You know you’re a True Minnesotan when you wake up, realize that while it’s 19 out, it’s also a clear blue sky because the storm passed during the night, so you hurry through breakfast so you can go out and play in the snow.
By which I mean shovel your sidewalk and driveway before the condo crew show up and spoil the fun.
Whoo-Hoo! Did you feel that? We just went around Darkness Corner. Not that circles have corners, but — zipping along at 67 thousand miles per hour — we just swung past the point of longest night and shortest day.
For those of us north of the equator anyway.Those of you below it must regret the days starting now to get shorter. My condolences. (If it’s any consolation, the Earth’s speed is 107 thousand kilometers per hour.) Naturally the Way-Back link is to the 2012 Winter Solstice post.
This empyrean reason for the holiday demands extra-special music…
When, oh when, will I learn to keep my mouth shut! After going on about the unseasonably warm weather — three straight days with the temperature locked at 46-ish — and even posting pictures of the vanishing snow…
I wake to what you see here and a 25-degree drop in temperature. My (currently still working) indoor-outdoor digital temperature gizmo tells me it’s currently 21 (point nine) outside. Said gizmo also tells me the high today was 32 (point whatever), which was probably at midnight.
So, Hello Winter, I see you found us again. Now go away!
Today is a date most folks living in the USA write as 12-13-14, and for anyone who loves numbers a date like that demands a post of some sort. I’d planned to goof off today, maybe catch up on some movies, but there’s just no way I won’t post on a date with a sequence like that.
Of course, others write today’s date as 13-12-14, but they’re not from around here. And there’s just no helping those who insist on writing 2014. The real error is putting the year last — the sensible way is 14-12-13, which allows proper sorting of dates chronologically. We should all change to that immediately.
If it’s not obvious yet, today is just a meandering ramble.
Pure Hawaiian White!
In a former life as a college Film & TV student, I worked on a mock commercial written and directed by a classmate friend of mine. It featured two guys in a run-down warehouse — one wanting to buy from the other some “premium Hawaiian white stuff” for his wife who desperately needed it.
The seller opens a case containing bags of white powder. The transaction is interrupted, and the commercial ends, with both men fleeing sudden sirens and flashing red and blue lights. The piece is really funny because it was done in the mid 1970s, during the height of the sugar shortage when prices skyrocketed.
Just this past week we had a whole other kind of “white stuff.”
I’ve been trying to re-synch my clock to a more normal daylight cycle. All my life I’ve been a “night crawler.” My very first official job involved a retail position, but we worked outdoors. I noticed how, no matter how tired I was, once the sun fell, I got a fresh breath of wind. And even at my advanced age, staying up all night is easy (and so is napping all afternoon).
My (ex-)wife used to say I must have vampire blood in me. It’s true I do like to bite necks, but so far I have drawn only moans, no blood. It may be more that I’ve always identified with the idea, “I’ll sleep when I’m dead.” Life is filled with so many interesting things, who wants to waste time sleeping? And for all my life, five hours seems to do me just fine.
But the point here is that I’ve been trying to become more of a day person.
Ever looping, ever spinning,
Passes a point.
Ever higher, ever warmer,
Melts all the snow.
Ever turning, ever changing,
Brings forth fresh life.
Winter’s silence fades.
Birds sing, life renews.
A new year begins.
Whoops! I was delighted yesterday when I saw the sun was once again shining into my living room. During the depth of winter it’s too low in the sky for the rays to get past the (rather deep) skylight well in the ceiling.
Seeing it yesterday required three things I’ve been waiting for: The sun to get high enough in the sky (obviously); for it to be not cloudy, which has been a problem recently; and for the snow and (weirdly) the grime to melt off the skylight itself. The snow cover isn’t unusual, but I’ve never seen grime before!
Anyway, hooray, yesterday it happened. And then I woke this morning to winter again!
My favorite part of the season just occurred! Over an hour ago the Earth swung past the winter-most spot in its orbit. That was at 17:11 UTC, 12:11 PM on the east coast of the USA, 9:11 AM on the west coast, and the rest of you will just have to do the math.
We’re headed back towards summer! (Ironically, today is also the first official day of winter.) It’ll take a few days before we can notice the growing daylight — it’s somewhat similar to how you pause for a moment when you turn and reverse direction. If the snow ever melts off my skylight, I’ll be able to start watching the patch of sunlight start working its way down again.
So Beauteous Winter Solstice to you all!