Words for Wednesday: winter won’t last

blogimg_6781The long month of January is finally coming to a close. And as the snow still flies outside my window and temperatures plummet to single digits and below, winter still clutches us in its grasp.

We still have the winter month of February to come and often we get record amounts of snow during those 28 or 29 (if it’s Leap Year) days. And we’ve even been graced with the white stuff throughout March in the past, so…who knows when winter will depart? Not even the groundhog knows for sure.

No doubt spring probably won’t arrive for quite some time yet.

But in the words of our Little One (our oldest grandchild who will soon turn four), “When is it going to be Spring? I miss the grass!”

She likes snow and enjoys playing in it, even begging Papa to let her help shovel the sidewalk, but like the rest of us, she still yearns for sunshine and warmth and color.

“No winter lasts forever. No spring skips its turn.” ~ unknown

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

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Words for Wednesday: January bare branches

blogimg_6997January always seems like such a long month especially since we are usually caught in the throes of blustery winter weather where I live.

Snow, ice, blasts of frigid temperatures, bleak and often dismal skies. That’s usually the norm here every January. And this first month of 2019 proves no different from years past.

I happened upon this poem one day while gleaning for thoughts on our coldest season of the year and it seemed to perfectly accompany a photo I took in the dead of a January winter a couple of years ago.  The poem’s ending also fits well with the ideas of light rolling around in my mind for over a week now.

January Morn

Bare branches of each tree
on this chilly January morn
look so cold so forlorn.
Gray skies dip ever so low
left from yesterday’s dusting of snow.
Yet in the heart of each tree
waiting for each who wait to see
new life as warm sun and breeze will blow,
like magic, unlock springs sap to flow,
buds, new leaves, then blooms will grow.

Like heart and soul in every man
who let their light grow ever dim
a spark still burns low within
longing to burst forth, to shine again.
Like bare branches on a January morn
don’t feel cold, don’t feel forlorn.
Our Heavenly Father like warm spring sun
like gentle warm wind when called upon
will make each light burn bright again. 

By Nelda Hartman

January won’t last forever and neither will winter weather. Soon spring will burst forth in all its glory and winter will be frozen into the past until next year.

What’s January like in the area where you live?

©2019 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com

Tempting fate

“If your advance is going well, you are walking into an ambush.”

I’m not sure where I found that quote but it accurately describes this past week.  If you are a regular follower of Mama’s Empty Nest, you’ll know that I don’t normally post on Fridays.

But here it is, Friday.  And I’m posting.  And while that in itself is not normal, neither has my week been a normal week.  I’ve been absent since last weekend.   And I’ve got a good excuse.

When I was a kid and I was bragging about something, my mother would often say, “Don’t say it!”  She seemed to think if you stated something good or wonderful was happening, you tempted fate to turn it upside down and the exact opposite would occur.

Who knew that our mothers could be so wise?

Just last week, I said to my husband, “Wow! We both made it through this winter without either one of us getting sick or even having a cold.”

Hmmm.   Well, winter isn’t over in my neck of the woods.  It’s snowing as I write this and we’ve had snow on the ground just about every morning this week.

Call it Murphy’s Law or tempting fate or whatever you want to call it.  But winter just ambushed me this week.  In more ways than one.

You know how a picture is worth a thousand words?  Please accept my excuse below for my absence.

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Foreshadows of spring

blogDSCN8713The title of yesterday’s post proved to be  a foreshadow of my thoughts today.

See around here, in my neck of the woods, seeing shadows is kind of a big deal.

Last week, the famous groundhog Punxsutawney Phil, the so called prognosticator of all prognosticators, did not see his shadow. 

In groundhogese, that supposedly means spring is on its way.  If ol’ Phil’s shadow had shown up, we would be stuck in the throes of winter for  6 more weeks, supposedly.

If you’re not familiar with this age-old weather indicator, click here to read a post I wrote a couple of years ago about my home state’s famous rodent celebrity.

I didn’t stop to ask the big old granddaddy groundhog, who frequents our back yard and hides out inside our burn barrel, if he saw his shadow or not, so I’ll just have to take Phil’s word for it.

And this lover of snowy days and cold weather is ready to welcome spring!  In  December and January, I’m all over the winter season.   I love snowfall.   I think it’s beautiful and it makes my landscape appear magical when it’s all frosted over with a fluffy blanket of white.

I relish the frigid temperatures because for some reason, it just makes me feel more alive.  Stepping outside and breathing in that frosty, crisp air invigorates me.  I enjoy curling up on the couch under a fleecy blanket with a steaming cup of tea in my hands and watching the snowflakes twirl and dance outside my windows.

But something happens to me in February.   The magic is gone.  By this month, my eyes and brain scream for color in my world.  Gazing out at a landscape sporting white, shades of brown, black, and grey, so devoid of color, makes me yearn for a spot of yellow or pink or red or purple or anything!

Yes, I’ll admit it.  I become weary of the outside color deficient world.   One February a couple of years ago, the lack of color affected me so tremendously, my husband planned an afternoon escape from our snow globe to visit Phipps Conservatory and Botanical Gardens in our nearby city just to see a spot of color from the plants and flowers growing inside.

As soon as we left the barren, snow laden outdoors and stepped inside to a feast of various hues and shades of color galore for our eyes, my attitude changed.  I practically became giddy surrounded by the lush greenness of plants and the blooming vibrancy of all the flowers.

Enchanting.  That world of vivid color captivated and transported me to a happy place.  I photographed everything and came home with a plethora of pictures that I still enjoy viewing especially during the winter month of February.

So I am ready for spring.  Bring on the sunshine.  Bring on the budding trees.  Bring on the gradual greening of grass.  Bring on the tiny crocuses butting their heads through the dark ground.  Bring on the daffodils.  The tulips.  The hyacinths!

I’m ready to see dazzling colors.  I’m ready to smell luscious scents.  I’m ready for an overload of senses that spring promises.

And so is our cat.  She hates winter.  She will not step one pretty, little paw outside if there’s a hint of snow on the ground.  So by this time of year, she’s got cat cabin fever in the worst way.

She whines to go outside, but when we open the door and she gets a glimpse of the wintry expanse, she refuses to budge.  Then she whines to go to the garage.  Once there, she turns around and whines to come back inside the house.  Then she wanders around the house, whining.  Back to the garage.  In five minutes, she whines to be back inside.  It’s a lot of cat whining and she drives us crazy with cat cabin fever too.

So I’m really hoping ol’ Phil got his prediction correct this year and that spring is truly right around the corner. 

blogIMG_0288But just when I think I can’t take the plainness of my surroundings and the absolute lack of color that blankets our property any longer, I glance outside my kitchen window and God sends me a little reprieve from winter’s icy grip and colorless world.

A flurry of red here, a glimpse of blue there in the maple tree closest to our back yard deck. 

Birds at our bird feeder.  Some wear hues of brown,  but oh, those ones flaunting their vibrant coats catch my eye.

Their brilliant tint really stands out against white and black surroundings. Bright red cardinals and even some pesky blue jays visit every day giving me a little taste of color…a foreshadow of spring.

And I’m hungry for the hope of spring on this day.  That’s why I will write it on my heart that today, even though winter still surrounds me, is the best day of the year.

©2013 mamasemptynest.wordpress.com