mean. And also longer days.

When I was in college, I took an American Folklore class, which was a perfect combination of cool and ridiculous. One day, our teacher (he was a grad student who always needed a haircut, and I regularly had to resist the urge to fix his tie) invited in a pair of witches to guest lecture.

They were weird, I’m not going to lie to you.

They explained Wicca business, and it was strange and earthy and slightly unwashed. But then they said this. “When we see the first crocus of Spring, we kneel down and say a prayer to Mother Earth, thanking her for the world’s rebirth.”

And I got simultaneous chills and shivers. Like, “Yes! I do that, too!” and also, “Wow. That is truly strange.” CLARIFICATION: I don’t pray to Mother Earth. If you do, right on. I’m partial to praying to God, myself, but I respect your right to go your own way. But I do say a little prayer of thanks when I see shoots and blooms popping up through the muddy springtime ground. I get wet knees and possibly a smudge of mud on my nose from exploring REALLY closely.

And it’s coming. Closer every day, starting today.

So we’ll celebrate with our tomato-basil soup and our homemade bread, and our shoveling and our slipping around. We’ll enjoy this last darkest day, and we’ll look forward to what is to come — today, this weekend, and several months in the future.

But if we go without showering for more than 24 hours, please send help.

*8.5 inches between last night and 6:0 a.m.

It’s a lot like that now, except that we haven’t had any real snow yet. I know, weird. But it’s good and cold. (That’s just a phrase. There’s not that much good about single digit temperatures when you measure in Fahrenheit. But we did wake this morning knowing that it all gets a little brighter from this day on. And that feels pretty awesome to me.) Happy winter. For a minute.

She’s Positively Hilarious

Ha.

Ha ha.

Ha ha ha.

Mother Nature is absolutely having a joke with me.

It is snowing. Right now. Big, fat, wet flakes that are covering my tulips like white stocking caps. Isn’t that hysterical?

Snow is sticking to the grass. And the sidewalk. And the road. And the roofs.

And my soul.

(Just a little drama, so you didn’t forget who you were dealing with here.)

It IS May 19th, right?

I haven’t turned a few extra calendar pages by mistake, right?

Remember the groundhog? The one in Pennsylvania? The one who predicted an early spring? Remember him?

You’ll never see him again. I’ve taken care of that.*

I’m off to enjoy the snowy day with a class full of clever and delightful fourth-graders. Which, if you can manage it, is the best way to work through Mother Nature’s particular brand of silliness.

*Dear ASPCA: That was a joke. I don’t even KNOW anyone who would take a hit job like that. Phil is fine. Really. Thank you.