Thoughts on the writing journey, daily life historical research and a little of everything else of interest to a romance writer.
Sunday, November 20, 2011
Snow, snow, snow!
It's that time of year again. The first snowfall that will "stick" arrived this past week in my neck of the woods and I can officially say it's winter. Supposedly that isn't until December 22, but who are we kidding? There's no going back now.
But against all logic, even in Minnesota, I seem to be caught unawares by a change I expect but don't really believe is going to happen...until it happens. Because while the leaves swirl and dance, there is still time. Maybe somehow, it could go the other way. In the gray, bare landscape of November I can fancifully imagine the fallen leaves swirling from the ground back to their branches just as easily as I can imagine them being still long enough to allow the cover of a blanket of snow. Can you blame them? It's worth a try to put off the inevitable, as if they were children fighting their bedtime.
To imagine November as a state of limbo, with change possible either way, might be why dealing with the consequences of snow is always an adjustment. I'm caught unawares because I go by the motto nothing is written in stone.
Oh. So I guess it is. But the snow has to stick before I'm convinced!
Only with the snow staying put do I deal with the consequences. Surprisingly, this isn't quite the same as being like either the irresponsible grasshopper or the industrious ant who both have a different strategy in how they prepare for the consequences of winter. I might still get an "I told you so" from the ant, but I'd prove how quickly I can adjust.
Because I'm not a grasshopper or an ant. I'm some critter in between who might not have a clue where the heck the snow shovel is, but knows she has one. (Ah, see, there it is, stuck in the corner of the shed behind the weed whacker and the lawn mower...and a lot of other things.) I'm not unprepared, I just need to rearrange.
Just yesterday, I was shoveling snow when my cell phone played a tune and caller ID said it was Mrs. Ant. (Yeah, really.)
Critter Me: (pulling off my glove) Hello, Mrs. Ant.
Mrs. Ant: (sounding smug) It's snowing. (also read: "I told you so.")
Critter Me (leaning on my snow shovel): Really?
Mrs. Ant: It's a little late this year, but Mr. Ant says there's no going back now.
Critter Me: I guess not. (Grinning,I can't resist asking.) Do you and Mr. Ant need anything?
Mrs. Ant: (offended snort!) Of course, not. We've been preparing for this all year. Pause. And you?
Critter Me: I'm good. (It was mostly true.As soon as I got the critter-mobile unburied I'd go to the Critter-Mart.)
In the background at Mrs. Ant's house I hear bang, bang, bang! "Let m-me in!"
Critter Me: Who's that? (as if I didn't know)
Mrs. Ant: (back to sounding smug) Mr. Grasshopper, of course. He has a silly notion every year that the leaves will just fly back on the trees!
Critter Me: (laughs weakly) Imagine that.
Even though the fable has poor Mr. Grasshopper turned away as a moral lesson, I imagine Mr. and Mrs. Ant will let him in...eventually. They probably enjoy a long winter of the grasshopper singing for his supper!
The rest of us critters have to deal with winter the best we can. We are probably more reactive than we'd like, but the call to action of the first snow just might be the incentive some of us need to narrow our options when we've been in a limbo of possibilities. It's amazing how much we can get done when we have to!