Well, well, well! As I sit and write these opening words this week, I do so sniffling and feeling a rosy burn in my cheeks.
Two days ago, it had been another beautiful, late autumn day, the type of which we had perhaps gotten used to over the previous many weeks.
Yesterday, I awoke to a deluge pouring from slate-gray skies, a heavy, cold, autumn rain that just came and came and came some more.
I went to bed wondering at the foggy wetness outside what, oh what, was coming next.
My answer came in the late, low and cold (notice I am using that adjective a lot?) gray light of early morning when I noticed a swirl of unwelcome white puffs drifting and falling from the sky.
Snow, cold, and the long dark, season.
Yes, winter had arrived.
In my previous two years living in Carlyle, the first visit by Old Man Winter came both years on the Thanksgiving holiday.
In both cases, snow fell and accumulated on the ground.
Also in both cases the snow was totally gone within a couple of days of falling, and after that initial taste of winter, things ended up clearing, and the weather turned to the same bright, dry autumn conditions that we had enjoyed (up until now at any rate) this year.
This puff of winter just might be a foretaste of the coming season anyway.
The storm which is carrying the snow seems to be all over the news, with snappy monikers like 'Snowzilla,' and for those around Chicago, a city also affected by the same weather occurrence, the 'Chiclone.'
From what is being said, a low pressure system, so low that it matches the levels seen in the heart of a hurricane, has been moving north, bringing in swirling patterns around it significant precipitation, and winds sustained at 60-70 kmph, gusting even higher.
Essentially, it is a land-bound hurricane for all intents and purposes.
Not that anyone reading this needs to know any of that information.
I am certain that as I sit here and calmly type out these bits of word and thought, listening intently to the whipping train-whistle sound of the wind, you are likely at home or work, listening to the same reedy whistle, and are looking on the internet or television to see the same information I just presented.
It seems that winter is coming to us this year with a roar, and the snow doesn't give a soft, white damn who it touches (thank you Mr. Cummings!)
The gradual shift in the seasons is one part of the annual cycle that I have always enjoyed.
The breezy chill of spring turning to the humid, clinging heat of summer, drifting into the sharply sweet and fragrant season of autumn, turning then to the arrival of the deeply still, soft, and white silence of winter.
Yes, I appreciate the gentle turning of the season, but an abrupt shove from one season to another, as we are seeing today as a result of 'Snowzilla' (I don't know why, but I am particularly partial to that name for this storm,) is a rather traumatic smack upside the head by my estimation, and one I think I would've been considerably more happy without.
However, despite the rather sudden demand to acclimate to my least favourite season, I will remember that behind this gusting and wailing wall of deep chill lay one of my favourite holidays (Christmas,) a brand new year (2011 and still counting!) a fantastic event (Dickens Village Festival here we come!) and a much warmer season (ah, the warmth and joy of spring!)
In the interim, I'll pray that we will have a spat of warm weather still, that I remember to get all the winterization of my new house complete (which I had been proceeding with rather lazily up until this point . . . three windows and two doors down, a tonne more to go,) and that I stop procrastinating about the Christmas gifts and cards.
While I wrap my head around adjusting to a winter world (even though Halloween hasn't gotten here yet,) I will also prepare for what has always been for me the most productive time of year for writing.
Well, the long range forecast says we're supposed to heat up in the coming week, so we will have the rare privilege of enjoying two springs (but three winters!)