It’s Here!

Winter kicked off properly as of late this afternoon. A storm roared in from the west and the bare ground of earlier today was quickly buried under a cloak of white. Not quite the scene pictured above yet, but give it time. This storm is supposed to blow all night and all day tomorrow, so it’s possible that we could be gazing out at a scene at least somewhat like the one above by the end of tomorrow. Give us a few weeks and the scene above will very definitely be there, exactly as pictured.

That’s not our street in the photo, in case you’re wondering, but one very much like it, in the same general area of the city. Just wish we had one of those lovely verandahs. Most of the other houses on this side of our street have them, and there used to be one on this house. But a previous owner removed it, for some bizarre reason. The house looks fine without one, but I’ll bet that it looked finer with one.

Anyway, back to the weather, this isn’t the “winter’s coming” kind of wet, gloppy, quick to melt snow that we’ve had bits of a few times in past weeks. It’s serious, winter’s here to stay snow coming down out there tonight, i.e. the small-flaked, “dry”, crystally stuff that whips into drifts ever so nicely, and that stings when blown directly into your face. The temperature is a mere -4 C. at present, but the wind makes it feel like -16. Still quite mild for mid-November, really, but a bit of a shock after autumn’s last hurrah on the weekend. Friday soared to an incredibly balmy 12 degrees, so we were able to finish off the very, very, very last minute getting ready for winter jobs in shirt sleeves. Well, I thought it was shirt sleeve weather anyway. But you know how I am. 🙂

I must say that it was a treat to get the Christmas lights up in that kind of warmth, rather than fighting with them in a cold wind. Our house faces north, so hanging the lights has been a pretty chilly task some years, when winter has caught us out before we had them up. Just as well that we had a nice day for the job as it took awhile. We bought new lights this year, as the old ones walked away somewhere since last January, and yes, I tested both strings before he took them outside. I’m the organized, efficient sort, remember?! But of course you know how these things go for us. The tap experience of late was typical, rather than an exception!

Hanging the lights is a two-person task in the cold, for all of the obvious reasons. But it’s a one-man job when it’s warm, so I left Richard to it and went to cut down my very late-blooming chrysanthemums and Michaelmas daisies (or hardy asters, as they’re more commonly known in North America) in the back yard. Eventually I was summoned to the front for his big “ta da” moment. Or what was supposed to be his “ta da” moment. One string of lights did indeed blaze into multi-coloured glory, as did half of the other string. But only half. Oh dear. One really doesn’t know what to say for the best on such occasions, does one? So, I said nothing and just quietly went about wiggling the dark bulbs, willing them with all my might to light up. Which they didn’t do, so it was on to checking plugs and doing all of the other obvious possible remedies to the situation, all to no avail. As we ran out of possibilities, the crestfallen one looked as crestfallen as it’s possible for a crestfallen one to look crestfallen. Oh dear. Certainly not his fault, but you know how it is at times such as this. Being deprived of a “ta da” moment isn’t at all good for the ego. No, not one bit.

But he saved the day himself in the end. He came into the house, went down to the basement in search of something or other with which to get on with another job outside, and literally stumbled into a box containing the old Christmas lights. At some point they were transferred to a different box from the one I had put them in last winter, and I had kicked what I thought was an empty one aside while hunting for the one I had thought they were in. Guess the empty one wasn’t empty, after all. The lid flew open when Richard walked into it and voila, lights! So, his status as clever lad was very much restored. The old lights are identical to the new ones we bought, so down came the offending new, up went the old, and voila, a gorgeously lit up front of the house.

And a gorgeously lit up, formerly crestfallen, man of the house. 🙂

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13 thoughts on “It’s Here!

  1. Here in Ottawa, we got our first real snowfall of the year. There's not much snow, and I'm sure it won't hang around, but it still feels like winter.And wouldn't you know it? I still had bulbs to plant and Christmas lights to hang! 🙂

  2. Now thats what I call snow! We live up on the edge of the moors in West Yorkshire and occasionally get a good snowfall, but I don't think I can remember seeing snow like that ever.On to the subject of Christmas lights, it is only bloody November!!!!!!!!!! Obviously things are a little different in US and Canada. In England we think it is rude, or dare I say Chav like if people put their lights up much before a fortnight before Christmas. Ah well soon be time to put the easter eggs and bunnies in the garden too. ;o)

  3. You sure got dumped on with the white stuff. We have light snow and cold here in Edmonton, we will get our big dump not to far down the road. Now for Christmas lights, ours are up and ready to be turned on in December. The last thing Mr.Bear and a friend want to do is put up lights in -25 and a blizzard.

  4. Awww, that snow is so pretty! You already know my fascination with the icy white stuff, so I am absolutely GREEN with envy down here in the southern hemisphere, where it is about 26C at present and supposedly heating up to 30C this weekend. Can you say 'swimming weather'? :-)We have decorated our house with Christmas lights in the past and will probably do so again this year … if I can find the darn things, that is! Certainly can relate to you not being able to find the box of lights from last year! We'll probably decorate during the first weekend of December – and that includes putting up the Christmas tree which has seen better days. I think we'll have to pension it off after this year and go buy something much more sprightly in the post-Christmas sales. Oh, and new tree decorations wouldn't go astray either… 🙂 Any excuse!

