Sunday, July 18, 2010

Winter doldrums

Oh my goodness, hasn't it been cold. I think that over the last few years, we've forgotten what Winter "should" feel like.

The summer dust is long gone, and the trees have had their fill of water. Leaves that were crisp and dead have blown away and been replaced with fresh growth. Now, it's drizzly and miserable. I've wimped out of scooping the dead bird into the compost heap. It must have been blown off a branch the other night during the storm. That's the second one this month. I wonder if it means the storms are particularly vicious, or if the birds have forgotten what storms are like? I suppose 12 years of drought could be enough for the group memory to fade?

The last few winters have been uneventful affairs. Ho hum weather, dry and not even particularly cold, but this year we've been getting the extremes. It's as if the sky gods are making up for lulling us into a state of complacency. And so we've had rain. All sorts of rain. Vast sheets of bucketing rain, miserable squalls interspersed with pallid blue sky and grubby clouds, drizzly rain that appears ineffectual until you go out and it seeps through the layers, down the sleeves and up your arms to your elbows. How on earth does it do that? And the hail. We've never seen anything like it down here before. The size of golf balls, damaging cars and roofs, and injuring animals and people. Not fun at all.

But speaking of fun, one of the joys of my childhood and that of my children was splashing in puddles, making leaf boats and floating them down the little rivulets in the gutters. This last generation of children missed out on that pass-time. No puddles, no gumboots, no running under the hoses in Summer and squealing with pleasure. No rain.

I wonder how the gumboot manufacturers fared? I don't think you could have bought them for love nor money for many years. But this year! Joy! They are out and proud! During their hibernation they really have evolved into footwear of beauty. Boring black or basic block colours? Forget it. These are paisley, floral, with animal prints, with little ears and dangles and doodads. They're really making up for lost time and bringing smiles in spite of the dreary weather.

Life is good.


MichelleL said...

good post sue, those poor gumboot manufacturers. I can imagine years of boardroom meetings over this very topic. How to "flood" the market when times are good again.

I wonder how you make leaf boats. Might have to Google that one, certainly not something I did. In 'my day' (old or what?) it was sprinklers and backyard water slides made out of sheets of black plastic.

sue said...

Michelle, I just discovered I hadn't replied to your comment. Sorry. Did you ever make newspaper boats? They were fun too.

The other thing we've noticed lately is that the neighbourhood kids don't play in the gutters any more and make little gaps in the debris where it clogs up the drains. I imagine people watching me from behind their curtains and saying to the family "you know she's a bit odd don't you, playing with sticks in the gutters."

I guess I'm still a kid at heart.