Tuesday, February 10, 2009

As a transplant to The South, one of my great pleasures is that spring often comes in what used to be the middle of winter. Growing up, I was a heat loving person. I thought nothing could be finer than to lie in the sun; sweat trickling on bare skin, a cold drink and a book. Ah, summer...

Shortly after I married, I spent two years in Vermont. I say "spent" rather than "lived" purposefully. Though I found it to be unsettlingly lovely (like living in a postal card), I never could get warm - even in summer. In winter (which began in September) snow drifts eight feet high could cover the windows; temperatures of - 15 were commonplace, and just when I thought Spring must be coming, it wasn't. What was coming was mud.

Mud season must be experienced to be comprehended. Like most children, I had once adored playing in the mud, splashing about in puddles and building forts. But the mud of my childhood and the mud of Vermont's fifth season have little in common. In New England, we're talking black, sticky and deep - and it's cold mud - made up as much of slush as of water and dirt. Each night, the mud freezes, creating deep troughs and furrows into which small mammals have gone missing - and upon which unprepared Midwesterners twist our ankles and curse their muck. When there was still snow in the woods in June during my second year there, I informed my then-spouse that I would not spend another winter in that beautiful hell. "Summer" was six weeks of no more than 80 degrees. Blink. It's winter again.

That is all behind me now. I've lived in Georgia nearly nineteen years, and I think I will never be complacent about Spring in the South. For the past several days the temperature has been in the mid-sixties to seventy degrees. Tepid - almost warm - breezes kick up the chaff as I feed the horses their hay in my shirt-sleeves and lift my face to the still feeble slanted rays of a February sun. Sure, it may yet turn colder. We might even get another hard frost. But there will never be snow in the Georgia woods in June. I love you, Vermont - even more from a distance...

And now for some fun:

Some of my online buds have been challenged by mouse (aka kimy) to choose and write about ten words beginning with a letter drawn from "the jar." Kimy graciously granted my behest, and the jar did its magic, offering up a "W". W is perfect for me.!! It seems quite kismet, with so many of my interests and artistic subjects beginning with doubleyew. I don't recall hearing any rules, per se, but I felt my ten words should be the first ones that came to mind. Here goes:

Water. Cold, clear, clean, refreshing, wet, (heh). Rain. We're entering another year of prolonged drought in the Southeast, thus this is a subject forefront on my mind. Water is often rationed; water tables dropped. Fine old trees, hundreds of years old; dying. Lakes and rivers 20 + feet below normal. Water = life.

Wonder - The look on a baby's face as it gazes upon the world; the questions in our eyes as we ponder meaning and mystery. The wonder of it all. The wah-wah-wah -wah-wonder... And don't we all know It's A Wonderful Life... ? It is. We are full of life and wonder.
Wing - Wings, winged, winging. My artwork is lately filled with winged Black Birds; birds who fly upon the Wind (my third word) and into the wind and are blown by great white winds begotten of Warm (4) air masses colliding with cold air masses to produce Weather (5) and the Water (6) of life.

Warm. Yes. I may think I'm cool - but I'd rather be warm. Warm hands, warm blankets and fires and mittens. The warmth of the sun, a warm smile, a warming trend; heartwarming...
mmmm... warmth...

Weather. One of my fav subjects. Bridges all conversational gaps, affects everyone - and is all powerful. Rain, hail, snow, sleet, hurricane, tornado, cyclone, blizzard, thunderstorm - or a fine sunny day - all amazing.

Whiskers. Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens... My cat Elvis' whiskers tickling my cheek; not a bad way to be awakened.

Whistle. What Jiminy Cricket said to do when you are afraid. The myriad whistles of birds, groundhogs, prairie dogs. whales and - yes - trains. A fine sound, rooted in our ancestry.

Whinny. I just had to put this in. It's the happy, soft greeting of my horses when I whistle. I've six horses here and each of them has a distinct sound - from a high trilling to almost a chortle to what can only be described as a soft murmuring.

... Kinda makes me Wistful...

thanx Kimy and all the other participants.

It's been fun to see what folks do with this.

The beautiful "Babygirl" - one of the sweetest mares ever... She's the one who "murmurs."


  1. Love this post and congrats on the blogger award!

  2. I laughted along with this post, nodding my head knowingly. It's snowing here again, and yes even though the electric heat is on full force, I am still cold. Swimming weather lasts about two weeks.
    I'll have to enjoy spring vicariously through your photos.

  3. I am like you, I love the south, but I can't get warm here in the winter. Right now I have on two pair of socks! Great post!

  4. I like your blog :@}
    I like your photo of the cat's toes.

  5. You have SIX horses??!! I am SO jealous!

  6. As a recent transplant to Louisiana from northern New England, I laughed with pleasure reading this post. There is nothing more beautiful than a New England summer, but oh, they are so heartbreakingly short. And mud season! 'nuff said. But you left out black fly season, which is a serious omission. Remember? The moment the weather turns balmy, those ravenous little bloodsuckers appear en masse--sometimes lingering into July! It's too cruel. I'm loving my first "winter" in the South.