Saturday, January 23, 2016

File Under "Wonderland, Winter"

Well, as you may have heard, we're having a spot of snow in and around Our Nation's Capital. I shall endeavor to be as decorative as this charming costume suggested by dear M. Erté, but we shall see.

This part of the world, of course, is notoriously ill-prepared for most forms of the more extreme climatic conditions, and the prospect of a "historic," "crippling," "death-dealing" snowstorm has had all and sundry atwitter (on Twitter and everywhere else) for days now.  To those of us raised in more challenging climes - such as those up on the shores of the Great Lakes - this sort of thing was more frequently just thought of as "winter," and taken in stride.

As the sun rises on day two of what the local rag has taken to referring to as "Snowzilla," it does look to be a snowy sort of day. The street lamps lining the driveway of Our Little Condo are festively draped in masses of icicles, making it look as the Board had lost all sense of decorum and ordered a new set of free-form Gothic torchères (which if nothing else would make a piquant contrast to the building's subdued Ford-administration concrete stolidity).

We did the ritual round of pre-storm stocking up over the past couple of days (at chaotic and overwhelmed supermarkets that recalled less the approach of a little snow than they did of the burning of Atlanta), and so the Mister and I plan to steadily work through a weekend's worth of hearty and comforting home cooking. Last night that meant a really quite successful creamy chicken and mushroom pasta (with sensible whole-wheat-and-ancient-grains high fiber pasta - I'm still having to resist the lure of most carbs), and today I think I'll put a crockpot of turkey chili on, if only for the lovely scent.

We'll pass the time, in part, escaping cinematically to warmer climes and better times, having gotten a jump start on that sort of thing last night by watching Enchanted April, a gorgeous little charmer I don't think I've seen since it first came out more than 20 years ago. The Villa San Salvatore seems very tempting as I look outside at the scudding clouds of falling snow, even if one might have to spend a great deal of time cheering up Joan Plowright and jollying along the likes of Alfred Molina. If I can talk Himself into it, this evening I think I'll really have a wallow and follow Miss Lucy Honeychurch to Italy again...

Our only real concern, I suppose is the poor dogs; two feet of snow really are rather a challenge when one's legs are only about half that long. They'll manage, the little dears, but there are times I rather wish we weren't so houseproud, if you know what I mean (although Koko - if not, alas, Boudi - is far too well-trained to engage in that kind of misbehavior).

If nothing else, perhaps I'll get some insight, through this little interlude of media hysteria, into just why it is that the local television anchors get so terribly excited about something called "thundersnow." It sounds like a code name for a spy operation from the Second War, or perhaps the name of a lesser villain in a not terribly imaginative airport paperback thriller. It would be hard-pressed to live up to those glossy blonde people's heated invocations, but I'll let you know...


  1. A childhood on the Gulf of Mexico and a subsequent life in snowfree San Francisco has left me with a deep suspicion of snow. I say god bless and drop us a line if you need evacuation. The turkey chili sounds tast-eee.

  2. It all sounds terribly Canadian to me. They call that "summer". Jx

  3. If I may say the novel "Enchanted April" is far more better than the film... You really can smell spring.
    (and you would probabaly enjoy "Elisabth in her English garden" too)

    1. I adore the novel as well - and the author was a fascinating woman.

  4. The 24 hour news cycle of the most recent decade has, in my opinion, ruined snow and all other kinds of weather. I quite agree that what transpired this weekend - while not exactly normal at a not insubstantial 24-30" in north central NJ - used to simply be known as winter. Snow happened with some regularity, 4 or 5 times a season. You heard about it a day or two ahead, you prepared, and then you dealt with it. Nowadays, it's all dire predictions and "millions impacted" and how many thousands without power, and watch out for coastal flooding, and general overkill. The talking heads must fill airtime so let's scare the crap out of everyone and make them buy more stuff to comfort themselves.

    Of course, at 50, I am quite over snow in general. I do hope to head to warmer climes in a decade or so when the husband and I are ready to sell the shop and call it a career. Perhaps Peenee can clear the guest room 'round about 2026. Unless, of course, you've returned to the Sand Lands, Muscato, or someplace stateside warm and sunny.

  5. We're contemplating several options for retirement, none of them in the north. Florida doesn't really tempt, but we're hoping to have a look one of these days at Palm Springs. The only trouble with California, though, other than it's total unfamiliarity, is that it's so tarsomely far from Egypt.

    And I quite agree about the ridiculousness of all-news-no-information-all-the-time world. It's one of the reasons we've so enjoyed having cut the TV cord. I listen to an hour of NPR, read a few papers, and that's more than enough - the horrors of local TV news are just too much to be borne.