  5. Hi Tania and welcome! Maybe you've been lurking for awhile and I just didn't notice, but I'm pretty sure that this the first time you've said hello. 🙂 I've been to your place for a very quick look see and promise to go back for a proper look as soon as I get a minute. I saw on the Weather Channel earlier that some stormy weather is headed in your direction. It looked like it was going to be mostly rain, but we Canadians know how quickly that can change …eh? 🙂 Hopefully it is just rain, though, and you get a chance to get the bulbs planted and Christmas lights up before winter sets in properly.

  6. Yeah, that's what I call snow, too, Wosser. 🙂 I know that it must seem like a lot to you, but really, it's not much at all to us here. Well, it's a lot all in one go, but only a portion of what we accumulate over the course of a winter. No melting between snowfalls over here, worst luck. It just builds and builds until, oh, March if we're lucky, but more likely April. And yes, I know that it is only November, and yes, I totally agree that it's too early for Christmas lights. The earlier the better North American thing is not part of my mindset at all. We just put them up early because it's too bloody cold to do it in December. But the “ta da” moment to test them is the only time they're lit until at least the first week of December. But loads of our neighbours have theirs lit up already, and I've already seen some Christmas trees in front windows. To me, having the decorations up too early sort of spoils the actual season when it gets here, but obviously I'm in the minority. When Stephanie was little I put the tree up on Advent Sunday, just to shut up her constant begging for it. But much as I love our Christmas tree, four weeks of looking at it was way too much. Last year it went up around the 14th or so, because she and I were too deathly ill to tackle it before then, and we enjoyed it so much more for the shorter time of having it to enjoy. I wasn't chomping at the bit, wanting to rip it down one minute after midnight on Boxing Day, either! 🙂

  7. Ah Shining Light, we Canadians understand each other so well, don't we? Who says that we don't have typical Canadian traditions that bind us together? 🙂 Most of our weather comes from your direction, so don't be in a hurry to send that cold this way, ok? What we have right now is more than enough. Oh, and a warm welcome to you, too! 🙂

  8. Hi Leigh! :)Yes, yes, I know all about your fascination with snow. Which I understand. But familiarity tends to breed contempt and all that, you know! But really, I couldn't imagine living anyywhere without a proper winter. Certain things about our winters can get you down, especially a vicious January deep freeze period when we never get above -25 C. or so for weeks, or when we get too many storms one right after the other. Having to battle snowy, icy driving conditions constantly grinds you down, too. But at the same time, there's something really invigourating about a Prairie winter. One of the most glorious sights imaginable is a pristine white landscape with a dazzling blue sky overhead. Or a crisp, clear winter's night when moonlight/street lights on a fresh fall of snow turn it into a field of diamonds. Even sun dogs and ice crystals in the air are beautiful, if a bit terrifying because of the extremely cold temperatures that they herald. When you mentioned that you'd like new Christmas decorations, did you mean ditching all of your old ones and replacing them with new? If so, does that mean that you like totally colour-coordinated “theme” trees? I admire them in the stores, but I don't want one in my home. My tree is a “memory tree” – a total hodge podge of ornaments, most of which were gifts, or of some other particular significance. So, when I decorate the tree each year, it's like being surrounded by special people and memories. Same when I look at the tree. I can tell you where every ornament came from and when. The tree I grew up with was the same way, as will Stephanie's be when she leaves home. Many of our tree ornaments will go with her as they were bought for or given to her. Every year since she has been born I've bought her a special ornament each year, and others have also given her ornaments. I'll miss them when they're no longer on our tree, but I'm sure that the bare spaces will be filled in by more “memories” of my own over time. She'll have a fight on her hands if she thinks that she's going to take all of her handmade ornaments with her, though! Certainly, she can have some, but I'll be hanging onto my pick of the ones made by her little hands over the years. She can have them when I'm gone, but until then, Mom gets to get all teary and sentimental over them when decorating the tree each Christmas. Yes, I'm a total sap, and I'm darned proud of it! 🙂

  9. Good for you for getting your Christmas lights up… we didn't get ours up yet – hubby thinks he'd like to skip it this year and find some lights in green & red to use in the potlights that we have on the front of the garage and the front veranda. Happy Shovelling, Eleanor!

  10. That snow is so beautiful – yeah, I know looking at it and living in those conditions are two entirely different things *grin*.And pray tell – where is the pic of your lovely Xmas lights?

  11. Pot lights are good, Desiree … as long as they're red and green. 😉 Total stickler for tradition here, in case you hadn't noticed!

  12. I guess it's time to hire that tanker again and fill it up with snow for shipment to your part of the world, Michelle. 🙂 But you're right the snow itself is pretty. It's the trying to get around in it that isn't so pretty!

  13. Oops, hit publish too quickly there, Michelle. You asked where the photo of our lights is. Well, the only digital camera in the house belongs to the junior member and she wasn't around the day we put the lights up. Shall have to try to remember to ask her to take a photo when the lights are turned on in earnest. But don't look for a huge display, as ours is quite small and tasteful. Colourful, yes, as we like multi-coloured lights, but not overdone at all. Our house is two-storey and the usual lights along the eaves thing would involve climbing waaaay up a ladder. Which none of us is prepared to do. Get me standing on a chair and I go all woozey, so ladders are totally out of the question! So, what we do is put outdoor lights along the wrought iron railing on our front steps, up and around the overhang over the steps, and then back down the railing on the other side. Then the tree goes in the huge front window, with more lights around the window on the inside, with the lights on the tree and around the window matching those outside. So, it looks like a complete decorating job, but actually most of it is inside. Done without a ladder!

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