Welcome to my World

Welcome to the domain different--to paraphrase from New Mexico's capital city of Santa Fe which bills itself "The City Different." Perhaps this space is not completely unique but my world shapes what I write as well as many other facets of my life. The four Ds figure prominently but there are many other things as well. Here you will learn what makes me tick, what thrills and inspires me, experiences that impact my life and many other antidotes, vignettes and journal notes that set the paradigm for Dierdre O'Dare and her alter ego Gwynn Morgan and the fiction and poetry they write. I sell nothing here--just share with friends and others who may wander in. There will be pictures, poems, observations, rants on occasion and sometimes even jokes. Welcome to our world!

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Falling into Winter

The calendar does not even say it is winter yet although my personal calendar puts the midwinter solstice at midwinter and has it start shortly after Samhain or Halloween. By Imbolc or late February there are signs of spring although of course winter does not go out without considerable kicking and screaming as a rule! But I do think the old Celts and other "primitive" people had it right, setting their seasons around the movement of the sun. So let the modern calendar say what it will!

Much of the nation has already been pounded by vicious weather. Those of us who live in the sun belt are blessed and fortunate unless you are one of those folks who really enjoys the snow and cold, the blustery gray days and all that. I do not. I think a lot of my discomfort with winter dates back to the days when I was working with the livestock. They had to have their daily care regardless of the weather so I was out both in the blazing heat of summer and the cold of winter for several years there. The heat could be hard but I hated the cold the most.

You can't imagine how cold you can get in the saddle for several hours while the wind is blowing and the wind chill is well below freezing even in 'desert' Arizona! I often came in at night and sat behind the wood burning stove we had in the living room of the house--yep, back in the old days, at least in the rural areas, before central heating and such luxuries! Anyway, I would ensconce myself in the corner back of the stove and try to let the heat drive the cold out of my bones lest they seem to radiate it back through my flesh and skin all night! I sat there until my jeans were almost smoking sometimes and then finally almost felt warm! Of course in bed at night you lay almost pressed flat by pounds of wool blankets and once you had that little spot heated you hated to move even a finger or toe into the colder parts of the bed. I often slept curled into a tight ball. Mercy, I could not do that now or I would wake up so stiff and achy I could hardly walk!

I do think it was generally colder and wetter then, even in the high desert areas, although we still do get storms and even snow at times, like I wrote of a couple of weeks ago. It seems things have warmed and dried a bit in general. I can't say I am sorry although the drought is bad and is causing a lot of harm with vegetation dying and the horrible fires as one bad result.  Here is one cold scene of part of the corrals where we kept some animals that we were riding daily. I shiver just to look at it!

Anyway, winter is here, by my estimates. I took Ginger for a walk down in the park on Sunday and although some of them had faded, many of the trees still had lovely golden leaves and I took some new pictures. Today after a doctor's appointment, we walked there again. Now the ground is thick with fallen leaves and the ones still left are dull and brownish instead of golden. So we are falling into winter rapidly.  We hit the lower 20s last night but as soon as the sun was up, the temperature climbed about ten degrees in an hour or so. The high was into the 40s but to me that is pretty chilly. Thank goodness for the sunshine!!

My brother and I were laughing about how he especially ever stood the cold in Colorado, working outside in all sorts of weather as he did for many years with his railroad track maintenance work. I did not enjoy the cold, either of the two times I lived in Colorado. The blizzard my husband and I survived in 1977 --we spent eighteen hours in a Ford Pinto in the wind-driven snow!--added to my dislike of that kind of weather. We survived but a few were not so fortunate and it was very scary!

Right now I am fighting my hibernation urge and SAD issues that get hold of me every winter. They were worse in Colorado but now into the third winter back in what my brother calls "the Promised Land" I've lost any acclimation to cold that I had gained those last winters up north. I walked with Belle on many days when it was well below freezing but this morning I declined to go for an early walk with Ginger when it was rapidly going from 25 to 35 and on up. What a wuss I have become! But I am counting the days now until December 21 and the midwinter solstice. Old Sol or Lugh or whatever you wish to call him will begin the first tiny inching step to move back overhead again and that gives me hope that spring again will come! We may fall into winter but we can always spring out in time!

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