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  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Monday, November 16, 2009


Sunday morning I awoke to blue skies and a lawn covered with snow. Not a lot of snow, but enough to make the yards totally white. The weekend before last I had raked most of the leaves that had fallen but on Thursday and Friday the stubborn leaves, those not yet ready to give up their attachment to their particular tree, finally gave up and floated to the ground. So by Friday afternoon, my yard had another layer of fallen leaves. I had intended to rake and bag the stragglers on Saturday but the first winter storm of the season in the Salt Lake valley changed that plan. By 11:00 am on Saturday there was a blizzard. When I walked out of the grocery store, the snow was blowing sideways; it was almost a white out. It was a relief to finally get into the car and head home. The onset of winter is always an adjustment. An adjustment in what you wear, what you eat, who you see and how you drive. There were some 100 car crashes in the valley as residents were figuring out they should have slowed down.

Saturday was a day spent in solitude, washing clothes, reading and watching college football. The house was quiet as no one was there but me. I looked out the window for the Neighbor’s Dog, but he was hiding somewhere from the storm. Keeping warm and dry was more important to him than whatever doggie treat I could give him. I finally decided to cook about five meals that I could freeze and thaw out this week for dinner. The kitchen was warm and the aroma of homemade meals brightened up an otherwise dreary day. I cooked a tri trip roast and several chicken breasts. I also made a big pot of risotto. I ate some of my handiwork on Saturday and Sunday but I should be set for the week.

On Sunday it was a welcome change to have sun and blue sky. It was still cold and the snow was still clinging to the lawns, but the appearance of bright sunshine always seems to raise one’s spirits. I ran a few errands, watched movies, read a novel and paid bills. I wrote a check to the Utah Food Bank and the Salt Lake Homeless Mission. There is nothing like a winter day to remind you that some folks don’t have a warm place to sleep or a warm dinner to fill an empty stomach. Sometimes I am remiss and concentrate too much on my own life and not enough on those who need help.

The last three weeks has been a little lonely in a big house, all by myself. When you walk in the house it is cold. Depending on the time of day, when I walk in it is either dark or dim until I turn the lights on. The only sounds are the burglar alarm that is set off when I unlock and open the door and the furnace kicking into gear when I turned up the temperature. I usually say hello to Rudy, a plant the Lovely Sharon and I named a couple of years ago. Although I say hello to Rudy he looks at me without apparent interest, remaining silent, looking at the window contemplating days of summer. Rudy is a rubber plant, a Fiscus Elastica for those of you who prefer the scientific name. Three seasons ago when we were getting the yard ready for winter, Sharon mentioned that this rubber plant would not be brought in the house and we would have to replace it in the spring. I looked at the plant, he looked at me in a begging, kind of “please help me” way. I told Sharon that I would take him in the house for the winter. She initially said no but then reconsidered. She named the plant Rudy and I brought him in the house. He is now working on his third winter. Rudy and I have an arm’s length relationship. Not much interaction. I water him once a week as he looks stoically at me. Nonetheless, I am glad he is resident in the house.

I am taking care of a half a dozen or so other plants that we brought in for the winter. One of which, a small cactus, spent last winter in Palm Desert but now resides in Utah. I think I will take that one back to Palm Desert when I head back down.

I suppose the snow will melt this week as temperatures rise a little but no doubt there will be more snow soon. The summer and the following Indian summer are gone to wherever good weather goes.

Put on your coat, keep your gloves handy and send a donation to the Food Bank.

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